Growing Pains

Last semester, my roommate and I decided it was time for us to start growing up.

Step 1: shower more. Unfortunately, I’ve found that my age and showering regimen have an inverse relationship — the older I get, the less I shower. This was all fine and dandy while I worked at Cafe Plaid (where most of the workers more than likely haven’t seen a bar of soap in months) and took only literature courses (where most people are grungy, too) and history courses (where no one notices anything). But as The Real World loomed on the horizon, I figured the professional thing to do would be to run a comb through the ol’ mane once in awhile. I planned on being a regular bather and was determined to be able to remember the last time I showered everyday. When I got to Spain, I went to a beauty store and grabbed the cheapest bottles of shampoo and conditioner. After the first few showers, I noticed something going awry. In the hours after my shower, my hair looked fantastic — shiny and tossable, like Pantene Pro-V hair. However, the magic soon wore off, and by mid-afternoon I was back to a grunge even Kurt Cobain would envy. Turns out I bought products for dry, damaged hair, a problem only exacerbated by the fact that conditioner here is uber potent (my first clue should have been the smaller bottle), and most people don’t use it every time they shower. By that time, though, I had almost given up on the showering bit.

Step 2: dress nicer. Even though I intentionally packed nicer clothes — even skirts and dresses — to try to amp up my dress code, I still end up wearing jorts and tie dye or a tank top and Birkenstocks everyday. Spanish women dress really well, which makes me feel even more grungy. More than anything, it just makes me feel like an awkward tween that can’t figure out how to dress well. I keep thinking I’ll just buy nicer clothes here, but 1) I’m too cheap, 2) I end up trying on clothes that are just like the ones I have, and 3) I’m afraid I’ll end up in genie pants. Hopefully immaculately dressed Spanish women will stop intimidating me and start inspiring me.

Step 3: wear makeup. That happened once (unless you count the following two days I sported the leftover mascara). I figure I’ll focus on the showering and see where that leads me.

Looks like I’ve got to leave Never, Neverland for Espana and a good scrub.


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