When did I kiss goodbye to self grooming?!
If I’d known it was the last kiss I surely would have lingered longer? Nestled in for one last time… Soaked up all the pampered beauty and delighted in it for one last hurrah?!
Only… It wasn’t a clean break you see. It wasn’t a case of cutting off all sources and going cold turkey, no! It happened ever so gradually and I went from a girl who took long languishing baths with oils and bubbles a plenty before mass preening and going so far as to apply fake toenails to… Well, to this! The other day my Mum took one look at me in my swimming costume, my MUM, the one who used to shout at me through a locked bathroom door that it was unreasonable to spend three hours getting ready as I rolled my eyes under the impression she knew nothing, said ‘Ruth, you can’t go in the pool looking like that, have you got a razor with you?’ then almost gagged when I replied that I had not!
I knew then, it was the trigger, that I’d gone too far, I’d let myself not just go but I’d run and jumped well over the freaking edge and I had to do something. Only I’ve been struggling ever since to find the time to do it!
Not the mighty boosh I hasten to add. I got that under semi controlled taming (just around the edges) that evening but the rest of it… Well where the eff am I supposed to fit that in?!
Jonny was well and truly cat fished in this relationship only slightly less horrendously so because I DO have the potential to look how I looked when he met me (if I lost two stone and a few wrinkles) I just don’t ever seem to get my bag together and make it happen. He doesn’t complain thankfully and that’s probably due to the pace of the issue – I mean had it gone from nought to sixty in the space of a year and he might have noticed but when something happens ever so gradually, over 18 years, it probably goes under the radar on a daily basis and it’s only when you get time hops come up on Facebook that you’re reminded ‘shit, things used to look like this!’ I mean when we first got together I would set my alarm for mega early doors, get up, have a full wash, put a bit of subtle yet covering make-up on, waft some perfume about, change my under crackers, brush my teeth and slip back in beside him so that he’d wake up to me being all fresh and beautiful! These days he’s lucky if he isn’t knocked out by my morning breath! It’s a marked difference but when each element of my routine disappeared ever so slowly like, he didn’t grasp it was happening so doesn’t really notice now that it’s ALL gone and… More importantly neither had I!
But that comment from my Mum… Oh gawd! I’ve got to at least check in with the mirror now and again or I’m going to just get worse and worse and worse until one day I’ll be that smelly lady in the supermarket in her pyjamas. Ok, well maybe not her, I DO have SOME standards but you catch my drift!
While I know I can’t be the me I was 18 years ago, I don’t think I have the capacity to spend three hours in the bathroom and I’ve always hated wasting time in the salon, nail bar, spa… Whatever… I do think I need to make time before my holiday to at least use the fake tan I’ve had in my bathroom for about three years (assuming it will still be ok – tango Ruth might be about to hit) and try to sort out my council estate feet. Cracked heels and chipped nail polish look awful yet that’s how mine have been for weeks. I actually remember chatting to a friend at work many moons ago about a poor sod of a woman who worked with us and she never painted her toes yet had the audacity (yes I think we actually used that word at the time) to wear flip flops and bare her feet to the office. We laughed and shuddered at her life mistake… Oh if that girl could only see me now!
I wasn’t joking about the toenails you know, I was obsessed with my own and other people’s. And false nail tips was only the half of it. I remember a few times actually applying make up to my tootsies before an evening out. And the other things I did in the name of beauty, the regular, you know ‘my ordinary’ groom routine. Jesus Christ I’d need three nannies, a cook, a cleaner and a personal assistant to achieve those levels these days –
- Hair extensions
- False eyelashes
- False nails (from a nail bar not stick on)
- Daily face masks
- Morning AND evening skin care routine
- Two make up bags both in full time use
- Six weekly cut and highlights
- Evening body scrub and moisturise
- Morning body serums, fat busting creams, cellulite potion applications
- 8 weekly trips to be defuzzed ALL over
There was probably more but honestly the above is literally blowing my mind! Before Florence was born and actually right up to her birthday (I was painting my toe nails in the bath while labouring at home with my midwife chatting to me – I mean I couldn’t give birth with chipped polish!) I was ON IT! I’d have probably been YouTubing all the bloody Space NK and Benefit purchases I used to make if that had been a thing back then but after she was born and money was tight, I took it all back a level. I stopped buying so many potions and lotions and stuck to my core Clinique routine which has slowly over time depleted into becoming less of a core and more a luxury and when I run out of my favourite products I wait and ask for them as birthday and Christmas presents (I’d have cried, I would have actually cried if someone could have told me that I’d be doing this back then), and slowly the hair cuts died out too and went from eight times a year to… Once… Seriously, once a year I get the barnet done now! I still wear false nails to cover up my bitten stubs (always been a nail biter me) but I buy stick ons and do them myself and actually, this only happens when I’m going somewhere that isn’t Aldi, and I rarely paint my toes and when I do I literally just top up and paint over the last ones from three months previous. I’m a mess… My skin hasn’t seen a face mask in months, my pasty legs haven’t been anywhere near a St Tropez bottle in three years and I can’t remember, actually CAN NOT remember the last time I bought false eyelashes – even to apply myself! I’m not saying I want to go back to all that time consuming nonsense 24/7 but I do need to do something because I look in the mirror and feel shite!
So this morning I took off the nail polish on my toes (at 4am, that’s dedication), it was chipped on the edges and has been growing out for months. I’m actually certain there was still remnants of polish on the tips from when I last removed nail polish and properly painted them from scratch which was when… Gulp… Raffie was born (I still have a thing about giving birth with painted toe nails) and I’d made Jonny do it. Terribly. Because I couldn’t reach! That’s ten month’s ago. TEN! I’ve been painting over the chips for nearly a freaking year… Jesus Christ my Mum was right!
I have no time, really I don’t, but I go on holiday tomorrow so somewhere in between breakfast with the Body Coach this morning (goodness only knows what he’ll make of me with my saggy mum tum and giggly boobies which are so dangly now I just had a whole chat with the train conductor before he went and I realised my ‘little’ (pah) boob wasn’t actually snuggled behind Raffie who was pressed up against it but dangling right out with the nipple on full display) and the theatre tonight, I am going to hack my way through the jungle (no jokes) and sort my self grooming out. The nails are done, tips and toes… Well, when you’re meeting the Body Coach and all that, hell, I even wore a bra for that shizzle this morning (old and greying but still, the bazookas are NOT free and swinging people, I repeat, they are NOT free and swinging – although there’s a train conductor on the Norwich to London line who would beg to differ) and I’m going to reignite my love affair with all things pamper and beauty. I’m going to have a first kiss with it all over again and I’m so excited about it! The main question is though… Will Jonny even notice?! I’m going with naaaaaaaa, doubtful, but I’ll show him when I’m done and he’s probably sat on the loo having a poo in full view… (I’m a poet and I didn’t know it) because he’s changed too and he’ll go… Standard Jonny…’Hair? Dress? Make-up? You’ve lost weight?’ (in a frantic attempt to say the right thing and landing on the weight thing being key) and I’ll go… Standard Ruth reply… ‘Yeah… All of that (well, not the weight bit, yet!) And he’ll go ‘You look nice babe, you always do’! Because he always says that and I genuinely think he means it and actually… That’s all that matters huh! Well… Perhaps not ALL that matters but it does mean a bloody lot and for that I am truly grateful but… I will get myself back on some sort of groomed track before the day is out if it kills me!