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You really look terrible in that shirt. And fix your hair.

Yesterday, with the sun warming my face and last night’s ice cream still cool in my belly, I decided to take my running sneakers out of hibernation and hit the streets for my first run of the new year. Although I exercise regularly, I only run outside in fair weather. With the temperature nearing 50 degrees, my brain was itching for the fresh air instead of the stale gym odors that I had been inhaling all winter.

So I layered up and set out; one foot in front of the other, trip trapping down my street. It had been while, but it felt good. I missed going on autopilot through my neighborhood, while losing myself in my head. What would I think about today? I wondered and considered my options.

Should I wallow over my father’s declining state? That could get me through miles.

Or, should I think of snappy comebacks to the friend who recently said, “Wow, it’s so great that you can just go out without doing anything to yourself. I could never do that.”

Oh, I got it! How bout….  “You’re right. You totally look better with makeup.”

Wait! No! Better… “Thanks. It’s true. You really need self-confidence to pull it off.”

Hmm.. I’ll get back to that.

There’s always the to-do list. First shower, then supermarket, dry cleaners, stop for Dunkin Donut’s coffee, pick up kid…

Wow, figuring out what I’m going to think about has gotten me through over a mile. Yay. I should probably think about what to wear to tomorrow night’s School Social. Certainly not pants like the lady who just walked past me. Really? Flesh colored leggings? I don’t know anyone who can pull that off. I almost want to follow her and let her know that unless she’s auditioning for ‘What Not To Wear’, they should never be worn again.

In my college sweatshirt, skull cap, striped gloves and yoga pants that make my thighs look too heavy, I have no business criticizing anyone, yet I have to fight the urge to share my feelings.

Maybe it’s genetic. It would be something my grandma would have done. I can still remember her walking over to poor, unsuspecting strangers and saying things like, “Honey, no one’s going to tell you, but that lipstick color looks horrible on you.”

I always died a little, totally mortified, but now, decades later, it doesn’t seem like the worst idea. I mean, yeah, it can be seen as judgmental, but maybe it’s just being helpful. Maybe, sometimes we all need someone like that; a ‘truth teller’ in the form of a well-meaning stranger.

I mean who else would tell you these things? Certainly not your friends. No way will your friends tell you how fat you look in your jeans, or that –

Wow! The lady I just passed must be bathing in perfume.

What was I thinking? I might have blacked out there a moment. Oh, right, friends. They love you and don’t want to hurt your feelings. They can’t be completely honest.

I don’t know if the sweat has seeped into my brain, but I think this is a kick ass idea. I can open a school and train people on proper approach, having good ‘street-side’ manner, and of course, how to diffuse an offended person’s wrath. My people will be like secret agents. Employers will hire us to do an office walk-thru. Friends will hire us to say things they can’t say. It’s a public service. It’s genius!

I can’t believe it. I’m almost home. That was fantastic.

Wait, I just came up with the best comeback to my friend’s comment. Ready?

“You’re right. But you know, saying things like that is the reason a lot of people don’t like you.”


Brutal Honesty. My grandma would have loved it. But would people actually appreciate the truth whispered to them by an unknown judge?

I don’t know, but i’ll have to think about it next time. I’ve just run out of steam.

Brittney, Let's talk about that bra. I'm here to help.

Brittney, let’s talk about that bra. I’m here to help.

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

196 responses »

  1. joisjustkidding

    Suddenly I feel pretty good about my boobs and my bras. You’re a magician!:)

  2. This was hilarious! Thanks!!

  3. Shleck from our blog is exactly like this and I LOVE her for always being up front with me – mainly because I can rely on her to not let me look like a fool in public! Love your blog! 🙂

  4. Great post. My runs are filled with angry letters to people I’d love to give a piece of my mind to, letters I would never dream of actually composing. Perhaps there is a relationship between running an anger for me…

  5. optimisticgladness

    Fun post. Today…I was talking with my friend in CVS. She was standing about 10 feet away from me and I noticed she had braces on. So I said, “You got braces?!” She said, “No. My teeth are grey from tetracycline.” I felt terrible. Then another time, I was talking to a teacher and said, “You have spaghetti sauce on your chin.” She looked at me, felt her chin and said, “Nope, that’s a zit.” Ug! Just tryin to help a sista out and it back fires. 🙂

  6. Thinking about WHAT to think about is always the first thing on my running to do list!
    I would definitely hire you out. I think so bluntly but can never say what needs to be said.

  7. Read this after I came back from my run first run of the year. Really enjoyed it! Especially since I was thinking about what I was going to think about while I ran haha 🙂

  8. I want to say this kind of thing all the time. The bra picture really made me laugh. And I guess your friend never exercises – the Alice Cooper look when mascara is streaming down your face is not generally a good one…..

  9. I expected to find this blog to be negative but found quite the opposite. Well written my dear! I think your agents is a fantastic idea.

  10. Hehehe. Usually if I am running/jogging, I am too busy trying to catch my breath and not pass out to think about much of anything else. 🙂

  11. Great post! 🙂 I am glad I’m not the only one to have my mind go a zillion different directions!

  12. Can you please have a word with the majority of teenage girls in Australia?! I want to say to them – “just because your skinny friend can wear it doesn’t mean you should”

    Great post, I enjoyed it 🙂

  13. I always say what I think. When I think my friend looks fat in that shirt, I tell her. She appreciates it, because she knows me, but many people don’t. I do it because that’s the way I want to be treated, but not many people appreciate it and see me as unfriendly. They are to much in love with their own person and opinion… Ah well, I’ll keep telling the truth, and maybe, somewhere, someone will thank me for it. I just want to help.

