Today was the first time in four days that I put on makeup. I’m not trying to make a statement by wearing it or not wearing it — I just didn’t bother with it over the holiday weekend and then couldn’t scrounge up enough enthusiasm to put it on when I went back to work on Tuesday morning.
The truth is (and I hope I’m not alone in feeling this way) that waking up every morning and having to be a human, with or without makeup, is really hard work. My mornings generally follow the same horrible routine.
STEP 1: I wake up and assess the need to bathe. How long has it been since I last took a shower? Longer than is generally advisable? Did I do something sweaty yesterday? Could my secret disgusting nature be covered up for one more day with a little strategic dry shampoo?
STEP 2: I briefly wish I was a cat and could simply lick gross stuff off of myself if I so chose. Then I watch Winston lick his butt and change my mind.
STEP 3: If showering, I consider my body hair situation. If I’m really motivated, I’ll shave. If I think someone who will be offended by leg or armpit hair will see those parts of me today but I don’t want to shave, I prepare a lecture on how body hair is a personal choice and how we don’t have to conform to society’s gross standards. For feminism! This lecture will not mention how I probably didn’t shave because it seemed like my ankles were so far away and the process takes forever. The lecture will also never be delivered and I know it.
STEP 4: If I end up shaving my legs, I start to feel smug about using men’s shaving cream instead of women’s. It’s cheaper! It lasts longer! It’s higher quality! Those dumb, Skintimate-purchasing women.
STEP 5: I feel guilty about calling women dumb and apologize to the goddesses of feminism. Girl power!
STEP 6: I start to wonder what the Spice Girls are up to. They said “girl power” a lot, right? Then I realize that I’m running late for work, start cursing, and forget about Ginger Spice for another day.
STEP 7: I try to pick out some clothing that is clean, appropriate for the workday’s activities, covers all of the important parts, and will work for my 8am walk to work, my mid-day walk home for lunch, and my 5pm walk home. Depending on the season, the difference in temperature between one of these times and another can be nearly 30 degrees. Whatever I wear also has to be comfortable inside my office, where the thermostat is apparently controlled by someone who has either no understanding of the Fahrenheit temperature scale or no soul. Such an outfit does not exist.
STEP 8: I fervently wish I worked from home and could wear sweatpants and sweaters all the time. But I also occasionally want to wear evening gowns, so then I try to figure out a job that would entail both of those things. Are there part-time evening wear models? Do you have to be taller than 5’4″ to have that job? Is it ok to wear stilts?
STEP 9: I think about learning to use stilts. I would be so popular at parades! Then I look at the clock and start cursing again.
STEP 10: I put on shoes that pinch, or rub, or flop, or trip me up, or prevent me from walking normally, or cannot be worn on any naturally occurring surface on Earth.
STEP 11: I trip over the cat.
STEP 12: I look at my hair and whimper a little. Why is it doing that weird flippy thing? Why can’t one single haircut in my sweet, short life actually work on my dumb, fat head? I think of all my friends’ perfect hair and get jealous. No one understands me.
STEP 13: I overthink hair. It’s just strands of dead cells, you guys. Stuck in one weird place on the top of our skulls. And instead of being like, “AGH! THERE ARE LONG STRANDS OF DEAD CELLS GROWING OUT OF YOUR SCALP!” we’re like, “Aw, yeah. I want to run my bony extremities through those dead cell strings.” Soon I start to overthink every part of the human body. Fingernails are horrifying! Skin is even worse! Every cell in my body will replace itself several times throughout my lifetime, which means I’m not the me I used to be! WHO AM I?!
STEP 14: I flip out for a while.
STEP 15: I notice the time, do some more cursing, and throw my hair into its usual boring ponytail or bun. I make a mental note to pay absurd amounts of money to maintain my ongoing brunette lie and immediately forget.
STEP 16: I move on to makeup, but there’s not much time so I prioritize. Cover those freckles! Stab that eye with a mascara wand! Stop those eyebrows from creeping towards each other and turning into one giant eyebrow! Go, go, go!
STEP 17: I second-guess every decision I made that morning — clothing, hair, and makeup. This is terrible. Everything is bad. I should change, shouldn’t I? BUT THERE’S NO TIME!
STEP 18: I dream of a world where no one cares what anyone wears or how they look or smell. Then I pass by someone stinky and shake my head in disgust and judgment.
STEP 19: Realize I didn’t put on deodorant.