Young, Pretty and Fancy: Then and Now

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Go forth and be fancy today. –Rachel Kann

Once upon a time, I was young. I liked pretty things. I wanted to be fancy.

But now? Well, they say you’re only as young as you feel, but when my kids are counting the wrinkles on my forehead (“Mom, did you know that you have—one, two, three, four, five—six wrinkles on your forehead?”), it’s pretty hard to feel young. Somewhere along the way, pretty things became too much work and a little boring. And fancy? I’m too damn tired for fancy.

When I’m feeling particularly nostalgic for my younger, prettier, fancier days, I like to remind myself of all the differences between then and now. Let’s be honest, this then-now game is the favorite of every exhausted mom. So let’s indulge ourselves a little, shall we? Heck, it’ll distract us from all the wrinkle-counting anyway.

Here are 10 ways fancy then is different than fancy now:

1. Fancy then was spending an hour primping to go out for the night, a glass of wine in one hand and flatiron in the other. Fancy now is a three-minute shower, pulling hair back in a ponytail, and finding a clean-ish shirt to wear.

2. Fancy then was a Prada clutch so small it could only hold a cell phone and credit card. Fancy now is an impulse-buy from Target (isn’t everything from Target an impulse buy?) big enough to hold a wallet, three books, Legos, a notebook, a gift card that expired three years ago, markers and socks. I even found a butter knife at the bottom my bag—twice. But for some reason, I can never seem to find a pen when I need it

3. Fancy then was long, wine-soaked dinners with my husband before meeting our friends out for a night of dancing and various shenanigans, then sleeping off the hangover for the duration of Sunday afternoon. Fancy now is any dinner in which the waitress does not bring crayons to the table for the kids and sleeping until 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

4. Fancy then was Sunday morning brunch with mimosas and Bloody Marys with a beer chaser. Fancy now is a Pumpkin Spice Latte with an espresso chaser.

5. Fancy then was looking for a china pattern to add to a Macy’s bridal registry. Fancy now is plastic utensils and partitioned plates with animals on them.

6. Fancy then was designer jeans, a sequin top, and tall stiletto heels that a friend affectionately referred to as “fuck-me shoes.” Fancy now is yoga pants that don’t have yogurt, coffee, or other mystery stain smeared on them.

7. Fancy then was Chanel eye shadow, Nars blush, and La Mer moisturizer purchased only after perusing the aisles of Sephora for hours on a Saturday afternoon. Fancy now is a tub of Nivea, drugstore mascara, and wrinkle cream that I never remember to use (hence the six deep forehead wrinkles).

8. Fancy then was regular mani-pedi appointments. Fancy now is a quick polish change on the toilet while my kids are in the bath.

9. Fancy then was sleeping for nine indulgent hours on 300-thread count sheets. Fancy now is sleeping for five uninterrupted hours. Anywhere. And I mean anywhere. (I’m really freaking tired.)

10. Fancy then was heady wine, rich chocolate, good books, loud music, strong hugs and long conversations. Because life’s too short. Fancy now is heady wine, rich chocolate, good books, loud music, strong hugs and long conversations. Because life’s too short.

We may not be young (or as young) anymore, and we might not have the energy for pretty, but we can still go forth and be fancy today. And by “fancy,” I mean put on our favorite sweatpants, pour an extra spoonful of sugar in our whatever-spiced latte, curl up under a blanket, and take a nap. Have I mentioned that I’m too damn tired for fancy?