I made a strategic mistake yesterday. I opened my metaphorical kimono and revealed a little too much to my husband. Sure, I know that honesty and transparency are important in any relationship, but so is a little bit of mystery. This is even truer in a relationship that is as longstanding as ours.
But I had no choice.
My husband decided to work from home yesterday – unexpectedly. Yesterday of all days was not a good day to be sharing space. Yesterday was the one day I needed absolute privacy, far away from him. Yesterday was arguably the most critical day in my month. It was the day I had scheduled time in my busy calendar to book all my maintenance appointments.
And so it began.
My first call was to my aesthetician Kelly. Kelly can best be described as an artist with tweezers. I will always be in her debt for saving me from my trademark Frida Kahlo look, thanks to her expert sculpting of my thick uni-brow. Before Kelly other professionals had given my eyebrows their best shot but the results were often hideous – in the wrong hands I can easily look like a Picasso painting.
My second call was to Joanne. Joanne is my colourist. If there was ever an apocalypse and I could select only one person in the world to save, it would hands-down be her. Even though my hair is the most processed thing in our house next to the Kraft cheese slices, you would never know it. “Miracle” is the only word I can think of to describe how she can transform lacklustre grey roots into the richest, most vibrant shade of coffee.
My third call was to Craig. Craig charges the equivalent of a month’s rent for a cut and blow-dry. But I would rather not feed my kids for a week than skimp on his services. Craig is like the hair whisperer. He can coax my coarse wild hair into sexy waves that bounce seductively down my back. Before Craig I had mommy-hair and not by choice. Craig is essential to my physical and spiritual well-being.
After 30 minutes of working the phones I felt like I had just run a marathon. I was exhausted. It takes the skill of a master planner to coordinate all of my maintenance visits into a seamless itinerary. Manning Mission Control at NASA is a breeze by comparison. But when I turned around I saw the horror in my husband’s eyes. In my focused type-A drive to complete my strategic operation, I had completely forgotten he was working at a desk only a few feet away from mine.
“You mean you are not naturally beautiful?” he asked in a quiet voice that hinted of a sense of betrayal.
Busted. But c’mon, I know for a fact that these investments in my physical upkeep matter to my husband. And it matters to me too. I feel better about myself when I dress well, colour my hair, and do regular exercise. Sadly, I know that what is inside my head can only take me so far—sometimes a French manicure and a new pair of shoes can take me farther. When I look good, I bring more confidence and energy to myself and to those around me. My husband expects these efforts, and I also expect him to make an effort to look good and take care of himself. It is a sign of respect for our relationship.
So, I am going to continue to set aside those precious hours for maintenance appointments every month. Yes, it takes a village. My only regret is that my husband had to find out that my village is the size of Manhattan.Previous: Survivor’s Guilt
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