High Maintenance

My husband can go from roll-out-of-bed rumpled to ready-for-work in about seven minutes.  That includes a shower and a quick shave (although he has hair on his face that is SUPPOSED to be there, unlike me).

Me?  I move along at a pretty brisk pace, but it would be pushing it for me to get ready to meet the day in anything less than 20 minutes – more, if I have no idea of what to wear.  As I’ve said before, I’m not one who gets too fancy with her personal upkeep, but I’m finding that just doing the basics keeps me busy for about half an hour.

All Jon needs in the shower is a bar of soap and some kind of shampoo – any kind.

Me?  I’ve got regular face wash, an exfoliating face wash, and a prescription face wash – because it turns out you can get dandruff on your face.  (Who knew?)  Then there’s the soap, the shaving cream and razor (to get rid of that unsightly stubble on my legs and chin and underarms.  Then there’s a specific kind of shampoo, because anything else leaves my hair looking greasy and my scalp flaky.

That’s just the getting clean part.

Once my husband steps out of the shower, he dries off, runs a razor across his face to tidy his socially-acceptible facial hair, brushes his teeth and spends three seconds putting on clothes. (He works at a very relaxed office, so he and I basically have the same dress code, which is ‘Don’t be naked.’)

Me?  Oh, here it gets ugly.  There’s the lotions for my scrubbed and exfoliated face and my razor-burned legs.  There’s the hair dryer and flat iron for styling my hair – otherwise I end up with a style that is either too flat or too poofy.  There’s the flossing and the plucking of eyebrows and the application of a small amount of makeup.  (Apparently, I need to have makeup on at all times now.  I went unadorned this weekend, prompting Jonathan to ask, ‘What’s wrong with your face?’)

The real bugaboo is getting dressed.  Jon was once asked in college, as part of a creative thinking workshop, what motivated him to pick the shirt he was wearing that day.  The instructor was looking or something insightful like, ‘The color caught my eye,’ or ‘My best friend gave me this shirt.’  Nope.  ‘It was on top of the pile,’ was his reply.  Jon is so low maintenance (and so lucky) that he can adhere to that rule even today when dressing himself.

Me?  I’m not going to get into the dozens of minute decisions that go into picking out an outfit, but suffice it to say, I have a system that goes deeper than picking out what’s ‘on top’.  There goes another ten minutes of my morning right there, matching the pants to the top, the shoes to the pants, and the accessories to the whole outfit.

I think it’s clear what needs to happen.  In my next life, I’m coming back as a man.

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