“We Interrupt Your Day to Bring You Bagworms, Lots and Lots of Bagworms.”

Ready to go.

Sit. Desk. Write.

I’d known him back when.  Back when I wore snappy little suits with matching heels and lipstick.  Back when I applied mascara and eye-shadow.  Back when I fiddled with my long blonde hair until it was perfect.

Yes, I knew him back when.  He looked exactly the same, maybe better.  As we stood there, beaming at the unlikely coincidence outside Starbucks, I didn’t have to wonder how I looked.

Reflected in his Ray Ban sunglasses, I saw a woman whose oversized t-shirt tried to hide her unbuttoned shorts because even though she’d lost six pounds, she still had twelve to go.

Instead of taking time to pop in her contacts, she’d grabbed her crooked, smudged glasses and barely ran a brush through wet hair before her girlfriend picked her up.  The only things matching on this woman were her unshaven legs.

I wanted to run away from him.

On the way home, I enlightened my friend.  He and I had worked together for two years in Chicago.  Even though he wasn’t an old boyfriend, seeing what his eyes saw made me feel… well, unsexy–no–downright frumpy.

Where had my mojo gone?  I looked at my friend in horror as the revelation hit.

As she turned into my driveway, I was still babbling.  With a pained look, my friend interrupted, “You have bagworms.”

Bagworms? Yes I had baggage, but bagworms?  A new buzzword?

Literally not.  My friend noticed the miniature pinecones dangling like Christmas ornaments on our pine tree.  My husband and I had marveled all summer how exquisite they were.  My friend recognized them instead as insidious larvae sacs teeming with eat-and-destroy bagworms ready to proliferate.

Almost like Christmas ornaments...

I had to act fast, so with my husband still out of town on his business trip, I pushed the “easy” button and hired three neighbor kids to remove the hordes of bagworms before they sucked the life from the tree.

This done, I returned to my own bagworms.

Lazy habits creep up like extra pounds.  First it’s wearing sporty workout clothes in public; then, it’s listening to my husband say how good I look without makeup; then, when I don’t have time to dry my hair, I can always put it in a ponytail, right?

There’s no “easy” button for personal bagworms.  Oprah won’t swoop in and carry me off to a fantasy makeover.  Nor can I sit at my desk and rewrite the last few years.

Losing a few pounds and exercising are good first steps.  The next step involves fighting the inertia of not caring.  It involves picking up the phone and cashing in on those dance classes my husband promised to attend if I scheduled them.  It involves taking a few extra minutes and coordinating an outfit.

It also involves replacing the full-length mirror I broke a few years back.  If you don’t look, you don’t see.  And I want to see my bagworms… to eradicate them before they suck the life out of me.

Goodbye bagworms!  ~ JD here.

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6 Responses to “We Interrupt Your Day to Bring You Bagworms, Lots and Lots of Bagworms.”

  1. Judy Kummer says:

    I love this post….have a few bagworms myself….

  2. Candace says:

    I guess the real question lies hidden somewhere in your very cleverly written post–comparing bagworms to our reality moments. By the way, this blog showcases your writing talents nicely. I appreciate it. Anyway, in spite of all efforts to the contrary, we fear being judged solely for our appearance and we probably do some judging along those lines ourselves. I’m not saying I have the answer, but it may have something to do with how we feel about ourselves. If doing those things that we think make us look better makes us also feel better about ourselves, they’re not bad. It’s only when the physical pursuits dominate that they become dangerous. Just my take.

    • JD says:

      Even on my best days, I was never a fashion diva, but what keeps any of us from walking around in wrinkled clothes and uncombed hair? My “uh-oh” moment (instead of “aha”) came when I realized I’d been sliding by, lowering my standards little by little until the concept of who I thought I was no longer matched the actual reality. You’re making me think deeper than I intended, Candace; thanks for your insights!

  3. Janean says:

    I’m often out and about in work out clothes and no makeup these days. Then there are days like today where I put make up on for no reason since I never made it out of the house staying home with my under the weather youngest son. I’ve realized that no matter what I’m wearing, make up or no make up, I’m still me. Mostly comfortable in my own skin, though wishing there were less of me to love and working on that too. Whatever you decide about clothes, makeup and hair – do it for you and how it makes you feel inside and out. Not for any other reason or person. I gave up my ponytail a few years ago but loved the way it felt swinging from my head when it used to be there.

    • JD says:


      You’ll be happy to know I painted my toenails earlier today for no one but me. (Because who really looks at your toes, anyway?)

      Ironically, I’ve always been as comfortable being the “tomboy” in her baseball cap and long ponytail, running around in jeans, tennis shoes and no makeup as when I’ve “dolled” up.

      What made the difference that particular day? You’re absolutely right; how I felt about myself. I’m never comfortable when my clothes fit too tight; everything else becomes an annoyance. Everything. Excuses and bigger clothes don’t work for me.

      So, it’s a good thing I joined WW and now have some extra breathing room in my waistband. (-6.2 lbs. so far)

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it. ~JD

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