The Slob Stereotype (Fighting It and Fitting It)

I find myself cringing when I hear the word “slob” being used.

It’s not used positively, and it’s not supposed to be.  The dictionary includes “an insult” as part of the definition.

Pre-blog, I never cringed when I heard the word, but that was because I didn’t think of myself as one. 

A big part of my process has been my dedication to being completely honest and the acceptance of how my brain works. Using the word “slob” has been crucial in all of that.

But I still feel my face flush and my neck prickle when someone casually mentions something about a slob.  Usually, they’re referring to a person with stained/hole-y clothing who is sitting on a couch and drinking chocolate milk from the bottle while watching the sci-fi channel.

Personally, I’m not into sci-fi, don’t get to watch much TV at all EVER until after 9 p.m. (and my bedtime is 10!), and I’m allergic to chocolate thank-you-very-much!

But the holes in the clothes?

Ummmm, I probably would have acted offended and horrified at that stereotype a few months ago.

But then . . . I wore that shirt in the picture above.

I LOVE that shirt.  It’s just the boring-and-neutral color I love to wear on an I-don’t-feel-all-that-great-what-day-of-the-month-is-it kind of day.  And it fits.  Like in a fitted-but-doesn’t-show-every-roll-when-you-sit-down kind of way.

However . . . with all the doo-dads and design, it somehow got little holes in it right away.

Right away = three years ago when I bought it.

And over the past three years those little holes have grown bigger with every wash.

But I still kept pretending they weren’t noticeable.  Even though I knew in my heart that they were.

Here are my thoughts on why the holes-in-the-clothes stereotype exists:

Slobs are nice people.  We look beyond the facade of perfectly hole-less clothing.  We see the beauty of the item over the flaws.

In spite of the flaws.

I saw the big picture of that wonderful, comfortable, roll-covering, perfect-neckline shirt.  I didn’t dismiss it because of a (few) measly little hole(s). 

Clothes like this make me think of my quirky, artsy, sometimes-smelly college theatre friends.  I LOVE those people.  Passionately.  And though most have “issues” I accept them completely with all flaws included.

And as I occasionally have the opportunity to work with other theatrical-type people, I find that they also tend to be flawed, but awesome.  And accepting.  And willing to overlook MY flaws and love me anyway.

And (yes I’m carrying this out), I’m constantly amazed at the readers here at A Slob Comes Clean who not only identify with my Slob Issues, but also have backgrounds in theatre or some other ultra-creative endeavor.

And it confirms my belief that part of who I am (the part that sees the world differently and ignores the bad in order to focus on the good) is directly related to the other part (the part that convinces myself no one notices the pasty-white-quarter-inch of belly showing through the now-a-quarter-inch-big hole in my shirt).

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this.  I threw away the shirt. 

I’m at the point where I’m able to combat my Slob Vision enough that I wake up and realize I’m too old to wear a shirt with a big ol’ hole in it.

Even though I love it.

But I don’t ever want to get to the point where I see someone’s frizzy hair or lack of make-up or ten-year-old Birkenstocks instead of seeing their heart.

Oh.  And just in case you’re thinking I’m making a big deal out of the fact that a favorite shirt had a tiny-little hole in it . . . here’s another shirt I got rid of during the Master Bedroom Saga:

Yep.  That’s a six-inch hole in the armpit of a t-shirt I bought when Hubby and I went to Disney World for our first anniversary.  12.5 years ago.  And the hole has been there (at increasing measurements) for at least six years?  I ignored some serious flash-risk with that one.

(Though, in my defense, I only wore it to bed . . . ) 

(Though, in my defense,  I only wore it to bed and to do school drop-off . . . )



  1. I love your phrase “We see beauty in items over the flaws.” I think that goes for people too :)

  2. I have been working on this in therapy! The idea that something you do that’s NOT working for you is rooted in something you that IS working for you is the basis for a lot of anxiety (where anxiety is created by the dichotomy of two different wants that clash). I WANT to wear clothes without holes in them, but I WANT to not judge other people for their flaws. I struggle with this in a lot of ways, but recognizing the correlation between the two tends to take a lot of the power out of it. You can SEE how that “love despite the flaws” attitude works for you, but by being able to identify it and put it into words, you can a limit on how and where and why you will do it. So you can do it when it works for you, but fight the impulse when it doesn’t.

  3. You are so funny! You and I are so similar it’s scary! I love it!

  4. I love how the one thing that stuck out for me was “she’s allergic to chocolate?!?”

    I keep wearing shirts that have a hole in the elbow or are seriously dead/stretched in other ways. Usually because I think I can get by with one more wearing or it’s a basic staple and I haven’t found a replacement. But then I just keep wearing them. And keep wearing them. Sometimes even put them in the rip-up-for-rags pile and pull them out in a moment of “no clean laundry” desperation. Finally a few weeks back I realized that I was wearing two layered shirts that both needed to be tossed months ago. I came home and stripped directly into the trash can. It was so fun and the only way I’d stop!

  5. My husband does this for a different reason. His slob vision starts with himself. He can look in a mirror and not see anything but his hair. He doesn’t see his clothing or any of his flaws. So the holes don’t exist.

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