All of the men that I’ve ever lived with – that’s my dad, my husband, and more recently, my son – have all passed comment at some point during our cohabitation on the amount of time women need to spend in the bathroom in order to get ready. Or, perhaps more to the point, the proportion more time that women seem to need to spend in the bathroom getting ready versus men.
(Actually, in the interests of full disclosure, that’s not entirely true. When I lived with my best friend James for a year – an experience which was straight out of a sitcom and probably an entire other blog post in itself – my bathroom time paled into insignificance compared to his. Unless I gave him a three hour warning that we needed to leave the house there was not a hope in hell of us getting anywhere on time. But he is a rather unique exception.)
And this seems to be a recurring theme. Throughout history, men have wondered and complained at the amount of time women spend in the bathroom getting ready. For them, the bathroom experience appears to be a swift and simple exercise. They go into the bathroom. They pee, they wash their teeth, they shower. Sometimes all three simultaneously, if my sources are to be believed. They might have a shave – less likely at the moment with this disturbing proliferation of beards. If they are a particularly forward thinking individual, they might add moisturiser, a hair product and aftershave to the mix. And that is it. Boom. Washed, dressed, ready to roll.
And so, for every man out there, who is wondering why we women cannot do the same, I would like to say this to you.
BECAUSE IT IS JUST NOT THAT FUCKING SIMPLE WHEN YOU ARE A WOMAN.*
(*I accept that for some women, it is. Because you are completely happy with how you look au naturel. You are very lucky. You bastards 😊)
I would fucking LOVE to have a less-than-ten-minutes getting ready regime. My god, the time I could have saved in my life. But, alas, that particular gift has not been bestowed upon me. Why? Well, let me compare my husband and myself for a moment.
Mr IKINTST wakes up in the morning, looking broadly like, well, Mr IKINTST. His hair and all facial features are all relatively orderly. He has minimal work necessary to get himself presentable to go out in public.
I, by contrast, wake up looking like a truck has run over my face in the night.
Let me describe my getting ready bathroom routine to you. In other words, the bare minimum necessary in order to leave the house and not leave small children weeping in the streets at the sight of the lady with a face like a truck.
Wash face. A quick process in itself, or at least it would be, were it not for the minefield of selecting the right product for your skin type that particular day, dependent on the time of the month, the weather conditions, and the planetary fucking alignment. Dry? Greasy? Dry with greasy patches? Combination? Arid as the fucking sahara? Like an oil slick? As a girl, we need to have products for all of these eventualities and more.
De-clag eyes. This is a technical term. Those of us who are less diligent with the removal of our eye make up the night before will be all too familiar with the de-clagging eye process.
Wash hair. Now, in fairness, if you are practically balding like I am, then this is not an onerous process. If you are slightly more hirsute, this in itself is probably a 3 hour debacle.
Deep condition hair (optional).
Leave in condition hair.
Remove all unwanted body hair. Which, if you are either a) male, or b) not a remover of body hair, you may be tricked into thinking is a quick and simple process. Underarms, and maybe legs. What could be simpler? NO. No, no, no. It is NOT simple, because unwanted body hair, when you are not a man, quite frankly appears to grow fucking EVERYWHERE. I expected, as I passed puberty, to have to commit to removing hair from my underarms and my legs. I resigned myself to the fact that, as I got older, I might have to remove hair from my upper lip and bikini line. I DID NOT EXPECT BY THE AGE OF 35 TO HAVE TO BE SHAVING MY FUCKING TOES. Body hair removal is like painting the Forth fucking Bridge.
Apply toner. (I still don’t really know what toner actually does, but I am too scared not to apply it in case I lose my Girl License.)
Apply eye cream.
Apply make up. With a trowel.
Get dressed. Try on 37 outfits. Discard them all on the grounds of making you look fat. Go back to the first outfit you tried on.
There! Done! You are ready to go, and it has only taken you one hour and thirty seven minutes BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT GETTING READY IS LIKE WHEN YOU ARE A GIRL!
Well. A high maintenance girl, that is