Friday, April 20, 2012

The Rituals of Getting Ready


Since there have been a few complaints about the amount of time it takes me to get ready, I was shocked when I read these statistics. An article in the November 2011 Telegraph reported that men, "Spent 81 minutes a day on personal grooming, including cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, shaving, styling hair and choosing clothes." While women accomplished all of the above in only 75 minutes.

I found this incredibly difficult to believe when I've witnessed the grooming rituals of my two boys ages 23, and 20. I'll never forget when I walked in on my older son a few years ago while he was shaving in the dark. My younger son is usually clean shaven, but he sports a full neck beard in between haircuts. This beard can only be seen from the back of his neck which gives the illusion of a Chia Pet. If it's too much trouble for one to turn on the light, and the other one is not the least bit fazed by unruly neck hair, then I don't think they're going to be concerned about "cleansing, toning and moisturizing."

As for me, I couldn't possibly accomplish all of those tasks in only 75 minutes. The ordeal of shaving my legs takes up almost the entire time alone. After I'm done shaving them in the shower, I have to check for all of the places that I missed. Consequently, no matter how long I wait for my deodorant to dry, I always end up with streaks on my clothes. Sometimes I wonder who is this toddler that I have to keep cleaning up after, and it's me.

The next steps involve bouncing from different mirrors in different lights to help create the natural look. The older I get the longer it takes to pass for presentable. By this time I'm exhausted and have to take a break from the rigors of getting ready.

Though my grandma was fast on her feet and worked until her place of business closed down when she was 85 years old, I take after my mom who didn't exactly shake herself off and run out the door. I would watch with my mouth wide open as my mom would take great care in teasing her red curls, while alternating between spraying , coughing and puffing on her cigarette. This was after she had applied her false eyelashes and flawless makeup.

One day when my brother was waiting for my mom to drop him off at a party, he couldn't imagine what was taking her so long. Then he exclaimed, "I look exactly the same way when I get up in the morning, as I do when I'm going to a wedding." To which my mom calmly looked him over and without missing a beat replied, "You're right, but I wouldn't brag about it."


  1. Great subject, My husband used to take his time getting ready, I on the other hand was a wee bit quicker.
    Loved the bit at then end.


  2. It seems like I'm always waiting for the hubs and he never looks any better when he's finished.

  3. Your mother's comment was funny. And I don't take that long to get ready.

  4. I was slow before I got divorced with two kids. I got really efficient really quickly and stopped caring about a missed spot on my legs. I got some of those razors with the stuff built in so I didn't need shaving cream - and the no-stain deodorant. :)

  5. Loved the posting and am still laughing especially at your mom's comment to your brother.

  6. I love the "brag about it' line! I am super lazy when it comes to appearance. Past a shower, I'm ready in five minutes. But again, that's because I'm lazy.

  7. There's no way men take that long to get ready. My son runs his fingers through his hair after a shower and he's out the door. I was jealous, so I cut my hair off really short. Being a girl, I naturally have to dry it and style it and get it to stick up in all the right places first, which still takes twenty minutes. Grrrr...

  8. Good one, I loved your mom's comment at the end. I try not to spend much time getting ready. But I probably look it too.

  9. Yvonne - You must be pretty quick on your feet to accomplish all that you do! Thanks Yvonne!

    Delores - You are so funny!

    Alex - Most men probably don't. I wish I knew how they came up with those numbers! Thanks Alex!

    Tonja - It's great that you're so efficient! I'm sure that your family appreciates it too!

    Gossip Girl - My mom does come up with the best lines! Thanks GG!

    Libby - I don't think that means you're lazy. You just have very nice skin and are good to go!

    LG - I'm also jealous of how quickly my husband and boys get ready! I'd be a little worried if they took 81 minutes!

    Mary - I'm sure you look great! It's a hard habit to break, so keep doing what works best for you! Thanks Mary!

  10. my husband takes twice as long as i do, even if he isn't taking a shower---i have sped up a lot in my old age

  11. Isn't that so true about the deodorant? I sometimes think I could wait all day to get dressed, and I'd still end up with streaks. I don't get it.

    Your mom's comment cracked me up. :D

  12. I think it might be a toss up around here. I read somewhere that people under thirty are more concerned with their looks than they with being on time. That is why they need to start high school later.

    Your mother's comment made me laugh.

  13. If I'm getting ready to go somewhere special, I'll give myself an hour to do all the extras. And that's the only time I do full make-up anymore. Other than that, I dress, brush, slap on some lipstick and do a bit of smudge liner, a touch of mascara,slip in another pair of earrings, and I'm off in 15 to 30 minutes max.

    My best friend growing up took every bit of 2 hours to ready herself for the public eye. Used to drive me nuts. I never knew anyone, before her, who would wash their hair twice simply because it didn't lay properly. She had more makeup brushes than I owned for painting pictures.

    She lived with me for about 9 months and we had only one bathroom. I became very good and quick with makeup and hair and getting out the door so we could go to work and be there on time.

    My house--I'm the only female--the boys are done in about 45 minutes when they include shaving.

    My mom had lots of droll sayings and looks, too.


  14. Mom's a pip huh! If I could ever get the bathroom alone I'd be able to calculate my time, but i'm always running in and out so it's impossible!

  15. Men spend 81 minutes a day in the bathroom on "personal grooming"?
    Okay, sure, let's call it that.

  16. LOL!! I love that bit at the ending. Yeah, wouldn't be something I'd be proud over...though I will admit to being jealous of how quickly men can get ready!

  17. When you are beautiful it takes time to honor that beauty but as for me, plain jane, I take 15 (no make-up or shaving you see).

    But I still admire you all. Gorgeous ladies!

  18. 50 ft QE - I just read your blog and you are beautiful inside and out! Of course you don't have time for silly things, because you're traveling around the world with your daughter, and teaching her far more important lessons. Thanks for stopping by, and I admire YOU!

    Valerie - I'm also jealous that most men are ready in a flash! Thanks Valerie!

    Al - I think you hit it on the head Al!

    Jen - All that running to find time in the bathroom has to keep you in shape! Mom is a "pip" and she's given me lots of material. She's also the heroine in "S."

    Sia - I also just wear a little makeup except for special occassions, and I'd love to get ready as fast as you do! I'd also be afraid to race your friend! Thanks Sia!

    Yvonne - It's funny, but in many cases starting high school later is probably a good idea!

    Julie - I've tried switching brands, but it seems I have to sacrifice some staining for the prevention of others. Thanks for backing me up Julie!

    Lynn - I'm impressed that you're so speedy! My husband will tell you firsthand that opposites do attract! Julie

  19. I knew the tidbit of info about men taking a few minutes longer than women...
    Ha! Watch them question it... they don't want to hear it and will deny it to the bitter end!

  20. My very pretty daughter, 20 years old, should be able to get ready in 5 minutes. Guess what? It takes her much, MUCH longer than that.

  21. Michelle - I haven't met any men that take longer to get ready than I do, but I'm sure there are some out there!

    Sara - You would think that natural beauties would just be able to bounce out the door, but some people just enjoy taking their time. Thanks for stopping by Sara! Julie

  22. I don't take much time to get make up, straight white hair...I remember my aunt, however, taking hours in the bathroom putting herself together. I couldn't imagine what she had to do in there all that time. No one ever saw her before she shut herself in there, but everything was perfectly in place when she emerged.