Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Good Girl

Curiosity is killing the catty cats after my status update on FB:

Why did you get your make up did yesterday?

I know that’s not proper English but when you talk to your dog all day long I’ve learned that it’s ok to talk like that.

The real reason is that there is no reason. Besides most reasons are just excuses anyways. And my excuse is that excuse me I just wanted to look like a girl. To remind myself what that’s like.

Because sometimes I forget. Gender issues hit an all time low on Monday when I found myself at 4 pm in bed when my husband got home. The same bed I was in when he left at 6:45 am. I didn’t sleep all day. No, I sat at my computer from 7 am to 3 pm thinking of clever workouts, answering e-mails and everything else you need to do to run a business from home (which in case you are wondering is this – marketing, reception, mail room, facilities maintenance, management, human resources, finance and all of the grunt work that you should pay grunts to do but you realize it’s just you so get to work grunt).

I realized I had spent the entire day in pajamas. With bed head. Not wearing underwear. So that was it. The next morning I made an emergency call to the salon. Please fit me in.


Lucky for me my hairdresser and the make up artist had openings. I call her an artist because she painted all over my face. The hair dresser – she didn’t dress my hair she fixed it. You see a few weeks ago I got sick of the Katie Holmes hair that kept flipping the wrong way. So I gave myself a mutt cut instead. Scissors in hand – as in the scissors you use to open large packages – standing at the living room mirror trying to convince Chris that among all other things I do (see above) I can also cut hair.

His reply: nothing good will come of this, Elizabeth. Nothing.

He was right. Of all the things I am moderately good at, I have learned (repeatedly) that I am really bad at cutting hair. Especially since the scissors are all sticky from cutting open package tape. I ended up with hair about 1 inch shorter and uneven all around. Lesson learned: It’s hard to cut the back of your own hair.


And then there’s the make up thing. Last year after Ironman I treated myself to a day at the salon to get the works. To my surprise all the make up lasted a year. That goes to show how often I use it. Not often enough. So it was time for my annual entry into a real woman’s world at the most womanly place I know: the salon.

Before I went I actually took a shower and dried my hair. I got ready to get my hair and make up done. This make no sense but I am guessing I am not the only woman out there that admits to this.

I step inside and I realize I am totally out of place. I am not wearing high heels. I cannot believe people actually wear those toothpicks for heel torture devices. Have you not heard of plantar fasciitis? Then I realized I wasn’t wearing jewelry. I was not wearing nice clothes. Nor make up. Hey people you are lucky I am even wearing clothes. And underwear.

Confirmed: I am totally out of place.

I waited and waited for my hairdresser who finally started running towards me apologizing for being late. For crying out loud, it’s just hair! It grows one half inch a month so I’ve got time. Quit your running. You’ll pull a hammy at that speed.

She sits me in the chair and asks what is going on with the hair. My reply:

I did a very bad thing.


I took the scissors into my own hands.

She assures me I am not alone. Even she does it to herself. She explains that it is fixable without losing much length. Which is good because I have decided I will let my hair grow. I ask how long it will take. She says one half inch a month. Is there not something I can do to accelerate that? Like take the hair from my legs and put it on my head? Because as an Italian I’m not believing the one half inch a month rule. She says no, all I can do is wait.


In less than 45 minutes I have a real hair cut again. Not a mutt cut. Then I head over to the make up chair. Val is there. Val is one of those girls that talks to you like she’s known you for years. She’s telling you something and touching you to make the point and you’re like – did she just touch me? Then you realize it’s just a gesture indicating she likes people or likes to talk or has really happy hands.

Did she just touch me again?

She looks at my skin and appears mortified. Imagine seeing that in the mirror every single day, Val. I hit her. No I didn’t but you get the point. She says my skin is dry – why? Hmmm…let me see. Enter one mission to become a better swimmer that left me about 3 lbs heavier with very dry skin. I have since abandoned those efforts so I can actually bike and run again because swimming so much rendered me useless in every other sport.

Val puts on some sunscreen, some moisturizer and then gets to work. She mixes the make up right there which really impresses me because I have never felt that you could capture a woman’s skin tone in a bottle. I am not neutral or light or ivory. What if I’m all three? Next she works on the eyes. The lips. I look like a clown with lipstick so we go for a different color. It’s just as hideous but the lesser of two wrongs so I take it. Lastly, bronzer on the cheeks. I have no idea why I need this but if it is in the category of “what makes me a woman” please throw it in the bag.

She hands me a calculator to add up the expense of my purchase. In case I have a budget. What price beauty? Let’s just say a very very very…lot. But the good thing is that this ritualistic professional decoration of the face happens only once a year. Like the Harvest Moon. By the way, if you’ve seen the Harvest Moon the bill for this make up was about that big.

