I’ve had a rough week. Maybe its been two weeks. My memory is a little fuzzy from fatigue, so I can’t remember exactly how long its been since the Night Stalker returned, just a long time. You see, Elisabeth is teething and Demon Baby has returned, waking several times a night and slowly sucking the life out of me.
I wake up every morning looking wrecked. No amount of makeup in the world can help me. It’s really quite depressing.
I always thought I’d be that mom that everyone hates because she always looks put-together: cute outfit, coiffed hair, bright-eyed. But no. Sadly I’m the hater, not the hatee. Some days I do try to look less zombie-like. Really, I do. If you see me on a regular basis, you may not believe me, but honestly – there are days I dab on the expensive de-puffing eye cream, apply blush to add color to my sallow skin, and swipe mascara over my lashes to perk up my droopy eyes.
It’s all useless – especially the expensive eye cream – but I do it anyway. Definitely not every day, though. Not even most days. Why waste that expensive eye cream?
Maybe you can relate. Maybe you also don’t want to squander your precious beauty products when it will hardly make a dent. Maybe you wonder how to choose which days to put effort into your appearance, and which days to say, “To Hell with it all!”
That’s where the Christian Bale Scale comes in. I determine on a scale of 1-10 the likelihood that I will run into Christian Bale that day, and plan my put-togetherness accordingly. For example, if I know I’m going to be staying on base all day doing errands and taking care of the kiddo and whatnot, that’s a zero; that day doesn’t even make it on the scale. Why would a gorgeous, Oscar-winning Welsh actor be wandering around a small naval air base in Japan? He wouldn’t. So on those days, I don’t bother. The dark circles are out in all their glory, the greasy hair is barely contained in a ponytail.
But maybe it’s a day when I’m headed into Tokyo. Christian Bale could totally be in Tokyo filming something or promoting something or maybe he just really, really likes Japanese food and because he’s a rich and famous actor he can fly to Tokyo to satisfy his cravings. Who knows? Point is, a major international city is a great place to run into the likes of Christian Bale. But I’m a realist, and know that the chances are still slim. So that’s about a 5-6 on my scale: Basic makeup so I don’t look dead, hair unwashed but maybe styled depending on how much time I have in the morning*, and an outfit that doesn’t involve yoga pants.
Now a day I’m traveling by air – that’s an 8 day. Airports are great places to run into celebrities. I mean, who hasn’t run into a celebrity at an airport? I’ve already encountered Pierce Brosnan at LAX, so it’s only a matter of time before I bump into Christian. (Yes, at this point in this post we are on a first name basis.) 8 days include blow-dried hair, full day-makeup (I’m not going clubbing, no need for smokey eyes and over-applied blush), and a cute but comfortable outfit. This is an airport after all, and you should always wear comfortable clothes when traveling, even if you are about to meet Christian Bale.
There are exceptions, of course, when I do glam myself up even if it’s a 0 or 1 day on the Christian Bale Scale. Let’s not forget, I do have a husband and if we’re going on a date, it’s nice to dress up so he doesn’t forget who he married. Actually, almost any evening occasion without the baby is worthy of an extended effort on my appearance. I do really love fashion and it’s nice to wear the good clothes (and shoes and handbags and jewelry) that I’ve invested in. Especially because the baby won’t be there to mess them up. Lastly – Remember that sweet article about how it’s important for moms to be photographed with their kids, even though we moms may be uncomfortable being photographed because the children have stolen our looks? Well it was very poignant and all, but let’s get real. If I know that I’m going to be photographed for some reason, I’m going do my makeup. I’m going to wear a color that flatters me. I’ll wash my hair. Even if I’m not going to see Christian that day!
We tired and haggard moms** with demon babies can’t look good all the time, so I hope this helps you prioritize.
One last note: You don’t have to use Christian Bale*** – you can use anyone of your choosing. So tell me – who would you use for your scale?
*Before you get all grossed out and start judging me for not washing my hair every day, it’s actually better for your hair to not wash it every day. I’m not even making that up. So there.
**Maybe you’re not a mom. Maybe you’re a grad student or an on-call ER doc or maybe you just have insomnia. There could be a lot of reasons you look tired and haggard, and I just want you to know I feel for you.
***No, you don’t have to use Christian Bale, but you’d be crazy not to. Haven’t you ever seen “Newsies”!? He is amazing. Oh, and “Little Women”? Swoon. Really, someone should make a “Little Women” musical and have Christian star as a singing and dancing Laurie. Yes. That. Someone make that happen.