Girls! Girls! Girls!
Last night, I had to smear permethrin from head to toe to treat the scabies that still haven’t gone away since I picked up a mangy stray a month ago.* Applying the cream took for-ev-er. And admittedly, I have quite a bit of body mass to cover.** But this got me thinking, “How do women do this type of thing every night?” Because some women go through a similar routine every night. They slather on creams and lotions and exfoliants every night. It’s got to take them at least an hour to get ready for bed. I need about 10 minutes: wash my face, pluck a few stray hairs, brush my teeth.
Now, growing up, I considered myself to be kind of a girly girl. I wasn’t super feminine---more like super feminist!---but I didn’t play sports (mostly because I sucked at them), I liked dresses and ribbons and makeup, I had crushes and posted pictures from Tiger Beat on my wall. I hated Barbie but I desperately wanted a My Little Pony. I spent my allowance on Bonnie Bell make-up kits and puffy, sparkly stickers for my sticker book. I wanted to be a ballerina or a model.
But I’ve grown into a rather low-maintenance girl. I get my hair cut every six months and only have two styling products. I like pretty clothes, but I hate shopping, and I usually stick to classic, comfortable styles (of course, with my weight right now, I hate all clothes because nothing looks good). My highest heel is about 2-inches, and I haven’t worn those in about four years. The closest I come to cleavage is a v-neck t-shirt. I admire pretty underthings, but I can’t bring myself to get them because they seem so impractical and I can’t really justify the price (it’s not like anyone else is seeing them). I don’t understand the thong. I do have a rather crowded make-up drawer (although I’ve got nothing on LostInTexas!), but mostly from samples or leftovers from misguided attempts to make myself into something I’m not. My morning routine is straightforward and simple: wash my face, brush my teeth, put on a light foundation and blush, and pull my hair back into a ponytail or a messy bun. Most days I manage to add eyeliner and eye shadow to that mix, and some days I slap some generic lotion onto my legs. I use a 2-in-1 shampoo and whatever shower gels I’ve gotten for Christmas (I usually get enough to last me a year). Please just don’t even look at my nails or my feet. They are woefully neglected.
Living in Austin lets me get away with a very casual wardrobe, so most days I wear a t-shirt and jeans, shorts, or a denim skirt with flip flops or mules. I can’t remember the last time I wore dress slacks---or a dress, for that matter.
But last night got me wondering: Am I normal? Have I given up on looking nice? Have I gone butch (not in that way---I still prefer boys)? Should I be doing more? What do other women do? Is this the reason I’m still single? Do men want a high-maintenance girl?
Part of this comes from my year in Africa: When you have nothing but cold showers for weeks on end and have to do all your laundry by hand, you change your outlook on hygiene. And when you see that much poverty, you change your mind on how much you’ll pay for shoes that will be out of style next year.
Part of me wonders, though: Am I too low maintenance?
*The stray is now named Nino and living with one of my coworkers. He’s growing like a weed and having a great time playing with a couple of kids in a backyard.
**Just indulge me in my pity party. I’ve been in a funk all week and got very little sleep last night thanks to a crazy storm and an itchy rash.