The Goddess Speaks

By Stephanie Kendrick

Tuesday, May 25, 1999

The slippery slope
of girl stuff

WITH the exception of the time I spend working on a computer, I have trouble sitting still. And actually, it's not all that easy then. I fidget. Constantly. At least I finally have a chair that doesn't squeak. I used to drive my co-workers batty.

I'm also not the most feminine person I know. I dress for my own enjoyment. I almost never wear makeup unless I know I'm going to have my picture taken. (I don't spend too much time looking in mirrors after all, but photos tend to haunt you for a long time.) And my hair is short not out of an attempt to be stylish, but because I can't be bothered.

So I have been somewhat blindsided by a new addiction.

Actually, you can't really call it an addiction yet because I've only done it five times in as many years. But I want more.

I have begun to come up with all sorts of excuses for why I should do it.

It all started with my wedding. Seemed like a silly thing to do even then, but you're supposed to do silly things on your wedding day. (I even had my hair "done" for goodness sake.)

But it turned out to be, well, really kind of wonderful.

I did it again for my best friend's wedding. I mean I was the matron of honor, so I had too.

Then I started doing it before taking a trip. As kind of a pre-vacation, vacation.

But I now find myself wanting to do it for no good reason at all.

I have to face facts. I have fallen for manicures.

They involve my own nails, of course. I'd kill myself with those long acrylic things. And my own nails are so stubby the manicurist usually gives me this "Why do you bother?" kind of look.

I bother because it's forced relaxation. Not to mention a very economical mini massage.

They knead your hands and forearms in the most lovely way. All the way from the elbows to the finger tips. It's all I can do not to whimper.

You see, my hands serve me well for very little thanks. Most people I know could say the same.

I don't wear gloves to garden, clean or do dishes. I'm usually just moving too fast to think about it. I bang on a computer keyboard all day. I haul around all kinds of things that are really too heavy for me because I'd rather pull a muscle than ask for help.

So to go and sit and have someone soak my battered fingers and massage my tired forearms is such a surprisingly pleasant sensation it's tough not to giggle.

Giggling fits at the beauty salon? What next? Am I going to be compelled to redesign my wardrobe around this season's hot color? (Of course, I'd have to find out what it is first.) Or worse: Am I going to start wearing makeup to the gym?

I know many women have manicures on a weekly basis. I even count a couple of them among my friends. They are otherwise normal and level-headed. They open doors for men and take out their own trash. They don't smell like the perfume department at Liberty House.

So maybe this isn't the slippery slope I fear it might be.

Maybe it's OK to indulge in a little frivolous pampering every once and a while.

You think?

Maybe I'll stick with coming up with excuses a little while longer just in case. I have a wedding to go to in September, but I wonder if I can come up with an excuse sooner ...

Stephanie Kendrick is assistant
features editor for the Star-Bulletin.

The Goddess Speaks runs every Tuesday
and is a column by and about women, our strengths, weaknesses,
quirks and quandaries. If you have something to say, write it and
send it to: The Goddess Speaks, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, P.O.
Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802, or send e-mail

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