Monday, February 20, 2012
You expect me to put lipstick on this pig?
It's true: I cannot be saved. I skulk in the shadows, pale-faced, red-eyed, a member of fashionably damned. It's true that I'm not working a traditional job today, and that pretty much my only obligations are to practice, write a concert preview, and watch the Downton Abbey Christmas Special. But if I were to leave the house, probably the only concession I'd make to fashion would be to trade the stretchy palazzos for cargo pants. I'm so far from working it I might as well work out.
I've written about my card-carrying schlubhood before. I bring it up again because a fellow blogger pointed me toward this, in which two women actually make a 60-day "project" out of a (lack of-)grooming regimen I've undertaken virtually every day of my adult life. I should note that these women are still, during their 60-day primping fast, blow drying, whereas I have not owned a blow dryer since 1992.
Suddenly foregrounded, the distance between my normal and everyone else's normal seems disturbingly vast, a continent of serums and straighteners and, god forbid, spanx.
There's an elephantine helping of laziness at work here: maintaining one's appearance to the specifications of contemporary womanhood takes WORK, and I have long resented work that doesn't come with the prospect of remuneration, monetary or otherwise. This will shock you, but I find I receive the same hourly rate for doing work with frizzy hair than I would if I were to break out the John Frieda. I have yet to lose a friendship over my lack of lip liner. Nor do I find my inability to attract men to be particularly onerous, given that my husband is due home at 6:00.
But there's also, it must be admitted, a tiny fillip of shame to my endeavor -or rather, my lack of endeavor. The truth is that sometime, a long time ago, I gave up on beauty. All of us, as teenagers, wanted to be beautiful/sexy/wanted. And when it dawned on me in high school that none of this was going to come easily to me, I decided to give sexiness a big fat screw you and got on with the reading of books.
Why try, if you can't succeed?
It's this tiny chunk, this splinter of why I don't dress nicely and do my hair, that makes me think I should start. I'm pretty clear now on the fact that trying -in all fields of endeavor- should be divorced from any notion of success. Trying is important. It's the bulk of what fills our days, excepting the TV watching and Internet surfing. If we don't try, we pretty much just end up watching reality television and eating Cheetos.
Success is two minutes and a cake Trying is a lifetime. And I'd hate to continue living my life according to a maxim (see above) in which I no longer believe.
So we'll see. There's also that whole laziness bit. Which I may, in fact, be too lazy to try to combat.