I tried to calculate how I am spending my time using a 35 hour work week. A few disclaimers. First, 35 hours isn't really an accurate starting point as Mr. Deep leaves for work at 7:00 a.m. and doesn't come home until around 6:00 p.m., so I am alone for more than 35 hours a week. I also didn't include things like taking a shower or washing the dishes, two things which I am proud to announce that I do every day. In addition, obviously every week is not the same and sometimes these categories overlap. For example sometimes I am shopping to buy something for a good deed. But enough explanation. Here is what I came up with.
For this post, I want to focus on the bright yellow triangle in the upper left hand corner of the pie. Because I spend a significant amount of time, sometimes more than four hours a week, getting worked on by professionals in an effort to improve my physical appearance. If you want to get technical about it, working out and beauty could be combined to create one giant slice of pie because I am only working out in hopes of looking better.
Here are the details of my beauty activities and estimated amount of time spent on each in an average month.
1) Hair - cut, color and treatment. This takes about three hours every time that I go. I try to stretch it out and only go every four weeks but sometimes I go every three.
2) Skin - I get Botox every few months and I've started getting chemical peels which take about 30 minutes every month.
3) Nails - has two subcategories manicures and pedicures. Manicure is one hour every other week and pedicure is one hour every three weeks.
4) Waxing - eyebrows and other about 30 minutes per month.
5) I also "pull" with coconut oil every morning. This is an ancient ritual of swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes to remove toxins from your body. I think it helps whiten my teeth.
So clearly I have two serious problems. First, I am really bad at math so I don't know if my weekly and monthly activities correlate properly. I am sure that they don't. I could ask Mr. Deep (aka math genius) to help me with this but I don't want to bother him with such silliness and I also don't want to encourage him to calculate how much all of these activities are costing. Second, and perhaps most alarming, I am very self absorbed, shallow and superficial. And not just about my appearance. I mean I write a blog because I am positive that people care about what I am doing or thinking. And a lot of you are nice enough to act like you do.
I admit I have problems. These problems didn't start when I came to Africa either. I was always bad at math and except for the manicures (reason explained below) and the chemical peels which are new, I used to get all of these treatments when I lived in the U.S. too. Except back then I had a job and so these treatments seemed far less glamorous and indulgent because I was cramming them in on a Saturday or after work rather than going for treatments during the day. Also, I was a professional. I had to try to look presentable. These days, having a pedicure while other people are working seems more selfish and more luxurious even though the actual process is the same.
I am going to try to justify and explain the beauty treatments.
1) Hair - if I didn't color it I would be grey. I am way too young to be grey. I am not going to embrace being grey until I am either over 70 or too poor to afford to color my hair. It is likely that before I turn 70 all of my hair will fall anyway out from all the coloring and flat ironing. If you have been to my house then you know that my hair is everywhere, in our bed, on the floor, in Mr. Deep's food. Flat ironing, which I am not even going to go into in this post could probably get its own slice of pie in the chart. I would embrace curly hair if I had good curly hair but I don't so I can't.
2) Skin - I want my face to glow. When getting a chemical peel you are supposed to say on a scale of one through ten how much burning you feel. I always say it hurts less than it does because a) I don't like to show weakness to the esthetician because I want to be her toughest client, the one that she tells he husband about at dinner, "this woman is tough, you should see what I put on her face and she didn't even flinch not like the other clients who come to see me" and b) because I want the strong stuff so that I can see improvement and get my money's worth. I'm pretty sure the last time they poured battery acid directly onto my face. I rated it a six. Even though a tear was running down my cheek. Now my skin is peeling like spring break in Florida circa 1983. I also get Botox in between my eyes every six months because I don't like having a "whatchu talking 'bout Willis" expression on my face at all times. Yes, I know it's botulism.
3) Manicures - I used to bite my nails so horribly that my thumb nails were severely deformed. I tired to hide them by making fists all of the time with my thumbs tucked in but some people still noticed. I remember one person saw my hands once and then said, "but you seem so normal." Good news is I stopped biting and now my real nails have grown in. If I don't get my nails done every other week with gel polish I will bite them again. Can't stop. Won't stop.
Pedicures - Two arguments, one I live in a warm climate so I wear open toe shoes a lot. Second, I run (clearly only as an effort to stay somewhat thin) so my feet get banged up and have calluses that need to be addressed.
4) Eyebrow Waxing - I know George Costanza said "who cares about eyebrows" but properly groomed eyebrows can make your whole face look better.
5) Pulling with coconut oil- yes it's an ancient ritual but I don't care about that. I think it helps to whiten my teeth without harmful chemicals. I only choose to put harmful chemicals on my face, nails and hair. I am also fine with having a toxin directly injected into my face. But I don't want to put harmful chemicals into my mouth. That would be crazy.