Scruff

27 11 2009

Scruff. I love scruffy people and things. Tousled hair, faded clothes, rust on a car, scuffed shoes. To some, this makes people and things look unkept and dirty. To me, this makes things come alive. Every scar, every tear, every stain has a story to tell, a story about lived experience: enduring tough times maybe, or living it up and having a good time. Survival, resilience and the strength to keep laughing. So much focus on living life that there is little time for anything beyond basic grooming and maintenance. Maybe it’s because I’m a plumber’s child and one of my favourite places to be as a child was in my dad’s car, with the buckets of tools in the back, the smell of sawdust, my dad driving with the stubble on his face and a gleam in his eye from enjoying both the physical labour and the brain power needed to conceptualise his work. Maybe that’s why I find so much peace among hunters of the north. No one really seems to care what they look like – it’s the warm and resilient spirits that matter.

(I originally left this as a comment on another blog in response to a post on people’s favourite things. It’s the first time that I managed to clearly articulate why I’m so attracted to scruffiness in me, in others and in things so I transferred it here for safe-keeping. Now to stop procrastinating and get back to work!!)

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4 responses

28 11 2009
Shirley Anne

It can also mean laziness and a couldn’t care less attitude to life or even a disregard for one’s self esteem. In the eyes of many people this trait is repulsive. I don’t mind being scruffy when I am at work because sometimes I have no choice, it is the nature of the beast but as soon as work is finished I have to clean up my act. No, for me scruffy is a no-no.

Shirley Anne xxx

28 11 2009
genderkid

One of my favorite things is time-worn pictures of time-worn things. Hooray for scruff!

28 11 2009
Jacky V.

Shirley Anne – it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Things mean what we want them to and often, people judge too soon based on their own interpretation of what something means. So us scruffy types get misjudged. Just like trans people . . . incidentally.

In any case, a person’s spirit says it all. It’s important to pay attention to that vibe in trying to decipher what their appearance means, which is why I *TRY* not to assume that every *polished* person that I meet isn’t necessarily a snob who takes more time on their personal appearance than on their inner self.

Genderkid – right on 😀

29 11 2009
Shirley Anne

I agree Jacky. We shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but you have to admit, first impressions can prevent a deeper connection. For me it isn’t what we look like that is important, it’s what’s inside that really counts. When I said scruff isn’t for me, I meant just that. It’s ok for someone else though if that’s what they like. Love

Shirley Anne x

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