Saturday, April 27, 2013

Old Habits Die Prettily

This morning I joined my friend Julie for a girly outing; we went to the nail salon and had manicures and pedicures, and as is always the case when we get together the morning was filled with laughter and gabbing.  She's moving overseas in a couple of months, so this was kind of a "Let's Celebrate Our Respective Exciting New Lives" thing.  We had a blast.

I was originally just going to have a pedicure, but because I don't have to go back to work for another couple of weeks, I opted to do a manicure, too.  Why not?  I deserve a little indulgence now and then, and this was only the second professional pedicure I've ever had in my life.  My first was only within the last couple of years, and Julie went with me that time, too.  And technically it's my first professional manicure, unless you count the one I had by a student when I went on a girl scout trip to MarJon School of Beauty in fourth grade. 

I had the whole shebang on my feet - exfoliation and callous removal and all.  My hands got the whole treatment (which naturally included Julie and I dating ourselves with multiple Madge and Palmolive references). For the color I wanted something springy, but I don't typically go in for pastels so I chose a fun pinky-red called "Bing Cherry." 

You'll just have to trust that my fingernails are done, too.  I couldn't juggle the camera and all my appendages at once.

It cost me more than I ever spend on myself, but whatever.  As another friend pointed out yesterday, I hardly ever spend money on myself.  My hair is done on the cheap by a stylist friend. Any skin treatments I've had are either through the dermo, who's covered by insurance, or through some amazing deal I've stumbled across on Groupon.  I'm pretty sure I've never paid full price for an article of clothing in my life.  And the only reason I don't shop at thrift stores more often is because plus-sized clothing is hard to come by in them.

I decided to do this because, aside from wanting to hang out with Julie, as part of this process I need to start doing nice things for myself.  It started with the Pandora bracelet.  I'm sure some people think, "what's so special about buying yourself a bracelet or getting a pedicure?"  Well, I'll tell you.

It's not entirely true that I never spend money on myself; I've spent plenty of money flying my ass halfway around the world to various Asian destinations (I'm a tad obsessed with our neighbors to the east), but I'm talking about the short-term, day-to-day kind of expenditures. In the past when it came to treating myself for any reason, whether it was passing an important exam, or landing a good freelance gig, or simply making it through the day without killing anyone, I would celebrate with food.  And not just in the sense that most people do when they celebrate.  I'm not talking about getting together with friends to toast an accomplishment and indulging in a few too many mozzarella sticks.  I'm talking about shoving an entire small pizza down my gullet, or digging into a quart of ice cream to "celebrate" whatever it was I felt I'd accomplished that day, which sometimes was just having managed to get up and function.  I'm talking about polishing off a four pound bag of Halloween candy because it was 90% off and the only thing I was celebrating was the good deal I'd gotten on four pounds of candy - only to be filled with remorse later as the headache, indigestion, and guilt and general self-loathing took over.  It's an ugly, ugly way to feel.

I don't have this option anymore.  And as part of this process I have to learn to live without food as a crutch, a reward, or a comforting device.  The surgery was not just a "jerry-rigging of my insides," as one ignorant person put it.  The surgery is a tool to assist me in learning how not to live my life with food as the ultimate reward.  But that doesn't mean I can't still reward myself or treat myself to something nice.  It just means I can't do it with a package of Oreos and a Whopper with cheese. 

So yes, I indulged in a manicure and pedicure.  And I will do it again.  On a regular basis.  The way I see it, that money - and then some - would have been spent on pizza and ice cream and fast food and buffets anyway,  so why not spend it on something that makes me feel pretty, something that makes me feel GOOD about myself AND makes me look nice? I deserve it.

I think Madge would agree.

You're soaking in it!  Better than drowning in a vat of Butter Almond ice cream, now, isn't it?


  1. right on Deedee...I could not agree more

  2. Man, the money I spend on myself rather than food is awesome. :)

  3. As a mom, I have to be super careful to reign in my tendency to reward my kid with food. I reward myself with food so it is natural for me to want to do it to her. But I have to remember that she is 2 years old and doesn't know about bad food relationships yet. This is something that I will be working on in myself and definitely trying to steer my child clear of. Good luck with your rewards!!