Titivating My Life Away

23 Jan

Woman spend 2.5 years of their life titivating. Yeah, I learned a new work today. To titivate, one is making small, enhancing alterations to oneself. Preening.

I detest titivating; it’s a waste of time. But that’s just me. In the morning, I can go from sleep to ready in under 60 seconds if called upon. I find that level of speed & skill unnecessary in most cases. This morning I woke up with this topic in my head, knowing I needed to write about it, and felt a twinge of excitement knowing that I could be up and out the door in ten minutes. And that’s what I did. I’m in one of my offices–Starbucks–right now. My coffee is still hot and I’m happy.

When we want to do “family” stuff (like…together) it’s a whole other ball of twine. The kids are young enough that that their minds haven’t been hijacked by our dreadful culture that will soon teach them to conform, to teach them that they need to slather toxic sludge (makeup) onto their face to “fit in.” Our culture will tell them that they’re ugly and that they need this stuff. Thank you Estee Lauder! And yes, I know I didn’t put that little mark above the first “e” in Estee. I don’t care.

If the kids and I want to jump from bed and do something spontaneous we can be ready in 15 minutes. They don’t care what kind of clothes they put on–leopard-print pants go with anything. They’re perfectly willing to leave the house in whatever they slept in (they rarely wear typical, obvious pajamas, Ainsley’s only requirement for sleep: “soft” pants) and I’m equally willing to let them. That’s freedom. They don’t care about what others will think. They know they’re beautiful as they are, with screwy hair and bits of blueberry all around their mouths (I picked blueberry randomly, they proudly wear hundreds of different food items around their lips). So what if a stranger notices mismatched socks. It’s meaningless. I wish I could save them from what lies ahead.

This is my morning, getting ready, the detailed version.

Like I said, I was lying in bed with these very sentences floating around in my head. I needed to get them out, but I need privacy and coffee, so I got up, greeted the pets with quick pats on their heads. I stepped in front of the full-length mirror on the outside of the bathroom door, rubbed my face, scruffed my hair and thought I need to shave…some day. Then I peed and washed my hands (I said detailed didn’t I?). I walked back into the bedroom, into the closet and spotted the clothes I had worn yesterday. They were right there! No need to open a drawer or pull something off a hanger. I scanned my brain to compare where I’ll be today with where I was yesterday. Can I wear the same clothes? Sure! I’m just going to Starbucks. I had slept in thermal bottoms, shorts, a t-shirt and an ugly orange sweatshirt. I jumped out of the shorts and slipped into my favorite brown pants, stepped into my favorite shoes (no laces=time savings, woo!), tore the sweatshirt off and buttoned my favorite blue and white shirt over the t-shirt I had slept in. The events in this paragraph took 120 seconds.

Downstairs, I walked to the couch and said “Chloooooe, good moooorning!” and kissed her on the forehead. Breakfast can be a problem because I’m so health-conscious. Fresh vegetable/fruit juice takes mega-time; smoothies are faster, but still no good for me this morning. I walked to the kitchen, grabbed two bananas, walked back into the living room, and sat down next to Chloe. I busted out some early morning humor by squishing half a banana into my mouth and chewing it like maybe a gorilla would. She smiled and gave me the you’re weird look. After devouring both bananas, I loaded my backpack with a laptop, phone, thesaurus, notebook, coffee mug, and a little plastic bowl of prunes and brazil nuts. I put on my gloves, warm hat, and trusty, zipped, grey hoodie.

That’s it. I took my time and still went from horizontal to gone in 10 minutes. It feels good even to write about it.

I only mentioned Chloe in this narrative because Jennifer was down the street teaching her yoga class and Ainsley was asleep on the couch.

But when you throw Jennifer into the middle of trying to get out of the house and into the world spontaneously, everything changes. Alas, she’s like most 21st century American woman. Obviously, “changing her” is not on my list of priorities. I read that it’s a fool’s game to try to change other people. I’m sure she would love to change me into a man who would never wear yesterday’s clothes, today…and tomorrow.



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