Tuesday, March 8, 2011

On Grooming...

The Music for the day is Dido, because Dido makes me feel girly and 24, and I just really like her.

Given the fact that I'm not pregnant, I am dyeing my hair.  I also did a serious eyebrow plucking this morning.  You know, the kind you do once every 6 months or so, where it takes half an hour, and your eyebrows get all red and irritated, but dang, do they look good, and you think, "man, why don't I try to keep this up?  It looks so good!"  But then you don't, and eventually the cycle starts again?  That kind of eyebrow plucking.

All of this self-improvement is making me think about grooming in general.

I've never been a fan of grooming.  It reminds me of something you do to a dog.  I have always been a nail-biter (though since they look really good now from being preggo, I'm going to try to keep them that way).  My hair was a complete disaster until I was about 23 and went to a good salon for the first time.  And the best thing?  When I was 20 I got my eyebrows waxed for the first time.  And fainted.  And woke up in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.  No joke.  That eyebrow waxing cost me a $500 deductible.

Nope, grooming and I do not get along as a general rule.

But as I get older, I realize that appearances do matter, as much as I'd like to pretend they don't, and it doesn't matter how firm and confident your handshake is if your nails look like they've been through a shredder and the cuticles are bleeding.  So I put a clear topcoat on a couple of times a week, and that keeps me from biting too much.  It's a small annoyance, but it's worth it.

I used to dye my hair fun shades - like green, or blue - for fun.  Now I've reached the point in my life where I dye it because if I don't, the silver appears, and I'm still not ready to embrace the silver.  I used to get it done pretty regularly by professionals, but I spent enough hours sitting in the chair watching what they were doing to be able to figure out how to wield the highlight foils without making it a complete disaster.  I have bigger priorities now than dropping $150 on getting new highlights every 8 weeks.  Like cruises.  And clothes for cruises...

I have realized that there is a direct proportionate relationship between the amount of time I spend on these small annoying grooming tasks, and the care I take of myself in general.  For example, on the days when I'm too busy to put lotion on before bed, and wake up with flaky skin, I generally don't drink a lot of water either, and I probably ate fast food.  However, on days like this, where I'm plucking and dyeing, I'm also fixing a big salad for dinner, and made myself a fruit smoothie for breakfast.  And have had five glasses of water so far today.

It makes me think that the grooming isn't a cause, but it's an effect.  If I spend time taking care of myself, making myself a priority, good grooming is the natural outcome.  Which means I need to think less about the grooming as a "to do" and more about the big picture of the Care and Feeding of Heather.

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