Now I have to go write this goddamned Sheen vs. Estevez thing even though I was planning on doing nothing today.

I have this really great new excuse for cutting myself some slack:  I turned 42 last month.

I had a similar excuse around this time last year.  It was called “I turned 41 last month”.

If you’re older than 42, you’re thinking, “Shut up, skank.  Talk to me when you’re 70.”  I totally, totally get that because:

1.  I am actually a skank, so kudos on your spot-on assessment.

2.  In the grand scheme of things, 42 is still young.

I realize that there are plenty of people who still scale Mt. Kilimanjaro who are also on Medicare, but let’s pretend they don’t exist for the length of this blog, if for no other reason than those people make all of us look bad by comparison.  They’re blowing the curve with their “active senior lifestyles”, which I think is pretty selfish of them.  Did you go skydiving for your 90th birthday?  I don’t want to hear about it.  At least not while I’m googling padded toilet seats, anyway.

The problem is that I cannot be trusted with any amount of slack.  I just can’t.  If you give me an inch of slack, I won’t even take a mile.  Instead, I’ll call someone up from the couch and say, “Hey, can you go pick up this mile of slack for me?  Some fool trusted me to just take an inch.  No, no I can’t go get it myself.  I’m busy.  Just leave it by my front door.  Thanks.”

Then I’ll return to watching Major League for the 150th time and wondering aloud at what age, as the spawn of Martin Sheen, one would have to decide whether to go by “Sheen” or “Estevez” professionally, and then wax philosophical as to the various pros and cons for choosing one over the other, because that is literally the kind of bullshit I spend time wondering aloud.  How Bobby keeps from smothering me with a throw pillow is completely beyond me.  The man is a saint.

And I would choose Estevez, for obvious reasons.  Perhaps I’ll write a post that details those exact reasons in somewhere around the 1,200 word mark, and then you will finally give up on me for good.  You can do better, people.

I especially like to use age as an excuse to cut myself some slack when I’m too lazy to push myself to work out.  Cutting myself some slack with regard to exercise, by the way, means I tell myself that I don’t have to exercise at all.  Usually something along the lines of, “I should probably cut myself some slack today.  I don’t want to be one of those people who works out so hard that they need knee replacements before they’re 50!”

Then I breathe a sigh of relief, sit down on the couch with a Ziploc bag of loose chocolate chips, and start watching The Golden Girls, thankful that I’ve saved myself from all the potential joint damage.  Not working out?  That’s about staying safe!

Luckily/unluckily, when I was 35, I discovered this wonderful form of exercise called “Pilates”, so it’s difficult for me to make excuses and still be able to look myself in the mirror.  Never in my life did I dream I would find an exercise regimen so perfectly tailored to me, but there it was:  An exercise regimen that requires you to LIE ON THE FLOOR to do it.

Pilates were invented by blah blah blah…you had me at “lie on the floor”.

Is it hard?  Absolutely.  I would dare any Crossfitter in those weird toe-shoes to attempt a Pilates core-workout and not start crying and shaking uncontrollably even two minutes into it.  Pilates workouts are horrific, awful, torturous things.  They feel like a sorority has been unleashed inside your torso swinging pillowcases full of soap bars.  Pilates are brutal with a capital “I fucking hate this”.

I can withstand them not because I have abs of steel, but because I am doing an exercise that allows me to lie on the floor.  My mental and physical toughness increase exponentially in any situation if I know I get to lie on the floor the whole time.  No matter how bad it gets, I just say, “You could be standing doing this exercise right now. Standing!” and that’s enough motivation for me to keep going.

Every now and then I get an annoying little bee in my huuuuge bonnet about needing to add cardio to my workouts, usually right around the time that I can’t pull my skinny suit-pants on Monday morning without using a shoehorn.  Then I remember all the hot pretzel-eating from the night before and go, “Ahh.”  That’s because the night before, while looking at the hot pretzels on the menu I said, “You turned 42 last month!  You’ve earned the right to eat hot pretzels whenever you goddamned feel like it!”