I return home to greet my husband. He asks if I’ve seen his wife. Really, I’m right here. Look at me. This is me in clothes, with normal hair and a painted face. Now, some of you have requested pictures but if I posted them it would only confirm what you have suspected all along…

I don’t exist. I’m really a large man living in the backwoods of Montana with my large furry dog.

I am real but I will not post photos. This keeps a sense of mystery to myself and this blog. Makes you want to come back for more to see…did she post a photo today? Marketing trickery at its best. Seriously though I would post a photo but forgot to take one when I actually looked ok. Now I’m sitting here in pajamas with bedhead and again without the underwear.

It’s good to be me again. Here’s to femininity…(raising my cup of coffee).


Wes said...

OK! Let me get this down...

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 01, 2008 - Elizabeth said, "Chris was right!"

Carry on...

The Marathlete said...

I've always wanted to take scissors to my own hair and then go the hairdresser and have them fix it. How do you run without being able to put your hair back into a ponytail? For that matter, how does one do anything without ponytail-making-abilities?

BriGaal said...

I'm a bit concerned that you seem to go sans underwear quite a lot...and Jen didn't have underwear on during her accident...what goes on up there in Chicago??

~Robyn~ said...

hahahaha I love it! And I totally know what you're talking about with the no underwear...not only do you not have to worry about one more piece of clothing, but less laundry!!

Pedergraham said...

This is a good one! Reminds me I should make an appointment to get my hair cut...or else buy a bigger helmet.

Roo said...

Underwear is highly overrated.

Erica Ortiz said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean about feeling out of place. I feel like a martian every time I step foot in one of those salons/spas.

I can't even wear a dress without the onslaught of gender crisis.

Here's my story

Andrea said...

But you see, Liz, there are those of us who HAVE to wear make-up, heels, suits and HOSE every day!! Show up to work without coordinating accessories and I'm out of a job! :)

My budget for my work wardrobe is in constant competition with my budget for tri gear/races/wardrobe...with the irony that one supports the other.

While I empathize with you, there are just many times that I wish I could lay in bed all day, no underwear, bed head ...

Oh the humanity of being female!!!

Damie said...

After a little bashing from my sister, I finally got my hair cut today (at a salon, not super cuts)- although I still went to the apprentice to save $$$. And, to my sister's horror, she saw that the make up I have is the make up she made me buy three + years ago for my wedding. So, believe me when I say...I understand. Hope you feel a little sassy for a day or two after your visit with femininity!

TriGirl Kate O said...

My husband always oooohs and aaaahs when he comes home to find I actually did my hair and put on mascara, which currently happens about once a month.

Anonymous said... in Chicago we don't need underwear. OH no!! Not even necessary - we are hard core.
HA! Jen H.

Muppetdog said...

LOLing at your whole experience. I don't cut my own hair but I do "forget" for months on end to get it cut. I'm currently trying to grow it out so it stays tied back better under my bike helmet. I think the reason I cut it shorter was so it would fit under my swim cap better. You just can't win...

triEVielon said...

This is hilarious! I read one of your blogs which was referred to in another blog (can't remember which one) and LOVED it so I've read a lot of them.

To comment on this, Last week, I went out to dinner in padded bike shorts after a ride (because I forgot my change of clothes) and my boyfriend looked at me and said, "I give those shorts about two more hours before they actually fray before our very eyes. Tell me this is not how you plan to go out all the time."

I laughed. I can TOTALLY relate to the salon scene. I guess the time we spend on the bike equates directly with how much time these women shop for the highest heels and most fashionable jeans. I'll take my keens and a good pair of sweats any day. And YAY someone else who doesn't wear underwear!

Thanks for your blog, it's awesome!

Alili said...

I completely understand the whole doing your hair and makeup before you pay to have someone else do it for you. My MIL cleans her house before her cleaning lady that it doesn't look bad...

What can I say?

Terri said...

OK - one of the hardest transitions for me becoming a triathlete (get the pun - transitions???) was showing up at races without doing my hair and makeup.

If I'm not swimming, I'm not leaving my house without makeup - hair I can tuck up under my hat.

And one more thing - except for bike shorts, swimsuits, showering and sex, I never go without underwear. I would feel so....naked....


CAMI said...

so glad to know I'm in such good company in the not getting dressed all day department. I swear the day they make me get video conferencing at work is the day I quit :)

Jessi said...

Ha! Love how you say "noted" about cutting your own hair...

Tom used to be an officer on a Naval sub, and apparently on the sub, when you tell someone something and they say "Noted" what they really mean is "I heard you but I'm not actually going to do a damn thing about it."