Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Commuter Diary part II

"I found solace in my makeup bag. Taking control of my looks gives me confidence."
- from the current issue of Marie Claire

During my daily commute to work I have been able to look over many a shoulder and see what my fellow commuters are reading or working on. We have knitters and needleworkers, sleepers, iPod-listeners and of course many readers. Some are reading books that I role my eyes at (those corset-busting romance novels - why even bother?) others are reading books that look WAY beyond my intellectual capacity (I look at those readers with some envy and wished I could appreciate and understand a book like that).

Then we have the newspaper and magazine readers. The most outrageous magazine reader I have seen was a few years ago. He was the guy that pulled a magazine out of a brown wrapper (no, I am NOT kidding)! Thankfully, I was sitting across the aisle from him and not next to him, but I could see the reflection of the magazine cover in the window next to him and it was Hustler. Yup, this guy was reading a Hustler magazine on the commuter train during rush hour. Hmmmm, maybe he really DOES only read it for the articles (but isn't that what they say about Playboy??). Needless to say it creeped me out and I got up and moved to another seat. Just knowing he was sitting a few feet away reading Hustler was just too gross.

Anyway, yesterday evening my seatmate on the train was reading Marie Claire. In my mind that's one of those fluffy, full-of-advertisements and silly articles rags that I wouldn't bother to pick up even in a doctor's waiting room. So, I guess I wasn't too surprised when I glanced over and saw the quote that I listed above. I read it and paused for a second then re-read it and thought WTF??? "I found solace in my make-up bag?" You have got to be kidding me! How pathetic and shallow is that?

I guess this is a sore subject for me. I've never been a primper with all the hair and make-up gadgets. One of the things that my husband loves about me is that I can get out of bed and out the door in less than 30 minutes if I have to (having naturally curly hair helps me there). Sometimes I do look at the perfectly coiffed women, with the lovely manicures and pretty eye-makeup and I'm jealous. I know I can do better. I know I should do better, but I don't. At this point I feel like in the grand scheme of life who cares?

OK, I guess I do. At least a little bit. When I am nicely made up and have an outfit on that I know looks good it DOES boost my confidence and I feel great. I think "why don't I do this all the time?".

I notice one woman on the train that has a different purse EVERYDAY to coordinate with her outfit. When I started to notice that it blew my mind and I would have to search her out everyday to see what purse she had and it was never a duplicate from the day before. She also had the hair, make-up and nails as well as a gym card on her keyring (I notice all the obscure odds and ends - I know, it's weird).

So this woman, who does not get home any earlier than me, somehow has time to work out, make dinner, eat dinner, clean up the kitchen, get organized for work the next day, change her purse to match her outfit, pay some bills, do some laundry, maybe get some relaxation time in and get to bed. It made my head spin and I envied her. How did she do it?? Incidentally she had a baby last year and stopped working in the city. I see her dropping her husband off at the train and she usually has sunglasses on and a pony tail which I'm sure has to do with the fact that the baby is running the show now. It made me feel better. Just a little :-)

So maybe someday I will have the time to find solace in my make-up bag (actually, I don't even carry a make-up bag. You don't need one when all you wear is eyeliner and mascara). Or maybe not. Maybe (hopefully) I will find solace in being a good person and a good mommy and a good wife.