Like many modern women, I have a pretty hectic schedule. In the mornings, I style outfits, test recipes and take photos for my weekly blog posts, and my afternoons and evenings are consumed with responding to e-mails (pro tip: use a computer) and keeping up with the latest styles by reading magazines. It’s no wonder that I have to finish my days with at least one bottle of wine in order to silence the voices in my head!
My crazy days mean that every once in a while I have to take a night off to indulge myself. This is an important practice for any fast-living gal, a time to take a deep breath, celebrate your inner beauty and cultivate your graciousness. Here are some of my ideas for summer self-indulgence.
I like to celebrate my inner beauty by doing a pore-refining facemask followed by a home microderm abrasion. I give myself a manicure and a pedicure (peach is in this season!) and do a hot oil treatment on my hair. I also exfoliate my elbows, knees, ankles, palms and nipples and practice different eye makeup looks, and then I apply self-tanning lotion to my entire body, taking care to let it dry completely before finishing off the whole routine with five-hundred crunches and a light round of induced vomiting. It’s so refreshing and relaxing!
An evening of self-indulgence provides a great opportunity to get some culture by watching a classic film. As a bonus, when a guy asks you on a date if you’ve seen any good movies lately, you’ll be able to answer instead of staring at him blankly as if he’s talking about politics!
Cultivating your personal graciousness means always being at the ready with a timely quip or pertinent remark when it comes to the arts. After all, the arts are to women what math is to men! That’s why I make the best of my indulgence downtime—waiting for my nail polish to dry, my self-tanner to set, my double-dose of Valtrex to kick in and stop the endless infernal itching—by perusing an enormous stack of reading.
Here I have eight months’ worth of New Yorkers (they really pile up, even when you skip all the articles about the Middle East), a selection of critically praised literature (books: they’re not just for balancing on your head!), and, of course, the latest issues of Cook’s Illustrated, because, as noted feminist scholar Jerry Hall once observed, a woman should be a cook in the kitchen, a maid in the parlor and a you-know-what in the you-know-where.
Do I actually read all of this material? Who am I, Stephen Hawking? What I do is take one evening every few months to check out the first paragraph of each. Believe it or not, when paired with the following deft conversational tactics, that’s all you need to seem knowledgeable, cultured and above all, gracious:
Guy: Did you read that David Grann piece about William Alexander Morgan?
Me: Isn’t it amazing to think of the setting of that article at the time in which that article is set?
Guy: The Bear Stearns fiasco really exposes the problems with America’s current financial system.
Me: That’s why I keep my savings in a piggy bank shaped like Hello Kitty.
Guy: What did you think of 1Q84?
Me: I preferred the original translation, but it was quaffable.
Guy: I love to grill. I’m a burger expert.
Me: Do you use a panade? Traditionally, it is a moist paste composed of breadcrumbs, milk and seasonings including oregano. Also, I’m not wearing panties.