Monday, September 25, 2006

Operation Normalcy

I woke up Saturday morning with a mission: to reclaim my life. The past two weeks have been a blur at best. My life has looked like mine – same job, same schedule, same apartment. My life has sounded like mine – same phone calls, same friends, same music, same lectures from my mother. But it hasn’t FELT like mine more like I’ve been watching it, not participating much.

For example, my diet – not “diet” but daily intake of food. I have not eaten ANYTHING in the past two weeks that hasn’t been 1) ordered and prepared in 3 minutes or less, 2) delivered to my apartment or office door; 3) cooked in the microwave or 4) come out of a vending machine. So basically I’ve had no real nutritional content whatsoever.

Second – my job has had me so stressed out, overtired and feeling an like inadequate f*ckup that by the time I DO get home, between 8-9 in the evening, I am brain dead and too exhausted and unmotivated so that even simple tasks such as laundry, or ironing, or bed making or cleaning in general have seemed too overwhelming to tackle.

And you can forget personal maintenance! Not only was I in the most desperate need of a haircut, manicure and facial of my life but as a result of the malnutrition and exhaustion the gym, while in close proximity, might as well have been in China (and I was convinced that the ache I was feeling in my lower back was the onset of my recently unexerted abdominal muscles atrophying). And as an ultimate result, I was sick – came down with the first cold of the season, not pretty.

I woke up Saturday morning, got my butt out of bed and into the gym. It felt great (although not entirely up to par with physical performance in times past). And after 200 crunches and showering I headed off to seek the help of a stylist I met at CNN awhile back (she consults with and does hair for Jena & Barbara Bush – and I thought major reinforcements were needed to tackle my beauty problem).

So I get to the salon, Celeb Stylist “consults” and says reassuringly “I’m excited! This is going to be the makeover of the day.” So I feel a tad reassured that all hope is not lost until she runs away to get the sandblaster (kidding) and I’m left looking at my reflection in the gilded mirror without makeup (cringe) and think “can we add some Botox and liposuction to this makeover?”

Then in the midst of this self-deprecating inner-monologue, I notice the male (sexually ambiguous) stylist blow-drying an older woman next to me keeps staring in my direction. So I think “great! It’s completely obvious, I don’t belong in this upscale celebrity salon where everyone is already beautiful, blonde and French speaking” So I look away and pretend to be intently reading an article about male G-spots in Cosmo but he comes over and says :

“I’m sorry, but you are so beautiful! What’s your name?”
(stunned…looking around for the other person he must be talking to) “huh?”
“Your name”
“Is this your first time here?”
“Yes” (still stunned)
“Well you’re stunning, and I just wanted to tell you”
“Uhh… Thank you – are you sure? I don’t even have any makeup on!”
“You don’t need it” and he walked away.

Well, I don’t know if he needed a new contact perscription or it was just a salon policy for clients to be told that they’re beautiful by hot, sexually ambiguous stylists but I say: That’s the kind of customer service I’m talking about! Every place of business should have someone that will come up to you and say “you look great today” or “you’re beautiful” or “great shoes!”

Well when I came out of that salon I felt like a million bucks (or at least $250) –my hair looked bright, shiny and fabulously cut (ala jessica simpson - even though it was a few inches shorter than I wanted), my facial had left my skin glowing, eyebrows were perfectly arched, my ego had been patted and I felt human again.

The rest of the weekend fell into place. My room and kitchen are now spotless, the cat has been fed, I got some work done at the office Sunday afternoon, and most of the laundry is hanging neatly in my color coded closet.

Hello, my life. How I’ve missed you.


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