Vanity can easily overtake wisdom. It usually overtakes common sense.-Julian Casablancas
The narcissism of youth can lead to vanity. Vanity turned my friends and me into lunatics. Obsession with beauty forced chemical based alterations upon our hair. If one had straight locks, you permed for carefree curls. Natural curls were ironed out with heat hot enough to roast a weenie. Vanity made a girl believe if brunette, blond was better or vise versa.
My girlfriends and I used enough blue eye shadow to paint a house. Eye lashes looked like pet tarantulas poised above our eyes. The weight of the mascara gave one a half lidded come hither look. The silicon tatas we added to our bras, made the real tatas sweat until everything sort of floated around. Vanity coerced us into thinking this was the way to catch a man.
I was a young idealist and believed a man so easily fooled would be worth keeping.
Some of us wasted a lot of time when said man found out you’d been spinning one big, fat fib. And he preferred the fib, but wanted to live with a real lie.
I called the wench, Vanity, out. We established a truce. My look evolved into semi-honesty with a softer edge. With my new found free time, I read War and Peace, wrote a novel, learned to golf, and carry a conversation.
The latter two led me to an honest man who married me regardless of my softer semi-honest appearance. Although I can be almost wash and go when need be, I draw the line at wearing pajama pants to Waldo Mart. I call that self respect not vanity. Respect for others keeps my butt crack in my under pants and my under pants under my clothes.
Vanity can be a cruel master as one matures if you’ve not already faced the bitch down.
On our annual Girl’s Roughing It Weekend, I canoe, swim, hike, and visit the ice cream stand twice before the rest of my friends join me. I guess if you’ve spent all afternoon putting on your face, blow drying, and curling, you wouldn’t want to mess that up with a dip in the pool. But why not? None of us posses the knowledge to make a You Tube video and we’re all in committed relationships. At our age, who are we really fooling?
When we finally gather to stuff our faces with hotdogs and margaritas, the glow of the campfire makes even me look good. The money spent on anti-aging creams could have landed us roughing it in Vegas where liquor’s the equalizer in any room.
Last week I did two uncharacteristic things and the vanity bitch dealt me a blow. I curled my hair and stopped in at work on my day off. Co-workers commented, “Wow, I didn’t recognize you with the new look.”
The tipping point was my husband NOTICED. He said, “You curled your hair. It looks nice.”
Am I ugly on straight hair days? Will this feedback send me to primping and preening Hell? The sneaky wench, Vanity, actually made me think about it.
Curling would take me ten minutes a day, an hour and ten minutes a week, less than five days a year. But frying my hair everyday causes brittleness which leads to expensive hair repair treatments and more time investment.
Then it hit me, wigs. My Mom wore wigs back in the seventies. I spent years nestled next to soft synthetic hair and never knew the difference. Mom kept her fake hair a secret until the cherry picking episode. Mom’s lid tangled with a tree branch. She kept picking succulent fruit as her children stood gape mouthed in horror at their Mother’s hair gently swaying with the breeze.
Mom could be ready in minutes, thanks to fake hair. She kept three different hairstyles on dummy heads in the closet. After the reveal, I helped Mom wash each hairpiece, brush it, style it, and….
Bitch Vanity can’t have me. I have better things to do like make Margaritas. Dare you to notice the difference, two shots of tequila, Vanity’s kryptonite.