No disrespect to Tammy Wynette, but I’m not sure that standing by your man is the hardest thing about being a woman. The hardest thing? Personal upkeep. The expectations of what a woman needs to do every day are out of control. And I’m not even talking about sweeping the floors, doing the shopping, making three squares, doing the laundry, helping with homework, and walking the dog. I’m talking about looking like a member of the human race.
You have to shower. Every day. And then there’s the hair (cut, color, style, repeat), the skin care routine (sunscreen and moisturize for face, feet, hands, legs), the hair removal process (shave, wax, go crazy), the make-up (foundation, blush, bronzer, eye this and that, lip this and that), the clothes. We are taking vitamins for this and that, pills for stress relief or high cholesterol or anti-coagulants or anxiety (or is that just me?). We are brushing and flossing. We are eating whole foods and exercising regularly so that we can fit into the clothes that go so well with the hair, the make-up, and the lack of stress. We are drinking our body weight in water to help combat toxins and re-hydrate from all that exercise and make our skin look ten years younger. All this in order to go to the grocery in something other than lululemon yoga pants.
I went to the dentist the other day and my (absolutely lovely) hygienist said that my gums really needed an occasional massage. Don’t worry, she said, I’ll give you a little something and you can just rub your gums with it at night. I laid there thinking, “yeah, that will totally happen.” I’ll do that when I’m putting on that new SPF 20 tinted moisturizer that I’ve used exactly three times since I bought it two weeks ago, when I’m taking the pills that I’m supposed to take daily but haven’t for two months because I can’t be bothered to take the time to cut them in half, when I’m adding eye drops to my (according to the ophthalmologist) too dry eyes, when I’m rubbing foot “mouse” onto my cracked heels, and when I’m loofahing (is that even a word?) my bikini line so as not to get in-grown hairs. Or maybe I’ll do it when I’m drying my hair or styling it or perhaps when I am drying or styling my daughter’s hair. Or maybe I’ll one day get to go to the bathroom during waking hours without a kid bursting in because he or she neeeeeds something.
People ask me all the time how I do it. It. What is “it” anyway? Well, I’ll tell you what. I don’t. I don’t do any of the mouse or the moisturize or the eye drops or the massage or the flossing or the hair product or the make-up or sometimes even the shower. I most certainly don’t drink enough water. I’ll be honest. Those people who are asking me how I do it? I don’t know how they are doing it. I put dinner on the table most days. I try to sweep my floors most days. I even try to shower every (other) day. But most days end with a list longer than the list started at the day’s beginning. Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. And sometimes we just have to give ourselves a break.