You were sitting next to each other at the counter in what was otherwise a completely empty bar, 8:00 p.m. on a weeknight, fists wrapped around sweating bottles of Bud Light. You turned on your stools to look when we walked in. We were five women passing through the doors one right after the other, and I know it must have felt like Christmas come early; like God had smiled down and personally delivered a bonanza of tits.
After typing in that title I was going to just leave this entire post blank, or draw a huge question mark, or ask "NO REALLY, HOW???" But then I figured I was letting down the approximately .127 readers who are seeking the answer to this question for themselves.
I hate foundation. I hate powder. I hate how every time I scratch my itchy face while wearing foundation and powder I end up with it caked under my nails. Little half-moons the color of my skin.
I hate how I only ever put it on when I'm feeling like I'm looking my worst.
I hate how every time women post pictures of themselves on the internet, they have to make squeaky noises about how sorry they are for how awful they look. A picture of a woman's face, for example, is unfailingly prefaced with OMG please ignore all the crow's feet and those dark circles and don't even think about looking at the state of my brows!!!
Last weekend the beau and I went out looking for new bed sheets. Our old sheets were ripped, you see, and we only had one set. So every week we'd wash them and put them back on the bed, and every week our feet would get stuck in the holes, and every week the holes grew bigger. I fully expected that one day I'd pull them out of the washing machine to find they'd completely disintegrated into tatters, and then we could drape them over our heads and run down the street yelping, "Spare a shilling, sir?" like a couple of demented characters from a Dickens novel.
Bonus: instant Halloween costume.
Dear Modern Hotel Bathroom Designers:
First, I'd like to congratulate you on your influence. Thanks to you, nearly every hotel that has ever dreamt of being regarded as "hip" and "chic" and "sleek" and "quotational" has remodeled its bathrooms in accordance with your trendsetting vision. And thanks to you, nearly every single one of those bathrooms now follows an open concept treatment of the shower: a wide expanse of floor-to-ceiling stone tiles fed by an overhead waterfall fixture and shielded with a little bitty strip of glass. Sort of like this:
I read this article by Julie Klausner last week, and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind since. That's, like, time, man. A lot of it. A lot of time to spend thinking about one article.
Have you read it yet? No? Go ahead and give it a whirl. When you come back, I'll have a confession and some thoughts waiting for you.
Oh, am I ever in a foul mood. I feel fouler than a duffle bag full of post-game rugby jerseys. Fouler than the mouth of Lisa Lampanelli.
It's one of those times when nothing is right, and nothing will do. Do you ever go through this? You pace the house, counting all the things that make you mad until you run out of fingers and toes. You take your anger out on inanimate objects. You cuss like a drunken, wretched sailor. You bare your teeth; bare the uglier parts of your soul. You pick fights with your loved ones just to spread the mood around. Just to let some of that ugly steam out of your pressure-cooker core.
If you're anything like I am right now, and the wind happens to blow open your bathroom window, instead of calmly closing and latching the window you will instead strike it with your fist and scream "STOP IT, YOU FUCKING FUCKWHORE!" As if the window did it just to spite you.
I went into the office today. My boss was having one of those days and jokingly suggested going out for a drink after work. I took the idea and ran with it, all but pushing her out the door at 5:30.
We ended up at a tasting room downtown. We'd moved through the white wines and on to the reds. We were talking about hiking when a sudden commotion from down the bar made me pause midsentence. A bottle-blond woman was hooting and smacking a bald-shaven man on the arm. "Women are competitive, honey!" she half-shouted, then repeated it louder: "Women are competitive!"
She caught us looking at her and leaned over conspiratorially. "Isn't that right?" she asked us. "Women are bitches. Women are just bitches."
The man laughed; braying like a horse. My boss and the girl behind the counter smiled reflexively. I didn't.
I wanted to say something. I wanted to tell her all the ways she was wrong. I wanted to tell the man not to believe her. I wanted to tell her not to believe herself.
What good would it have done? I would have made it too easy to scoff. I would have looked too earnest. Can't you take a joke? God.
What a bitch.
So I shut my mouth and complied.
Hands tied. Voice silenced.
Defeated at both ends.
Every day is an exercise in futility.
Oh, what? I'm sorry. I couldn't hear you over my raging self-pity. Also, you are likely located hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from me, so you might want to consider speaking up.
What's got me so glum, chum? I don't know. That ol' clock just keeps on beating me down. Father Time: what a dick, right? Talk about the long arm of the patriarchy — they can even screw me over metaphysically.