Thursday, April 30, 2009

15 Minutes from Gorgeous

We all know those women who always look perfect. Some are simply natural beauties who look fantastic no matter the outfit, humidity level, or lighting situation. Then there are the others who have never been caught in public (or in private, we will swear) without every hair, eyelash, and coordinating pumps-purse-pedicure in place.

I have never been accused of being any of these women.

Rather, I am the woman at the meeting who always looks like she is on her way to, or just coming back from, the gym. Even if I have no intention of exercising that day. My first glance in the mirror is often when I’m brushing my teeth…at night…and if I’m being completely honest, sometimes I’m quite horrified at the image I see…the image every single person I’ve encountered during the day has seen.

That being said, it may surprise you (and many of those lucky people encountering me on my worst days) that I actually do have a pretty high standard for myself in terms of my appearance.

Here it is: I want to be 15 minutes away from being fabulous, at all times.

As long as I know that, within 15 minutes, I can transform myself into something sexy and attractive (well, at least to my husband), I can walk through my day, and my grocery store, with confidence and pride, despite the oatmeal on my shirt and greasy ponytail from yesterday’s spinning class. And as long as the “transformed me” makes a public appearance regularly enough around town, I feel that my image can be properly upheld.

What can’t be accomplished in 15 minutes? A decent figure. White teeth. Clear, smooth(ish) skin. These are the things I make sure are in order, and don’t mind spending a little time and money on.

What can be accomplished in 15 minutes? Absolutely everything else, provided I’ve chosen wisely in my hairstyle and makeup regimen.

So why not just go the extra 15 minutes in the morning and always look great? Because it just doesn’t work that way for me. Trying to constantly look great, in nice clothes, with perfect makeup, slows me down. Wearing nice clothes prevents me from taking the stroller to pick up my daughter from preschool. Instead, I grab the keys. I’m more restrained in my playing with the kids, blitz-cleaning the house, or heading outdoors. And it’s uncomfortable.

But worst of all, when I concentrate on my appearance, that’s what I’m doing…concentrating on my appearance, instead of something else. It distracts me from better, more important things.

So yeah, I care about what I look like, and that’s why I’ll surprise you sometime by showing up to your house, school board meeting, or girl’s night out looking like a completely put-together person. Just to let you, and myself, know that I still can. But for the rest of the time, I consider it a waste of time, energy, and focus.


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