No, this isn’t going to be a blog entry about weddings and white dresses (sigh). I am talking about grooming oneself.
Back in Blighty I went to the hair salon on average once every 3 months. I never set foot in a nail bar and body hair removal was done regularly but not obsessively.
Then I moved here.
It was a female American friend who first noted my “irregular nails,” I had never really even taken note of my fingernails beyond a quick trim once a week and a slick of clear polish if I could be bothered. On this friend’s advice I ventured into my local nail salon for a Mani-Pedi and after roughly 40 minutes of scrubbing, filing and polishing I came out feeling like a new woman and for the grand total of $30. Marvellous I thought, I could get used to this.
It was a slippery slope from there. As I acclimatised to NYC and all its nuances I began to notice the women around me, perfectly shaped eyebrows, hair so sleek you can see your reflection in it and teeth so white they glow in the dark.
Before I knew it I was spending hours and mega bucks being primped. After a few months I realised my budget could not sustain this level of beautifying. So I consulted my same American friend and was told unequivocally that if I ceased my routine, I could pretty much kiss my fledgling dating efforts goodbye.
At the time I was dating a sweet guy who was never going to be anything serious in my life so I thought, screw it, I’ll ask him.
He looked genuinely surprised to hear of the efforts I went to in terms of maintenance, but then went on to describe his own beauty regimen, which was shockingly similar to mine! Yup, it seems to make it in New York dating, you have to be preened within an inch of your life, no matter your gender, eurgh.