This is all fine, a hot pretzel isn’t exactly a whole birthday cake or anything, but when your excuse is “I turned 42 last month”, it can end up being one hell of a slippery slope.  Before you know it you’re doing MILF porn in a van parked outside a Denny’s in exchange for an order of Moons Over My Hammy because “I turned 42 last month.”

Also, I aged out of the possibility of MILF porn on the day I turned, like, 25.  At 42 I’d be in the Old Lady Circus Freak category.  Now I’m concerned that typing the words “MILF porn” into this blog entry this many times is going to bring a whole new readership to the blog that I will regret for the rest of my life.  C’est la MILF.

Seemingly well-intended types can get super pissed when they see you not cutting yourself slack and will go to great lengths to encourage you to stuff a pie into your face, or have that fourth drink, or lie around on the couch all day.  I assume it’s because those are the things they actually want to do and they don’t want to be the lone loser in your circle of friends.  They saw what being the lone loser did to Ross Gellar on Friends and they don’t think they can handle it.  And they can’t.  If Friends had happened in reality, Ross would have been tossed off the top of a skyscraper decades ago.  By me.

I might be willing to actually cut myself some slack if I hadn’t spent ten years between the ages of 25 and 35 where my entire life consisted of cutting myself slack, which means I ate like a wild hog with a gland problem, chain-smoked cigarettes, drank lakes of well liquor, never slept, never worked out, packed on forty pounds, and felt like crap all the time.

Trust me – I’ve had plenty of years of my life where I was a slug who stuffed bacon cheeseburgers and pie into my mouth like they were on that candy factory conveyor belt on I Love Lucy.  Plenty of years where I spent upwards of 100 hours a week watching television.  Plenty of years where I was too lazy to shower for weeks on-end.  Trust me – I am not suffering for lack of slack in my previous life, so don’t tell me that everyone needs to cut themselves some slack on occasion.  I’ve cut enough for twenty lifetimes.  Don’t encourage me.

The only way to keep myself from ending up living in the ditch outside a Hardee’s wearing a trash bag as a muu-muu and eating old garbage french fries out of an upside down road cone is if I allow myself zero slack.  I know that I can’t start the slack engine without immediately crashing the slack car.

Now I have to go write this goddamned Sheen vs. Estevez thing even though I was planning on doing nothing today.  I hope you’re happy with yourselves.

Kickstart My Face

Have you ever had an old car that you’ve driven forever and then had this conversation with someone when they went to drive it for the first time?  

“Okay, so before you get in, you have to kind of toggle the door handle up and to the left, then pull, then push, then open the door.  When you put the key in the ignition, wiggle the steering wheel side to side while slowly kickstarting the gas pedal five times as you turn the key.  Then take this screwdriver from the center console and tap it on the crescent-shaped notch on the steering column, pump the brakes eleven times, then you’re good to go.  Oh my god, I forgot to mention – do NOT try to start the engine with the air conditioning on or the entire engine will melt onto the tops of your feet through the holes under the dashboard.”  

When did your car become so difficult, and why hadn’t you noticed?  Ten years ago, you didn’t used to have to do anything special to make it start.  Then after a couple years, you had to do one thing.  Then a few years later it was five things.  By the time you get to the ten year mark, you have to do the Electric Slide to get the damn door to even open, and give a voodoo handjob to a Michelin Man doll to keep the tires from exploding when you drive over speedbumps.  It just all happened so gradually that you didn’t notice it.  It takes so much work to make it work these days. 

This is an analogy.  I am old.

When I was 21, in order to get ready for work in the morning, I would oversleep, drag myself out of bed and touch-up the $3 eyeliner that I had slept in, brush my teeth, and go.  The men-folk swooned.

This morning:

I woke up two hours before I had to leave for work.

I took off the sticker that I wear on my forehead overnight so that I don’t get those unsightly “11” lines between my eyes (Frownies).

