I’ve got walking in heels sorted, I am just about able to identify when a bad mood is down to a genuine irritation or when my hormones are playing tricks, and I would say with confidence that I have nailed the art of relationship neurosis (In my many years’ experience of playing the ‘will-he-won’t-he-call-me game, I have learnt that the answer is simply that no, he will not).
But whilst I have got all of those crucial fragments of femininity sorted out, a few other things have fallen behind.
Whilst staring helplessly into the mirror last night, a wave of panic set in as I examined my face.
When I was a teenager I used to comfort myself with the thought that when I was a grown up, my skin would miraculously improve and I would look back and laugh at my teenage visage. And yet now, ten years on, things are actually no better at all. The shine has not gone, the pores have not cleaned up their act, and the less said about the ever changing colour of my cheeks the better.
And, as frustrated as this makes me, I could perhaps have just found a way to live with the situation was I not 13 months and 12 days away from the most scrutinised day of my life – my wedding.
Whilst obviously making me extremely happy, being engaged has also added reams of new additions to my list of fears. Step aside Fear of the Dark and Irrational Worries about a Spider Invasion – I’m going to spend the next year panicking about saying ‘I do’ whilst the registrar looks at his reflection in my forehead.
The expectation that I will walk down the aisle looking like a borderline goddess on the Big Day causes me hourly if not half-hourly panic. “You want to look like yourself but just 100 TIMES BETTER” my friends say, helpfully. That’s all well and good but don’t you think that if I knew how to conjure up that little miracle I would do it every day?
I just don’t know when I’m supposed to have learnt how to do all this stuff. I remember the lesson we were given at school about periods vividly and the one about contraception will stay with me forever (I’ve never been able to look at a courgette the same way since) but ‘How to cleanse/tone/exfoliate/wax/shave/tweeze/moisturise yourself to true happiness’ must have been missed from our syllabus.
But with the fear of bridal embarrassment on the horizon, I have decided to up my game and get better at this big girl thing. I even spent 15 minutes this evening searching for the face mask I splashed out on a couple of weeks ago to start getting my appearance up to scratch. The fact that I couldn’t actually find it made for a rather bad start but I kept the headband I put on in preparation on anyway to make me feel like I was in a spa. Baby steps people, baby steps.
I think that what I need is just a bit of assistance – someone to take a look at my skin, critique my daily regime and send me off on my way to beauty town. Or perhaps to my nearest heavy veil retailer – whichever is cheapest.