Wednesday, November 04, 2009

HomeValley Single-handedly Bringing Sexy Back

The scene: Home office. Noon time. Writer is clad in worn black velour sweatpants, gray tee-shirt, and blue Pace sweatshirt. Sans bra. Has not combed hair; has not brushed teeth. Single greatest accomplishment today, hygiene-wise? Swapping glasses for contacts. Even that took Herculean effort.

Writer ponders lack of motivation. Avoids mirrors and all human contact.

The moment: Epiphany, reading three-year old advice column.

Writer notes that she, in fact, has no children. Is just a lazy, stupid whore. With bad personal hygiene. If writer is to better her life, she need look no further than her wild, unruly blonde locks and unflossed gums. (For shame, it has been so long since her last floss!)

The challenge: Writer steps away from the computer, resolved. She will shower today. And it. Will. Be. Glorious.

Did you read the column? It spoke to me, as only the sage Amalah can:

I remember reading somewhere, a loooong time ago, that people who work from home should resist the "I'm working in my pyjamas!" temptation and continue to go through the complete motions of getting ready for work in the morning. Even if your commute is just down the hall, you should shower, get dressed, put on makeup, whatever -- and have it all done by the same time every morning. The theory being, of course, that if you look professional, you'll feel professional. And also: increased productivity, serious of purpose, self esteem and the ability to begin and end your workday instead of letting it morph into an "I'm at home, therefore I'm at work, so I guess I better check my email during dinner and before bed" kind of mentality, which naturally leads to a lot of stress and feeling like a slave to a day job that never ends.

Shit, you guys. Monumental fail.

See, work travel has slowed considerably, as budgets are shot (and I would like to state that room service at various Marriotts throughout the Northeast had little to do with that, k?). So I find myself, most days, working from home, battling a crippling lack of motivation. Perhaps I need look no further than the fact that, by the time J arrives home from work most days, I usually have not brushed my teeth. (Sexy little housewife, in your eight-year old velour pants!)


So I have extended another challenge to myself, something I am keen to do these days. I will groom myself. Each day. In the mornings. For five consecutive office days. And I will watch my productivity skyrocket and will thusly enjoy fame and money and book deals.

My mission began at 12:36 PM today, so we can't count this as Day 1. Nonetheless, here is what I pulled off today. (And no, you shouldn't be impressed. You should feel very, very sorry for me. And my long-suffering husband. And the velour pants.)
  1. I brushed my teeth. I totally would have flossed, too, had I not forgotten to pick up floss this week. But I used Listerine. Minty fresh!
  2. Showered. Way to go, champ! Turning on the hot water is half the battle, you know.
  3. But wait! In shower, I shaved. Mah legs.
  4. And exfoliated, with the greatest smelling body scrub you ever did smell.
  5. And I shampooed!
  6. And conditioned! (And bless you, Pureology. Though my hair is fine, it is surprisingly unmanageable. I can't go a day between washings, and I also can't use some less expensive, drugstore products. They leave my hair extremely soft and listless. ) (That explanation was for the fellas.)
  7. I also washed my face! First with my Aveeno Ultra-Calming Cleanser, then with my St. Ive's Apricot Scrub, a staple since puberty. Then! Then I topped off this banner shower with my new Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask. (I am trying a new cleansing system using benzoyl peroxide, as my fair, Scandinavian skin is acting up lately. So far, the BP has been very drying, with some visible results. Hoping for better days ahead.)
  8. Then, out of the shower. I moisturized. I slathered up my face with Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizer with SPF, then regular old Lubriderm for my delicate bits. Yes, this is noteworthy. I skip the Lubriderm more days than I care to admit.
  9. Stay with me, we're still grooming. I blew-dry my hair, even used a little product.
  10. Next, I evened out my splotchy-ness with actual make-up. Which my face has not seen since Sunday, when I last truly ventured out of the house. (Oh, I went to the grocery store on Monday. I won't even describe the horror. Let's just say, it's like playing Russian Roulette. If I ever run into anyone I know looking like I did on Monday, I will melt into the floor and die.)
  11. I applied powder, and blush. And mascara! And some lip gloss, to soothe my poor, cracked lips.
  12. You know those celebs who say that the only make-up they use is just a bit of mascara and lip gloss, and they're out the door? I hate those rotten liars.
  13. I dressed, somewhere in the midst of all this. I threw on a gray tee-shirt and jeans, but hell, at least I'm wearing a bra. And pants!
  14. Oh, I even threw a load of laundry in for good measure. (The other night I asked J why our bedroom smelled funny. "Oh I don't know," he replied, "maybe it's that huge pile of dirty laundry in the corner." I know; I'm a domestic goddess.)
So, along with the limited television-watching, more reading challenge of 2009, we are now going to pay more attention to our personal hygiene over here at QITNM. Tomorrow I have to get up at 4:30 (kill me) to get out the door by 5:30 (ew), so we won't count tomorrow either. Five consecutive days of working-from-home grooming, y'all.

Challenge accepted.

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