I’ve learned I’m a god-damned wuss.
I managed to bench myself this morning while working out – a little extra force on a weak muscle and POW! I’m laying on the couch and whining about getting old. Of course, the only reason I hurt this much is because of the Retro Challenge….
The first morning, I was a whirlwind of kitschy fabulous. I got up at five-thirty in the morning (go me!) and set about my checklist.
1) Make yourself a little pretty for your husband.
Ok, it’s nothing fancy – advice of the day merely suggested putting on a pretty house coat, smoothing your hair, and splashing cold water on your cheeks to ‘wake up’ your complexion. I did it, although the BBHM had already left for work that morning, because I thought it would help set the tone for my day. Incidentally, I also got to skip #’s 2-4 (make coffee, breakfast, and husband’s lunch).
5) Ditch the plastic/appliances.
I had rounded most of it up the night before, putting it all in a plastic bag where it would live for the next month. I was just going to move it to a closet….wait a minute. Where’s the bag? I wandered around the kitchen, padded out to the dining room, into the bedroom. Nothing. Nada. The fuck?
BBHM: Hey, honey! How’s your little experiment going?
Me: Okay. So, um, did you see a plastic bag in the corner of the kitchen?
BBHM: Yeah – I took it out.
Me: Out? Like threw it away out?
BBHM: I’m starting to get the feeling that wasn’t trash.
Me: You are correct, sir (In a gawdawful Ed McMahon voice).
Well, hell. I rather liked my Iced Tea Pot! So long, old friend.
Ok – next up was my workout. Yes: vintage gals were instructed/expected to do exercise in the morning. I found this surprising, but went ahead with it. I did not do the typical workout of the time, just popped in good old Jillian Michaels and whimpered feebly back at the T.V. screen. (“Aww! Are you gonna cry? Huh?” “Yes, Jillian - I am.”) Knowing she couldn’t hear was somehow comforting, because the insults I was spewing at her image were the sort of thing she would have kicked my ass for.
7) Makeup your face.
Having showered and my complexion returned to a shade other than “over-exerted beet face” I studied myself in the mirror.
True to life makeup would have been mascara and lipstick. No mas. No smoky brown shadow? No winged liner? No pop of red at my cheeks? Daytime red lipstick? No foundation?!? I was getting clammy palms just at the thought of this. See – I already do the retro rockabilly thing, but I stick to the fifties (the dresses are so much better looking on me) – where foundation, winged liner and eyeshadow was the norm for daytime.
Oh, what a difference sliding back one decade makes!
I cheated, somewhat. I smeared on tinted moisturizer for the spf factor and had to shade my lids with a skin tone eyeshadow (I have veiny eyelids. I’m a ginger – what do you expect?) Light coat of mascara, muted red lipstick. Although I never took a ton of time on my makeup – I have it down pat by now – I must say the revised routine took all of thirty-two seconds. Kinda refreshing. Other than the fact I think I look weird as hell like this.
On to the errands!
Ordinarily, the lady would have done errands in the afternoon after completing her housework. Living in Phoenix, you know this is the time of day to bury yourself in the comforts of central air because it is balls hot out at that time. Yes, even on the first of May. Therefore, I felt reasonably justified in making this switch.
Seeing as I’ve already crossed over to the dark side (many thanks to She Rides a Bike for showing me it is possible in Phoenix), the fact old girl likely did all this via human power (her hubby took the car to work, don’t you know?) wasn’t as daunting as it could have been. I climbed on my sexy, sexy bike and set out.
Damn the city of Mesa for their ridiculous bike paths that just terminate in the middle of a route, and damn them for construction that never does a thing. A seven mile trip turned into a three hour endurance trial. At least I got some pretty material for a pretty dress (more on that to come).
Back home, I began the cleaning ritual. Sweeping, vacuuming, washing dishes by hand and drying them….
By five in the evening I was still laden with chores and I was beat to hell. I was also starving, but I couldn’t eat because ladies didn’t snack. I called Grandma Blue:
GB: Hi, love! (her British accent is just adorable!)
Me: Grandma – I’m sorry!
Me: I’m not even finished with the first day of my experiment, and I’m exhausted and starving! How were you not worshipped like a goddess? This is awful! How did you do it all? Really – what happens when I try this in heels?! I’m going to die!
GB: (holding back laughter): Did you scrub the floors by hand?
GB: Remember, we also had to beat the mattresses and rugs once a week. Don’t forget to do that. We also didn’t sit down until our men got home, because it was a sign of laziness. (I think she’s laying it on thick to mess with me. Please let that be true)
GB: You’re starving? You’re not supposed to be starving. Did you skip tea? (I should point out that this is referring to the custom, not the beverage)
Me: I haven’t had tea in ages, Grandma. Besides, women couldn’t snack. You told me that!
GB: I know, but it wasn’t considered a snack. It was considered a proper meal.
Whoops. So – the meal was there to keep me fueled and prevent me overeating at dinner. Good to know. I won’t be skipping that in the future.
By the time the BBHM got home, I was so excited to see him. Granted, I think most of my enthusiasm was because I could just sit down. Oh, was it glorious.