I spend many of my Saturday nights in front of a computer scouring the internet for images and creating galleries for a website that hires me for 6 months at a time. This seasonal work has allowed me to have a bit of a safety net financially, work with some amazing people I never would have met otherwise and come into the office nights and weekends in any semblance of fashion or level of hygienic state I deem fit. Saturday was no exception.
After going running in the afternoon I literally took a moment to ponder whether or not today was a good day to wash my hair. In an attempt to keep my chestnut locks glistening I have been foregoing the everyday washing and today seemed as good a day as any, as my computer never seems to mind my funk and getting off so late at night often rules out social engagements.
It was not until I sat down in front of my office computer, hoodie on, frizzy fringe pinned back with bobby pins and makeup free that I got that call. That call that everyone has gotten at some point in time. The call to engage in social interaction for which you are ill prepared, be it wardrobe issues, or just having a bad hair day.
An old friend from home whom I have not seen in years but who I spent my first weekend in New York with was in town for one night only. Despite my graveyard inspired hours, we made plans to meet up.
As soon as I set the phone down after a quick chat about getting together, the wheels started to turn. I look awful. How do I remedy this? Should I go buy mascara? Dry shampoo? Patronize one of those easily located but overpriced dress shops that are scattered all over lower Manhattan?
What girl has not been in that moment when you are hot and heavy with the hombre du jour and it dawns on you, that you were remiss and neglected your Lady Bic that morning? Who hasn’t on occasion run to the local Starbucks to pick up a coffee in bleach stained sweats and no bra only to randomly encounter your high school nemesis or, as is the case with me, have an old friend unexpectedly come into town and you are 170 blocks from home with 2 books, your camera and an extra scarf in your bag, yet no concealer or lip gloss to be found.
Over the past several years I have had a special friend. This Special friend travels a lot and comes in and out of New York as often as most of us change our socks. When made aware that SF is in town I always attempt to look my best and be ready at the drop of a hat. There was a time when SF was in town so often that I made it a point to be on point all the time. I was able to maintain this strive for perfection for many months. It had become routine, like my daily runs, to properly wash and depilate and carry the appropriate aesthetic-enhancing tools.
Much like a work out routine, once interrupted it is hard to stay on track and I will admit, I fell off the wagon. This lapse leaves me here: dirty and certainly not looking or feeling my best with several hours of work to go and a potentially awkward encounter on the agenda for the evening.
I suppose this situation teaches me yet another life lesson. Don’t risk it. Always tweeze your eyebrows, always put on a cute outfit and, most importantly, always wash your hair.
B.E. is a photographer and aspiring freelance writer residing in New York City.