Today was errand day. It’s one day a week: Monday. We pack all the errands into that day so that we can avoid leaving the house the rest of the week. By the end of even a moderate Monday errand day I’m exhausted, crabby, and unwilling to tolerate anything. And that’s like two stops.
Today’s Monday errand day included nine stops spread over two cities. It was terrible. A terrible Monday errand day.
You can imagine, then, how I felt about getting home to find that another infuriating thing had gone viral on the Internet. I should have just not gone online. After errand day the only thing I should do is pop open a bottle of wine and cuddle up with my Netflix. But I was waiting to hear back from someone about this art show I’m doing in March, so I just wanted to check.
And so I got mad. Monday errand day mad.
No less than six people on my Facebook profile had shared this picture so vile and awful, I almost fell speechless. On the surface it seems like it’s just supposed to be some funny meme. A funny meme from well over a year ago that a random group of people just happened to pick up on, and has now gone viral. Really, it’s a silly thing to get so mad over. I mean it’s got this bland cartoon of a woman and this quote of supposedly-sage advice “always remember, it’s better to arrive late than to arrive ugly.”
But is it really silly to get mad about this? I would argue this thing raises some serious issues.
Am I The Only One Who Doesn’t Give A Shit About How I Look?
Don’t get me wrong, I still bathe daily and brush my teeth. And sometimes I throw on a little mascara, or put on a cute hair clip. But beyond making sure I don’t look like a homeless person or a drug addict, I basically don’t give a single fuck about how I look.
That goes for what I wear too. 90% of my wardrobe is yoga pants, tank tops, hoodies, and oversized t-shirts.
And why should I live any way other than this? Worrying excessively about how I look is an indication that I care too much about what others think of me. Again, it’s all about the time and place too. Obviously I’m not going to wear my yoga pants that are torn up at the feet to a wedding. Clearly I’ll pick and choose when it’s appropriate to show up with a unibrow (actually it’s never OK to show up with a unibrow). But at the risk of sounding sanctimonious, what kind of an example is refusing to leave the house unless I look perfect setting for my kids?
And plus…I have two kids. Once you have two or more kids, there is a different standard by which all things are judged.
If people are truly comfortable and confident in high heels, pants that need pliers to be zipped up, and 70 layers of pancake makeup, well kudos to them. I’m not sure I believe it, but kudos. That doesn’t change, though, the weird feeling I get when I know there are people out there who will actually refuse to leave the house for any reason at all without them.
Am I The Only One That Thinks Being Late To Apply Mascara Is A Little Narcissistic?
Being late because there was a traffic accident on the freeway? Acceptable.
Being late because your aunt died and your uncle called to give you funeral details as you were walking out the door? Of course this is cool.
Being late because you wanted to finish your morning beauty routine before leaving the house? Well fuck you.
No really. Fuck you.
I have a serious problem with people that show up late. I understand that things come up, and I have been late more times than a lot of people, I’m sure. But I usually have a decent reason, and moreover I always – ALWAYS – send a text or call to say “hey, I’m running late.”
And it has never – NEVER – been because I prioritized my hair products or my lip liner over the respect whomever I’m showing up late to deserves. I mean really: isn’t it a little self-centered to think that your beautification is more important than another person’s time? They can just sit there pulling their pud while you apply false eyelashes?
Am I The Only One Concerned About The Messages We Send To Our Kids?
There are three symbols on the bottom lefthand corner of that dumb meme: a high heeled shoe, a lipstick, and a lipsticked-set-of-lips. Each of those symbols represents one very important idea: hiding who you really are. Making yourself taller. Tinting your lips brighter. Puckering those babies fuller.
Changing something about yourself, and then going a step further and calling an unchanged self “ugly.”
When I read that, over and over again as I scrolled through my Facebook feed and saw all the people that had shared it, I felt the nagging, unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach that comes up when I read something I just know is wrong – like the moral kind of wrong.
But then I Googled the phrase: “Always remember, it’s better to arrive late than to arrive ugly,” and tons of alternatives of the meme came up. It’s a colloquialism, something we have adapted as a way of life.
Maybe I’m just being old fashioned, or too hard on a silly joke intended for the sides of make up bags, but this seems to reflect a bigger problem our culture has. That what is on the outside is far more important than all else, and that respect and common courtesy is disposable if you can think of something better to do.
Really, Internet? Yes. Really. At least if you believe what the memes say.