  14. My truth teller is my 10 year old son. “How do I look?” I asked wearing a skirt I had doubts about, “Does this skirt look good?” “Well,” said the truth teller, “It’s a nice skirt” insert pregnant pause here, “Just not on you.”

  15. I love distracted running, I love imaginary arguments that I win even more. Great read!

  16. i once told a friend that a hat she was trying on made her head look like a penis…we’re not friends anymore. whoops.

  17. This was a great read! 🙂

  18. If you do decide to start this type of business, one thing’s for sure — your graduates will NEVER run out of work. As long as they keep selling flesh-colored leggings some idiot will buy them and, worse, wear them in public. LOL!

    Very, very funny stuff!

  19. Reblogged this on zeesalaudeen's Blog and commented:
    One look at this and i just went…reblog baby!

  20. great post, thanks for sharing

  21. I’m giggling because I frequently have the urge to say something and if I feel I can get away with it, without hurting anyone’s feelings, I do it. Honesty is appreciated, no one wants to walk out with her dress tucked in the back of her pantyhose, or a big hunk of something green in their teeth. I frequently tuck in people’s tags, or at least point it out.

    My husband is blind, my kids don’t notice, I sure wish someone would tell me how whacked I look sometimes. lol

    • i hear you. sometimes it’s hard to hear the truth, but sometimes it has to be told. and make your husband be honest, that’s his job. not that it works with my husband… 😉

      • Actually, my husband really is legally blind, carries a white cane and everything. He has a very small field of vision, like walking around with a camera to his eyes. Which is why he’d notice if I wore a bra like Brittney’s and tell me, but because his eyes are on my cleavage he really can’t see my hair, or the spinach in my teeth. He’s honest, but narrowly focused. lol

      • as long as his eyes are on you… 🙂

  22. Thoroughly entertaining. Let me know when you want to hit Atlanta with this. I’d be happy to join in on the path to change.

  23. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  24. Reblogged this on Tale as old as me and commented:
    I totally need a friend who is a truth teller! 🙂 xxx

  25. I feel like the majority of Seinfeld episodes are a great example why we shouldn’t say all the shit running through our heads OUT LOUD (although I let stuff slip on the daily). Great read and congrats on FP!

  26. Pingback: This Liebster Award | nuriandnerdpower

  27. You are correct often times there are people on the streets that make you wonder do they really know what they look like? my mother is the biggest critic in my family which is good because I can take criticism rather well. Anyways I am extending a Liebster award to you if you choose to accept it this is the link

  28. All thoughts lead to cropped cargo pants. You are divine.

  29. I’m lucky to have friends (and a mom) who are completely straightforward and will tell me exactly what they think. I seem to get a lot of, “That’s what your wearing?” from my mom especially, even when I’m just leaving to workout 🙂

    Great post!!

  30. I can’t stop laughing! I’m not sure if it’s just me, but this kind of thinking likes to creep up more when I’m working out. Maybe it’s a defensive thing, like, “Hey, you can’t judge me! I judged you first!”

  31. This is great and beyond true! And a very witty way to say it!

  32. great stream of consciousness! sometimes – as with those nude leggings – I feel the urge to say something, but I always figured that if that were part of their identity and how they see themselves, I might just precipitate (or cause) some sort of breakdown.

  33. I can’t even tell you how many times people tell me, I wish I was lucky like you and didn’t do anything to myself. Ok I know I am a stay at home mom with no one to impress. I have never done the makeup thing to often. And I am secure with myself. Thanks for the good come backs.

  34. Love your blog! Take a look around mine, maybe something will spark your interest and you’ll follow me! Hope to hear from you soon!

  35. Well, that’s genius!! How’s it working out so far??

  36. Pingback: I go for a run. Or so I thought. | Icescreammama

  37. Oh how I miss being able to wear yoga pants out of the house…

  38. Sign me up for your school, I definitely need help with the street-side manner. I have too much fun being a sassy bitch

  39. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Nice article ! Good job !

    V.F Team
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  40. Pingback: Feature Friday: Ice Scream Mama | Stuphblog

  41. I LOVED this! I found you this morning through TwinDaddy’s post on Stuphblog. Any woman with ice cream and mama in the same sentence is completely awesome in my world. I brought my own ice cream and I put on running shoes 3-4 times/week (will run for food). I’ll try not to spill or traipse mud through your site as I read more.
    Loved this first piece of yours that I read and I’m sure I’ll love the rest, too.
    Happy Friday!

    • Thank you, fellow Mama. I really appreciate you stopping by. I hope you enjoy. I’m a mix of sweet and bitter sweet. Occasionally I go sour though. I try to keep that to a minimum, though. So nice to meetcha. 🙂

      • Pleased to meetcha back! Sometimes we need the sour to make the sweet all that much better, right? I’m the same way though…most of my stuff is meant to be positive and uplifting, but there are some days I just can’t fake it. Nor would I want to.
        Happy Friday new friend!

  42. Now I really can’t wait to be old enough to have permission to tell people about what bad choices they’ve made. Now I just write about them anonymously!

  43. Pingback: Alisa of Ice Scream Mama is Getting Possessed! - My dishwasher's possessed

  44. Your grandmother reminds me of my mother – she is so critical of everyone, but thankfully, not to their face! Thanks for a good chuckle! By the way, I found you through Kathy Radigan. Take care, Lisa


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