I showered, using three different kinds of soap (Ocean Breeze in toasted coconut, vanilla body wash, Noble Zinc face soap), the shampoo that I use specifically on Fridays (Redken Color Magnetics), the deep conditioner that I specifically use on Fridays (Everpure Hair Mask), and the hideously expensive but highly effective rechargeable sonic cleaner device-thingy that I use to wash my face (Foreo Luna in Normal/Sensitive), because nowadays I can assure you that when you see a electric device on my bathroom counter that is pink, made of silicone, and has raised, vibrating nubbins on it, it is a device that is used strictly on my face to reduce the amount of gunk in my pores.

Then I got out, dried off, sprayed canned French spring water on my face (La Roche Posay, Thermal Spring Water), and let it soak in while I use my special detangling brush for the first brushing of my hair, to be followed by the second brushing using the round brush.

Then on go the face serum (Ole Henriksen Truth Serum), first moisturizer (Ole Henriksen Transform), second moisturizer for redness relief (La Roche Posay Rosaliac because fucking hormonal rosacea), and eye cream (Avon, current free sample).

Then I use a refrigerated de-swelling iron on my under-eye area – the kind that they use on boxers when their faces are all swollen from being repeatedly punched in the face.  That is to say, I have to shop at specialty sporting goods stores in order to find products that will make me appear “awake” in the eye area, because I am so puffy that it appears I have been beaten up by Buster Douglas in the middle of the night.

Then flossing and toothbrushing.  Then, after the hair air-dries about ¾ of the way, I spray hair serum on it (It’s a 10 Miracle Styling Serum), brush it through, and blow-dry it using the round brush.  Then the pomade (Glossier The Balm.com, actually a skin and lip treatment, but works great on hair).  Then the hairspray (Old school L’oreal Ellnet).

Then the face gets concealer (Benefit Boing Moisturizing Concealer), eyeshadow primer (Urban Decay Primer Potion), foundation with SPF 50 (It Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair), four colors of eye shadow (miscellaneous brands), eye liner (Revlon Colorstay liquid in dark brown), eyebrow pencil and tinted brow gel (L’Oreal Brow Fantasy) , two coats of mascara (Maybelline Falsies in Black/Brown), contouring powder (Cargo), blush (Tarte), shimmery highlighter (Benefit Dandelion Twinkle), and a touch of pressed powder on the corners of the nose (Maybelline FIT). Then lip balm (Tony Moly Liptone), lipstick (miscellaneous brands and colors), and lip gloss (same).  JESUS CHRIST.

You have to go easy on the gloss, because it will seep upwards above your lip line, and you will frighten small children with your horror shitshow face.  The clown from “IT”, will be like, “Seriously, you need to tone that shit down.”

The foregoing routine does not include the non-daily items, like shaving, tweezing, dealing with foot callouses, nails, cuticle work, scrubs, acid masks, mud masks, and snail slime masks.  It also fails to include the olive oil that I drink every morning as a beauty supplement, and the black currant oil that I take at night so that my eyeballs don’t dry up and white-over like a dog turd that’s been left on a dewd’z carpet for a week.  It also does not include my fitness routine, where I have to work out TWICE a day in order to keep from looking like Rodney fucking Dangerfield.

This is the part where you tell me that I am high maintenance, that I have bought into the beauty industrial complex, and that I would probably look “just fine” if I didn’t engage in all this rigmorole.  If that is the case, then this is the part where I respond by giving you a glimpse of what I look like without all of this stuff:

Imagine that this emoji is a photo of the Crypt Keeper from HBO’s Tales From The Crypt ——————–> 😐

I assume that in another ten years, my beauty and grooming routine will take so much time that I never get to actually leave the house for the thing I’m getting ready for, which will be bittersweet, because it will also mean that I never have to put on pants again, which is clearly the ultimate life goal.

Happy Friday, you high-maintenance bitches!

The Six Hundred Dollar Orange

As a young lass, I was thoroughly under the impression that men had very, very high dating standards when it came to women.  You often hear men describe the kind of woman they’re looking for as “5’ 10”, 105 pounds, model-type, no baggage, no high maintenance”.

Women hear that description and laugh so hard it makes their heads hurt, and then, unfortunately, on a deeper level, they immediately feel inadequate, like there’s something wrong with them for not meeting those requirements, even though they know they’re ridiculous.

