Friday, July 6, 2007

Low Maintenance.

This got my attention. Not because there are people with the kind of discretionary income to spend a thousand bucks a week on personal maintenance. Nope, that just creeps me out. This article got my attention because I spend less per month on personal maintenance than the author. Who is a man.

My regular maintenance expenses:

Haircut every 4-6 weeks: $55 including tip.
Box of hair color, because I can't sit still long enough to let the Hair God do it: $8.
Gym membership: $35.

I buy my makeup at Target, along with the Crest tooth whitening kit I keep forgetting to use. Shall we count my OralB power toothbrush? I still can't crack $200 a month, even when I stock up on moisturizers. I also occasionally splurge a hundred, give or take a few, bucks at L'Occitane, maybe two or three times a year. That's it.

I know I'm low maintenance, but maybe I do take it to the extreme. I'm not living in a farmhouse in the 1800s, I'm a purported executive type person in a corporation.

Girlchild gave me a couple of lovely birthday gifts - a pair of gold hoop earrings, because my favorite pair went missing somewhere between the aneurysm and coming home from the hospital. She swears she remembers that the hospital gave them to her for safekeeping before my surgery, so we can't blame them, but we don't know what happened after that. We tore my room apart and didn't find them, and neither of us can remember what we might have done with them. Maybe they were thrown out with the plastic bag of hospital shit you get when you go home. So she replaced them. And she gave me a pricey gift certificate to the day spa of the Hair God, to get a manicure and pedicure. Because, yes, it's true, I have never had a professional manicure or pedicure. I am a do-it-yourselfer, when I bother to do it myselfer. I keep talking about going to the spa and indulging in this, yeah, it would be nice, but I never book time for it. And damn, it's expensive. Now I'll have to do it. Force myself, you know. It'll be torture.

I may sneak one pedicure in before I use the gift certificate, because I'm going to go see Cousin C in two weeks, and we will spend a Girl Weekend. That could be something we do besides shopping, eating, and sitting by the pool drinking margaritas. Not that those are bad things to do at all. She's so cute, she emailed me and asked when I was coming to visit, and said something like, "I know I'm not young but I like to get out and do things." Like I didn't know that. She's 64 going on 35. She can run me into the ground, or at least she did before I started working out again. Now maybe I can keep up with her. But it dawned on me that pedicures might be a chance to sit down someplace that is air conditioned and doesn't serve fried seafood, so I'm going to propose that as a fun thing to do. Because I am officially way too low maintenance, and I need to indulge in more maintenance. At least as much as a straight guy in San Francisco, anyway.

12 comments:

sallyjo said...

Um.
I guess, including toothpaste and tampons, $25?
Don't look at me like that! I spent 6 bucks on a cute pair of water shoes this month! That has to count for something!

Jan said...

Compared to you, I'm "NO" maintenance. But then, I don't wear makeup, jewelry or fragrance (except whatever the shampoo smells like). I do my gym stuff at home, and my haircuts cost $18. Oh, I buy my clothes at thrift stores, too. None of this was planned...it just works out that way. The metro dudes probably would be shocked.

Ginnie said...

I am with these other 2. Pretty much no maintenance beyond shampoo, soap, toothpast and cheap lotion. I don't ever wear makeup, so that's about it. I have gottne a mani and pedi and they are nice and decadent.
G

Catherine said...

Well, I think maintenance is fun and I should make more time for it. And on that subject, Cousin C doesn't read (or even know about, as far as I know) this blog, but when I talked to her today she is already planning activities for my weekend visit, and she suggested a manicure and pedicure, her treat. So now I have at least two sessions on the horizon on someone else's dime, and perhaps I will get addicted and add that sort of tending to my routine. We'll see. For me it's not the money, if I wanted to spend the money on it I'd find the money somehow. It's the time - I'm usually two weeks past my hair's expiration date before I go for a haircut. I color it myself because I'm usually in the middle of a day of errands and I can't give up two hours to let the Hair God do it. And I feel fine about the Hair God's price range, he's middle of the pack for this area, unless you want to go to one of those walk-in places where you never see the same stylist twice. (Been there, had hideously bad experiences.) Our new paralegal S and I were discussing hair other day and she pays her Hair God a hundred bucks a pop to deal with her long, curly mane. So $55 for a guy who can create a cute low maintenance style that completely conceals the fact that many inches on one side of my head is covered in inch-long growing-in hair - he's a bargain! And since I am feeling a bit behind the curve, not spending as much as several of the guys I know (even the burly biker gets manicures and pedicures with his girlfriend, he says if they handed him a beer while he was sitting there he'd want to live there) I need to indulge myself more.

Janet said...

I'm gobsmacked that your gym is only THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS. You can't even join the freakin Y here for that!

(Of course, this allows me to pretend it's the money that keeps me from re-joining a gym!)

The mani/pedi will be great. I need one myself at the moment...

Catherine said...

I joined early, when the place was opening and they were offering great deals. It's a fantastic gym, tons of state of the art equipment, immaculately clean, etc. I will hate leaving it when I move.

ellen said...

That just about leaves me speechless. I can't imagine why some people work like crazy all their lives and still don't have enough to eat and others spend more than my monthly salary on "beauty". I just can't get my mind around it.

Catherine said...

And you know, I don't mean to sound bitchy, but that woman in the NYT article didn't look like she was getting her money's worth out of that excessive spending. Yes, she's pretty, yes, she's youthful, but not beyond the realm of drugstore-based maintenance, sleep, vitamins and a gym membership. And it's not like running around for all those beauty treatments is easy - imagine the scheduling involved. It's the tribal ritual of the tribe to which she belongs. And they have a lotta nerve mocking "primitive" tribes that stretch their earlobes or whatever. Same peer pressure, different cost.

sallyjo said...

You know, I think you've convinced me to up my personal appearance allotment. You, and the fact that my bras suck.
Question, though. Are 18 hour bras made by the same people who make dishwashing gloves? And is this supposed to inspire confidence in either product?

Catherine said...

I've never tried Playtex bras. I know those gloves make my hands all sweaty and shriveled, so I didn't want to take any chances.

sallyjo said...

Damn, that's an ugly image.
Thanks, Catherine.

Catherine said...

You're welcome. :-)