Today was one of those days that could pass for a plotline in a Cathy comic strip. Witness the following themes:
I was late for work! Let me tell you something: I have zero personal time management skills. For all my grinding, churning internal cynicism, when it comes to the clock I am an eternal optimist. I can be buck naked out of the shower, glance at the time, and calculate that I can do my skincare routine, dress, apply eye makeup and fix my hair, scrounge for food in the kitchen, make coffee, pack up my computer, put on my shoes and coat, and be out the door in under five minutes flat. “I’ll be gone by 8:30, no problem!” I’ll crow to myself, still toweling off even as the minute hand ticks over to 8:27. You know what? This isn’t even optimism. I’m the victim of my own twisted god complex which causes me to believe I can simply conjure spare time out of thin air. That I can bend physical laws to my will!
Spoiler alert: I CAN’T.
I am bloated! Yeah, I know bloat happens, and it goes away in due time — after you have paid your tithings, done your time in solitary emotional confinement, performed your ablutions, and said your prayers to the volatile uterus gods, of course. But this is some serious bloat. My stomach region is currently so rounded and puffy that when I looked down in the shower this morning from above, it resembled a perfectly round remote tropical island, the kind often depicted by Gary Larsen in his Far Side cartoons. I half expected to see a palm tree sprout from my belly button. I half expected to spot Gilligan and the Skipper making a landing after their disastrous three-hour tour. I half expected people to start asking when the baby was due. Oh, you knew I was going there.1
All I am saying is that it’s sad when you fall back on leggings for the sake of comfort and the even the leggings are tight.
Then, to heap insult upon insult, I was picking up my laptop bag in my frantic dash out the door when I spotted Brooklyn Decker atop a stack of magazines on the coffee table. And I was like, you know what Brooklyn Decker? I am not in the mood for you right now. I have saddlebags larger than your head. That’s right, I have saddlebags like a full rack of ribs, Brooklyn. One rack per leg. I could just slather a thigh in barbecue sauce and gnaw on it for lunch. In fact, that would be a great timesaver, because then I wouldn’t have to bother packing meals for work. So at least, you know, I have that going on. Brooklyn.
So I did what any rational person whose leggings are restricting the flow of blood between her upper and lower body would do and grabbed another magazine from the stack and slammed it down on top of ‘ol Brook. Except guess what? It was this!
Obviously, our Esquire subscription needs to be cancelled immediately.
I am gross! Some days you look in the mirror and think, yeah, I’d hit that. But this morning, when I gazed upon my countenance, I didn’t even know where to start. Do I despair at the shiny oil slick across my forehead, or the smattering of red bumps on my upper lip? What about this disconcerting whisker-type hair protruding from my chin? And surely the crinkled and papery skin under my eyes deserves some mournful reflection. But there’s no time for that, remember? I must stagger on! Quickly, now!
I grabbed a dull liner pencil — no moment to spare for sharpening — and raked it haphazardly across my eyelids before lunging for the blowdryer. Yet even though I poured my heart and soul into that roll-brush, my hair could not be convinced to behave. It insisted on being frisky on one side, slothlike on the other. And since it’s so short now, I couldn’t even rely on my last-ditch hair-taming method of pulling it up into a clip. Oh well. The damage was done.
Then I dashed into the bedroom and plucked a pair of boots from the closet only to realize as I was pulling them on that they didn’t quite go with what I was wearing. But I couldn’t change my leggings, because those were the leggings with the loosest waistband, and lord did I need the extra forgiveness. And I couldn’t change my dress because then I’d be back to square one. Also, I should have already left the house 20 minutes ago. So I went with it.
Needless to say, by the time I finally made it out the door, I looked reminiscent of this:
I am old! My coworker’s 30th birthday is tomorrow, so I told her I’d take her out to lunch. She wanted to go to The Cantina in Isla Vista, which is the community adjacent to the University of California, Santa Barbara. Stop me if you already knew this, but the quickest way to feel old and completely irrelevant is be a 30-year-old on a college campus. There I was, sitting on plastic patio furniture inside a tiny Mexican joint whose sound system was blaring pop and club tracks, surrounded by backpack-toting people who appeared to be twelve. I had 20 pounds of water weight strapped to my midsection, I was wearing mismatched clothing, and my hair was committing all kinds of crimes that defied gravity and reason when — wait for it — “Single Ladies” came blasting onto the speakers. “IF YOU LIKED IT THEN YOU SHOULDA PUT A RING ON IT,” Beyoncé admonished me at full volume as I shoved a burrito down my gullet.
Ah, yes! Here were all of my problems insecurities, encapsulated into one strange tableau. The perfect pinnacle to the perfect day. No?
Note: this actually happened last Thursday. Due to reasons such as my job transition (busy!) and the fact that it takes me 47 hours to write anything (even an email consisting of one sentence!), I am only just now getting around to finishing and posting it. I am not actually working on this federal holiday in the U.S., I have lost roughly half of the aforementioned water weight, and my hair and I are on speaking terms again. It’s the little things.
1 Sidebar: the other night I had a dream in which I found out I was pregnant, counted forward, figured the baby would be born in October (which doesn’t even make sense; that’s only 8 months from now), and then felt relieved because 1) the baby would be born while I was still 30, as if it’s a race, and 2) I would still be able to celebrate my 31st birthday in November! Ostensibly at a bar! Then I realized that we still hadn’t gotten married yet, and I got really mad that I’d have to go through the wedding sober. CLEARLY I HAVE ALL OF MY PRIORITIES IN ORDER.