For starters, if you see a thin woman who is 5’ 10”?  She probably weighs at least 160 pounds.  Women can’t tell you that, because men hear “160 pounds” and immediately close their eyes and picture the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.  I once heard a guy describe a woman as “pretty freaking chunky”, and when his friend asked how much he thought she weighed, he said, “Oh man, she probably weighed like 120.”

Sorry, I just guffawed so hard that I choked on this Weight Watchers ice cream bar, not to mention a bucket of hopes and dreams.

Also, when I was 13 years old, I was 5’ 1” and weighed 105 pounds, and people accused me of being anorexic or having some kind of terminal disease.  My head looked like a lollipop with my body as the stick.  You could play xylophones on my ribcage, front and back, and I couldn’t lie flat on my back because my spine dug into the mattress so hard that it would leave a bruise on me.  So, no, barring some weird supermodel whose bones are made of paper, nobody is 5’ 10” and weighs 105 pounds.

And “Model-type”?  Really?  Unless you, yourself, are the equivalent of a male model, then no.  Juuuuuuuust no.

“No baggage” means you should have no problems of any kind.  You know, like all those scores of people in the world who have no problems?  I’m sure the person who’s requiring you to have no baggage certainly has no baggage himself!

That sound you just heard, was me rolling my eyes until they fell out of my head and onto the floor.  I know you may live 5,000 miles from here, but I’m sure you still heard it.

Related, anyone who tells you that they are “drama-free” will always, without fail, every time, be the most dramatic motherfucker you’ve ever met in your entire life.  Count on it.

“No high maintenance” means you should wake up in the morning and look flawless.  Fuck you.  I’m not even going to dignify that one with a response.

It’s funny, because you would think that since men’s standards are so very high, that only one out of like every 100,000 women would have a boyfriend or husband and the rest of us would be toiling the nights away alone, crying in a house full of cats and collecting cobwebs in our hoo-hahs.  Look around and, obviously, you’ll see that’s not the case.  Not even close.

As I have become a dusty old hag, I have realized that these men are not highly discerning at all.  They’re just attempting to be shrewd negotiators. These types of men, the ones who state this ridiculous laundry list of standards, are usually the same ones who will turn around and stick it in anything that moves.  They’re just starting off the negotiation from what they think is the highest asking price, which is for some reason, a supermodel with the body of a praying mantis who also has no problems and wakes up looking flawless.  They know that woman’s not showing up.  They figure there’s no harm in throwing that asking price out there.  It’s a first offer.

So what do you do?  You do what you do with any first offer.  Reject it and counter.

If he says, “5′ 10″, 105 pounds”, you counter with “5′ 3″, 220 pounds”.

If he says, “Model-type”, you counter with “I am good at my accounts receivables job.”

If he says, “No baggage”, you counter with, “You first, asshole.”

If he says, “No high maintenance”, you counter with, “I don’t often leave skidmarks.”

Then tell them to take it or leave it.

It reminds me of this episode of Designing Women where MaryJo is complaining about how when she lived in Mexico, there was no such thing as a price tag, and when she would ask a shopkeeper, “How much is this orange?” they would size her up and say, “Six hundred dollars”.  Then she would put the orange down and walk away, and the shopkeeper would chase after her and yell “Thirty cents!”

All this fretting over whether some guy doesn’t want to date you because your eyebrows aren’t perfectly waxed, or because you have cellulite or weigh more than 105 pounds.  And OMG what if he finds out you have problems?!!  All the emotional strife because you’re not the kind of woman who can roll out of bed looking perfect.  I’m here to tell you it’s all for naught.  I’ve never encountered any man whose standards are actually that high.  And if they are?  They can go jump into a dick-shaped volcano.  You don’t want to be with someone like that anyway.  Those are the guys who will never, ever stop looking for the bigger, better deal.

Slow your roll, women.  Take a deep breath.  You don’t need to meet somebody’s ludicrous requirements, because their requirements are exactly that:  Ludicrous.  They are as ludicrous as asking someone to pay $600 for an orange.