Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lady Bits

I love being a girl.  I love hot rollers (it's the Tennessee in me), makeup (more mascara, please), perfume, lotions and products (gotta have hairspray for those hot roller curls).  I love dresses and tights and girlie pajamas and hair accessories.  I LOVE jewelry, even cheap costume jewelry, which is mostly what I wear lest it get broken or lost.  I LOVE heels.  I love nail polish.  It's all awesome.


Despite how much I love all this stuff, I do think that it's ridiculously unfair that women are expected to put so much effort into how they look when (most) guys don't put any effort into how they look at all.  (Disclaimer:  I am not talking about B's expectations-- he couldn't care less if I went out with him in workout clothes with sweaty hair and no makeup.  I know this for a fact because I've done it many, many times.  I've actually had to point out to him that there are places I would rather NOT go this way because I LIKE to look nice, and he seemed completely oblivious to the point.  I'm talking about society in general.)  It's not just the hair and makeup and clothes that are involved in going somewhere, but it's the UPKEEP.   A lot of women I know regularly get manis and pedis and facials and waxes and highlights.  They work their asses off at the gym to tone up those finally-done-having-babies bodies and exfoliate regularly.  They tweeze their eyebrows.  They bleach their teeth.  Hell, it's a full-time job JUST TO BE A WOMAN.  

Men?  Well, with a couple of friends who are exceptions (both gay and straight), men don't do SHIT.  You know what B does for self maintenance?  He showers at night, washes his face in the morning with plain old soap, and shaves his head about once a month.  And occasionally trims his fingernails.  THAT'S IT.  I HAVE FOUR DIFFERENT KINDS OF FACE WASH, THREE DIFFERENT SHAMPOOS, THREE DIFFERENT CONDITIONERS, TWO BODY WASHES, GIRLIE SOAP, AND AN EXFOLIATING SUGAR SCRUB JUST IN MY SHOWER, FOLKS.  It looks like an aisle at Sephora.  Don't even get me started on my nail polish bin or makeup drawer.  B's product list in its entirety consists of nothing more than a bar of Ivory.  And a man would likely be considered completely ridiculous if he did HALF the things ladies do to maintain their appearance.  I would certainly think it was damn stupid.  If B did almost any of the things I do to look pretty I would laugh my ass off at him and never let him live it down.  Then I would laugh some more.  Then I would probably take video and post it on social media, and laugh some more.

And then this morning, I learned about something new. 

I spend a lot of time reading random articles and essays, and today I read one by Jenny Slate featured in the "Lenny" newsletter.  You can find it really easily online if you look.  The article was about a new trend amongst the fancy crowd, specifically in NYC and LA.  This trend is called "the Vajacial," and it's a facial for your vagina.  Literally.  It's all about aesthetics, which means the vajacial exists to make your vagina more attractive.  Because you know EVERYBODY is wandering around looking at EVERYBODY else and thinking, "I hope her vagina is glamorous.  I mean, the rest of her looks great, but I hope she hasn't let her Queen Victoria go all to hell."  Anyway.  So it seems that the aesthetician cleanses and tones and tweezes random ingrown hairs and puts some kind of masque on your vagina, then lightens the skin to hide any redness or dark spots, and then turns you and your newly fancy vagina out to face the world.  Sweet.

Because we haven't already spent enough time as ladies doing the REST of the shit that we do to be pretty.  Now we need fancy vaginas.  Not just manicured vaginas (I'm supportive of a simply maintained vagina, don't get me wrong), but FANCY VAGINAS.  Note that I haven't read any articles about Pimping Your Penis or Festooning Your Phallus.  (Although that might make for an interesting submission to "Men's Health....)  

I do not foresee The Vajacial becoming a part of my beauty regiment.  However, seeing as how the Ladies of Augusta roll, I expect to see this advertised in a spa near me soon.  I also feel strongly that, since monograms are ALMOST proportionate to Jesus down here, some pubic hair monogram waxing could really bring in the big bucks for whatever salon jumps on it first.  I plan to keep an eye out at the gym locker room for evidence that someone has implemented this idea.  And then I'm going to show them the date on my blog and ask for royalties, bitches.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Lost in Georgia

When we moved to Augusta in December, I decided to try super hard to be normal.  Or, at least to contain my crazy as best I could to situations that didn't involve people outside my family.  I mean, B is a respectable citizen with a grown-up job, my kids are getting older, and I suspected it would be in my family's best interest to behave my bad self and act like a good, sweet, Southern adult who cares how she presents herself and plays well with others.  No wandering around the neighborhood in my nightgown and carrying a glass of wine.  No freaking out on other people and following them through parking lots yelling curse words at them.  No bedazzling the things that I buy so they'll be their own original item.  No telling my kids to stop acting like assholes when other people can hear me.  No saying what's in my head EVER.  So that's what I've been doing for the past ten months.  Smiling and carefully minding my manners and making sure I leave the house in lipstick.  Behaving myself.

Let me tell you, guys-- it fucking blows donkey balls.

You know what it has gotten me?

Well, let's see.  There was the guy I met who told me that he had heard of me and what he had heard was that I was "passive."  (First of all, I wanted to laugh because I've been called "batshit crazy" before, but not "passive" until I moved to Augusta.)  There's the fact that I don't talk to ANYBODY about ANYTHING because I am afraid that I'll slip and forget to be reserved and they'll get a tiny peek into my real self.  There's that I'm miserable ALL THE TIME because I feel like a big ole LIAR for acting this way and that I hate myself for essentially living life as a Stepford Wife.  All because everyone here is SO judgemental and SO concerned about status and I don't want to reflect poorly upon B and the kids.  I don't want to be the home that other children aren't allowed to play at because "that Mom is super weird."  And here?  I feel like here that's exactly what would happen.

This morning I was thinking about all this and I checked my Facebook page only to see the button pop up where you can look back at your old memories from this day on years before.  The first thing that popped up was a 2013 status from my friend Janine that said "I'm having a Haley McPhail moment right now!"  The comments that followed from my friends said a lot-- here they are:

"Because you've had too much wine? Or because you're a magnet for crazy strangers? Or because you just dyed your dog's hair pink?"

"Because your daughter just shouted, "Somebody give Mommy a Xanax!"? Or because when you asked a kid in the art class you were subbing what the number 1 rule in Mrs. McPhail's class was (answer: don't talk when Mrs. McPhail is talking) and he said, "Don't poop on your art paper?"

"Because your kid automatically brought you a martini at 5pm that he had mixed himself?"

"Because you've been banned from ANOTHER public place for something you probably didn't do?"

"Because somebody just sent you an unsigned letter with a ring, a $20 bill, and a death threat?"

And they said these things because THEY HAVE ALL HAPPENED.  And they are just a drop in the bucket.  My life isn't SUPPOSED to be normal.  I'm not SUPPOSED to pretend to be something I'm not.  If that made me happy, then looking back at these memories from friends who truly know me wouldn't have made me laugh so much.  I miss my pink dog and weird life and my occasional assault charge.  I don't even know what I'm DOING here, with all this cookie-cutterness.

So I gotta stop.  Because I'm not gonna find my Augusta people if I don't.  (Although one good friend of mine from Suffolk did suggest that my people are probably the ones hanging out at "Alley Katz," the dive bar downtown that advertises $3 Jaeger bombs.  It wasn't an insult.  I'm pretty sure she was trying to help.)  It's time to dye the dog and glue ribbon and rhinestones on my rainboots and give the finger to all that goddamn Lily Pulitzer bullshit that people in Georgia are so fond of but that I think is super hideous.  

It's time to find my Tribe.