One of the things we have to deal with as women is the maintenance. You know, the things you have to do just so you can walk out the door and not be worried about who you might run into. It never fails that the one time you leave the house without eyeliner, you run into exactly the person you never want to see you without eyeliner. Men, on the other hand, never have to worry about this. If their teeth are brushed and their clothes are clean (and if they are reasonably clean shaven), they’re good to go.
But for women, there are a multitude of things we have to do daily, weekly or monthly just to stay more or less even, the things that keep us from looking like someone who no longer cares. Here are a few categories of the kind of basic maintenance I'm talking about:
The amount of maintenance involving hair is pretty overwhelming -- washing, conditioning, blow drying, curling, styling, etc., etc. And then there’s coloring, the most time-consuming thing of all. But it is the most powerful weapon we have because it actually succeeds in stopping the clock (at least where your hair color is concerned).
I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the way it became an absolute necessity to have a manicure if you wanted to be well-groomed. I can’t remember thinking that much about it years ago but all of a sudden a billion nail places appeared all over town and everybody was getting their nails done. If you weren’t getting your nails done, you felt positively ungroomed. And so it became necessary to add getting a manicure into your maintenance routine.
Which brings me to pedicures. I actually LOVE getting pedicures because it forces me to sit and relax and read a book (because, of course, the pedicurist doesn’t speak enough English to hold a conversation with). And I sometimes get little flowers painted on my big toe which looks adorable in sandals. But pedicures are time-consuming and need to be repeated about once a month to stay looking good. So they add more time and more $$$ to my maintenance routine.
There is so much confusing information out there about skin maintenance that it is hard to know what to do. Remember when we were young and there was only Noxema? Life was so simple. Now you have to decide between anti-aging, moisturizing, pore minimizing, wrinkle reducing, exfoliating, firming – and the list goes on. You can stand for an hour in front of the face cream shelf and still not know what you should buy. One thing I have learned is that most of them don’t do what they say, but we can always hope.
The other day I passed a homeless woman and as I watched this woman shuffle down the street I realized that I am only about eight hours a week away from looking exactly like her – with frizzy gray hair (which I would probably have if I stopped coloring mine); with a potbelly I would definitely develop if I ate just half of what I think about eating every day; with dirty nails and chapped lips and bushy eyebrows. So I soldier on, trying to keep up with the maintenance. I wonder, at what age you stop worrying about it and just relax and accept it for what it is? I kinda wish I were there. I would have so much more free time on my unmanicured hands.
What things do you find essential to your maintenance routine? Please share your feelings on this subject and share a photo or two in the Flickr pool depicting part of your maintenance routine. Come on, it will make us all feel better knowing we’re not alone!
Don’t forget to post your photos for this month’s theme, Attraction to Abstraction, as well. Be sure to tag them with ATA to have them considered for an In Focus selection.