Saying Goodbye to My Beauty Regime
"Beauty! Wasn't that what mattered? Beauty was hardly a popular ideal at that jumpy moment in history. The masses had been desensitized to it, the intelligentsia regarded it with suspicion. To most of her peers, 'beauty' smacked of the rarefied, the indulgent, the superfluous, the effete. How could persons of good conscience pursue the beautiful when there was so much suffering and injustice in the world? Ellen Cherry's answer was that if one didn't cultivate beauty, soon he or she wouldn't be able to recognize ugliness... In a sense, beauty was the ultimate protest... The Venus de Milo screamed 'No!' at evil, whereas the Spandex stretch pant and the macrame plant holder were compliant with it. Of course, it wasn't required of beauty that it perform a social function. That was what was valuable about it."
— Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All
Since having twins, looking my very best has become a random event for me.
I was not blessed with wash-'n-go hair, nor do I have visible eyebrows and lashes. Days spent lazing around getting tan are out (Dammitt. Total waste of our lanai.), so the hue of my visage is something akin to an albino bunny. The complete "preparation for public outings" routine is just too damn long and, therefore, too damn infrequent.
I've been quite surprised, of late, with my newfound flippancy about all of this. Only a few years ago, I would have gasped in horror at the reflection of the pale, ponytailed, M.A.C.-free face mocking me in the mirror. These days, I brush the Cheerios lickum off of my shoulder, throw on my Sox hat, and head out the door (much like a man), only every now and then rushing back in for some Pearl Soft Lips (much like Ryan Seacrest). And maybe another iced coffee. If there were Olympic trials for "Running Around Town with Two Toddlers in Tow for 3 Days—Sans Makeup, Avec Devil-May-Care Attitude", I'd say, "Trials? Heh. Let's bring on the Games." Oh, such glee to be free of all of that surface-level BS!! ......right?
Ahem... Well, all of this said, it must be known that I have had to force myself into this recent state of mind and hair. I've resigned myself to take on a new, non-glamourous mantra of: Time With Children > Time With Straightening Iron. But. There are days I wish I'd had just a few more moments. I mean, I wasn't exactly thrilled when the McDonald's drive-thru cashier exclaimed, "Whoa, lady... You look tired!" (Office mate saying it? Rather annoying, but expected. Stranger with do-rag handing you a Filet o' Fish? Depressing. Perhaps I should invest in a do-rag.)
I seem to carry on the shortest conversations when undone. I flee whatever scene I'm in just as soon as my mission is over. Yet, showered and relatively presentable, I am loquacious as all hell. So silly, really. And I find it funny how, the creepier my attire in public, the more I am called upon to be social. It's happened time and time again.
Enter archaic Exhibit A:
The year was '92. I was working in NYC, living in Hoboken, and very very 23. Met a cowboy at a Halloween party and we set up a date for the following Saturday to see Penn & Teller at some off-off Broadway theatre. As the week wore on, I became less and less enchanted with said cowboy (thanks to drunk-dialing tomfoolery on his part and 23-year-old dating ambivalence on mine). I had quickly put together one hell of a terrible borrowed date outfit at my much smaller friend's apartment. (Read: too-tiny shirt showing bra upon every exhale combined with man peacoat and too-tiny shoe misfortune. I looked like a Nordic orphaned teen starring in a bad '70s disco movie and newly adopted by a seafaring gent with a penchant for grey flannel. Not good.) I was feeling ugly, I wasn't into the date, it was too late to cancel, and I was bordering on exhibitionism. With feigned positivity, I figured to myself: Shh... Breathe... All I have to do is keep on the damn peacoat, watch the show, and come up with an excuse to jet as soon as the lights come on.
Well, long story short: The lights were bright as hell, it was about 97 degrees (adding to the frizz factor of my "straightening irons have yet to be sold to the general public era" hair), and 5 minutes in, Penn walked up the aisle, grabbed me, pulled off my man coat, and decided I would be his personal onstage assistant for the entire show.
Exit Exhibition A.So. I just realized my blogs have no spiritual, underlying message. Damn... Maybe the next one. I've gotta take a shower.