The first summer of physical therapy school is a big deal. It is THE summer of Gross Anatomy. Every morning was a four hour lecture. Every afternoon was a 4 hour cadaver lab. It was intense. It was stressful. It was fascinating. I soon found that I loved the art of dissection. I loved the lab. The following summer I enthusiastically accepted a position as a Gross Anatomy Lab Instructor for the incoming class. Every day was an 8+ hour day in the cadaver lab. The lab had it’s own environment. The smell of preservation chemicals permeated any item that was in the building. There was no removing the stench from clothing. After being there I got used to it. I had a set of clothes that was lab attire ONLY. I showered and washed my hair AFTER the day. Each morning I got up, put my hair in a pony tail, put on the designated stinky clothes and headed out the door. At the end of the summer, the lab instructors joined the students for an end of anatomy class celebration. I showered, applied make-up, wore my hair down and put on normal clothing. I was NOT recognized by my own students. The students I had spent 4+ hours a day with the entire summer. After I re-introduced myself, one of them said with shock, “wow, your hair is actually kinda pretty!” “I have this refrain about the monkey house at the zoo. When you first enter into the monkey house at the zoo, you think, ˜Oh my god this place stinks! ™ And then after you're there for 20 minutes you think, ˜it's not so bad ™ and after you're there for an hour it doesn't smell at all. And anyone entering the monkey house freshly thinks, ˜this stinks! ™ You’ve been living in the monkey house.” -Tim Gunn on Project Runway as advice to a contestant who was trimming his fashion line with human hair. Have we as mommies lived in the monkey house of our appearance too long? Have we become unrecognizable as ourselves once we leave our home lab? How are you to know if you are in the monkey house? Good question! I have the answer for you (you are shocked, aren’t you?). You need to take the Holly’s O.I.A.B.I.G.C.A.T.T. (Oh! I Accidentally Bumped Into George Clooney At Target Test). It is simple. It is effective. It is genius. Just pretend that whatever you are assessing (your hairstyle, purse, outfit, PJ’s, sweat pants) will be seen tomorrow when you accidentally bump into George Clooney at Target. It is Target so no Oscar attire is necessary. It makes you think twice about that decision doesn’t it? Would you have changed anything if you had advance notice that he would be there? If we all used the OIABIGCATT system then we could officially call ourselves frump free, released from the monkey house and ready to join the living. Please visit Fussy and friends for more fight the frump. Oh, and when you DO bump into George Clooney at Target, try to act surprised…

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  1. If I met Mr. Clooney in Target I would probably say something inane just before I lapsed into unconsciousness so what I had on would probably be a moot point – Although I get where you were going here… thanks for the reminder!

  2. Holly, TOO COOL! I’m a PT too! Your description of the gross lab took me back…ahh the whiff of formaldehyde and stale cadavers. Nothin’ like it!

  3. This is the best idea. It might just get me out of my PJs on a regular basis. Maybe I could alter this a bit and pretend that George is my UPS man . . . then I might even brush my teeth and do my hair!

  4. I agree with your theory 100% – I never leave the house without being prepared to run into someone. My biggest fear would be running into an ex-girlfriend of hubby’s or an ex-boyfriend of my own and looking like crap. So that is what I use as my test!