I’ve mentioned on several occasions that fashion is not exactly… okay, fine; just not… my thing. But every now and then I get a niggling feeling that maybe I should try a little harder.
It usually happens on a day when I’ve been immersed in some project, and I discover that I urgently need a tool/part/ doohickey to finish the job. So I zip to town, forgetting that I’m wearing my old clothes. They were clean at the beginning of the day, but halfway through my project they’re decorated with dirt/sawdust/engine grease/paint/all of the above. My hair is in a braid that started out tidy in the morning, but by now I’m wearing a halo of frizzy tendrils and the braid itself looks as though it went through a spin-washer and then got rolled in twigs (or other bits of work-related detritus).
That’s when I see her: My nemesis.
Her hair colour, skintone, height, weight, age, and fashion style vary, but she always has one instantly recognizable characteristic: She’s perfectly put together.
Her hair might be sleek or artfully tousled, but she clearly just stepped out of the salon. Her makeup is flawless; her nails are polished; her clothing is pristine, fashionable, and well-fitting; her shoes are the stuff of dreams; and her jewellery accents her outfit.
We do not make eye contact.
I suffer a moment of hopelessly envious inadequacy, and then hurry off to buy my much-needed doohickey. By the time I get home I’ve forgotten the whole episode, which sets me up to repeat it over and over.
All this occurred to me the other day when I found myself resenting the amount of time I spend on personal hygiene. It was a worrisome thought, because five minutes with the nail clipper a couple of times a month constitutes my “manicure”, and my “beauty regime” consists of showering, slapping on some deodorant and a combination moisturizer/sunscreen, and letting my hair air-dry. A bit of lip balm, and I’m good to go.
That’s when I started to wonder: Where do you draw the line between “carefree and natural” and “a lazy slob”?
I realize that my nemesis would probably consider herself a lazy slob if she went out in public with a chip in her nail polish; but that’s not a helpful evaluation tool when the closest my nails have come to polish in the past three decades has been a splattering of blue house paint that wouldn’t come off for a week.
Notwithstanding my occasional sartorial slip-ups, I do usually make an effort to change my clothes before I leave home; and I figure as long as there’s no visible dirt and people can’t smell me coming, I’m doing okay.
Or maybe I’m just a lazy slob. It’s a fine line…
Book 14 update: I made it to Chapter 16 this week, woohoo! I love it when I hit “the zone” and the words just flow. 🙂