Our Grandma (the sophisticated one) advised me one day that I should put on make-up and accessorize myself more often. She said that I looked “too plain”, “like an old woman”. What triggered that comment out of her was that, that day I had decided to wear a dramatic traditional necklace to lunch and she approved of the look. I absolutely agreed with her and pitied my husband and his family a little bit for my plain looks, especially when I am in Guwahati because it is part of their culture for a woman to dress up. The culture back in my home is quite different. Just last year, my mother complained that my lipstick was “too red”. I was 32.
A lot of times I blame my laziness for not visiting a ladies’ beauty salon to get a hair cut or get a good body scrub. But it isn’t my laziness, it is simply that I don’t like going to these places and I wouldn’t go if I had a choice. I used to visit a salon two or three times a year to fix my eyebrows but now thanks to the new trend of having thick brows, it has been over a year since I’ve had somebody pluck my eyebrows. My dear husband has helped trim my long hair twice or thrice (after much arguments). I insisted that it didn’t matter how he cut it since it was anyway too hot to let my hair down. It’s always up in a bun or braided.
Believe it or not, I’ve never had a mani-pedi. Never in my life. I cut and clean my nails myself at home and polish them some four times a year. In fact, I just had my own mani-pedi session today. Had my feet soaked in my beloved Beurer foot spa for a good 15 minutes, after which I cut my nails as short as I could. Now my toe tips tingle every time they come in contact with anything. My hands are rough most of the time and pose danger to certain cloth materials. Grandma’s hands and feet are far softer. Yet, I don’t like the feeling of having anything slippery on them. It will get washed off in minutes anyway.
Guests at my home here, when they see the number of aloe plants I keep, ask me, “Do you use it on your hair?” “…. on your skin?”. No, I don’t. I keep the plants to clean the air I breathe. Just that. If a woman enjoys pampering and beautifying herself, hats off to her. It is a very demanding dedication, one I am clearly not born for. Therefore, I try to stay contended by convincing myself that I am more blessed than others. My arrogance and I!! I admit that there are times when I feel under-dressed and even promise myself to learn some make-up tricks (which never happens). Watching the gorgeous women and men in Dubai with beautiful faces and bodies, complimented by fashionable clothes, makes my head spin. But honestly, it is easier to be different in a big city as compared to a small town.
My lack of enthusiasm to dress up doesn’t even have to do with culture actually. I just don’t enjoy doing this stuff. By the way, I don’t dress shabbily. My clothes are fine and ‘plain’ exactly like everything that I own. I am pretty sure there is nothing in the world that can motivate me to put on make-up or go to a salon on regular basis and therefore accessorizing is indeed the best I can do to look less ‘plain’. The necklace that I wore to lunch was no longer around my neck when we got back home. I found it too heavy and removed it as soon as I got out of the car in the home garage. Frankly, I was even feeling a little shy to be wearing such a statement piece.
I do buy earrings and necklaces to wear with my outfits but forget to put them on every time. Whenever I tell my husband that I need some accessories, he tells me, “So that you can gift them away?”. I should probably keep them all in my sight so that I don’t forget. Something to add to my shopping list for the weekend. Thank you, Grandma!