on the intersection between self-worth and personal grooming

Right now, I’m broke. Brokety-broke. Broke-diggity. I mean like, dust in my bank account, holy shit how am I going to pay my half of the mortgage kind of broke.

It’s my own fault—obviously the money fairies didn’t come nibble away at the pile of coins that used to glimmer so charmingly in the middle of one of Wells Fargo’s finest vaults. I had money; I spent money. I neglected to set aside enough of a cushion to get me through the drought I saw coming, but how bad could that drought be? This year it was pretty bad for a whole host of reasons I just backspaced, because my temporary poverty is not very interesting.

What I think is more interesting is the fact that I have let myself fall into this state of benign neglect that I am having really an astonishing amount of difficulty shaking myself out of. It’s a cycle of the type you might call vicious, and it’s starting to feel actually malignant.

I am too poor to leave the house, so I don’t put on real clothes (EVER. Yay, freelancing!), and I don’t fix my hair and I haven’t worn makeup in—well, it’s been a long time. This slides down to the point where I rarely shower, which coincides with the fact that I haven’t looked at myself in the mirror which means that my eyebrows—I can only imagine—are taking up most of the real estate of my forehead and I have a handlebar mustache that does not suit me and my hair has become a bird’s nest in eight different shades (sadly none of them are silver yet) and my fingernails look like they belong to an eight-year-old girl who plays Guerilla Soldiers in her backyard which is not necessarily a bad thing, except that I am a little bit vain about my hands because they are, like Jo’s hair, My One Beauty.

So I feel like a hot mess. Despite the fact that my worth as a human has nothing to do with the state of my eyebrows. There is something about the inability to maintain a personal grooming standard that goes beyond physical attractiveness and strikes right at the heart of my sense of self. And I dislike it.

Unfortunately I am helpless and hopeless at addressing my hot-messitude on my own, because that’s one of the problems I generally throw money at to fix and—well, you know. So I can’t leave the house. And I can’t open up my own home-based escort service to pull in a little extra cash. So I sink lower and lower in my decrepitude but who cares, because my dogs love me even when I look worse than they do after a mud-puddle adventure and E almost never wrinkles his nose or looks away, aghast at what he’s shackled himself to.

I keep swearing that the very first thing I’m going to do when I get a bucket of money is laser my name into the side of the moon. And THEN I am going to spend an ENTIRE DAY at a salon being told I am the most beautiful girl in the world both inside and out, in my soul and over every inch of my skin while they polish me to a high-gloss shine. But since I hate that shit, probably I will just go get my eyebrows fixed and my cuticles weed-wacked and try to pretend this never happened. Come soon, money. Come before someone actually sees me looking like this. I will wait for you in the shower.

  1 comment for “on the intersection between self-worth and personal grooming

  1. February 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I am exactly right there with you. We’ve got a tiny bit of money at the moment, enough so that I’m starting to have reasons to leave the house again, which is gradually forcing me to stop wallowing in my own filth and comb my hair once in a while, but who knows how long that will last?

    Yay, freelancing, indeed.

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