I have no girl skills


For my upcoming birthday, I contemplated getting myself some perfume because I am out of whatever it is I bought a couple years ago. That makes me sound all mysterious and in-the-know, but what I really bought is this Pink stuff from Victoria’s Secret that’s not even technically a perfume but a spray.  It’s really embarrassing.  I don’t even want to show you because it screams fourth-grade gym class.  Ok, here it is.


But I like it.  Because it smells like fruit.  But I’m sadly not in fourth grade anymore.  So, I went to the perfume store in the mall near work.  I was immediately lost.  Because apparently women are not supposed to like really sweety, fruity scents. They’re supposed to like sophisticated things like Coco and Mademoiselle and whatever else, and they’re supposed to apply it to specific places to stimulate the smell and they’re supposed to be able to tell the difference between the different smells.   I gave up and walked out. For my birthday, I’m probably going to buy myself something for the house.

This is just the latest in a tradition of birthday woman-related gaffes.  For my fourteenth birthday, my dad bought me a gold necklace. I cried because what I really had wanted was an atlas (I think I was writing a short story about the state of Georgia at the time and we had really slow internet).  So we went back and returned it and I got my big, thick, life-size National Geographic atlas.

I lost my wedding ring three months after our ceremony.  I still use the atlas today.

For my last birthday, my parents bought me a beautifully thought-out jewelry necklace and ring set because “we want you to remember us when we’re gone”, you know, the usual Russian-guilt type thing.  I returned it for a jewelry set I liked more and I haven’t worn it ever again.

The only jewelry I can wear that I don’t lose is my engagement ring and a necklace that I originally bought at Target but that I loved so much that Mr. B had a copy made in silver for me.

What’s wrong with me?

I never wear makeup except special occasions because it takes too long to put on and it annoys me.  I have no idea what makeup is even right for me; I’ve been using the same routine of powder, eyeshadow, and mascara for over 10 years, which I think I discovered by accident by reading a Cosmo left in someone else’s house once.

This is my daily facial care routine.


This is literally what’s in my purse right now.  My writing notebook, my research book, paint swatches for the guest bedroom, extra pens, my wallet, and chapstick that I never use.


I have no idea how to style my hair correctly to make it look sleek.  I just know that it’s thick and frizzy and I need it out of the way as much as possible for work while still looking semi-human. I have no patience for a haircare routine that’s more than brushing and putting in a ponytail. A couple weeks ago, a friend introduced me to the Chi straightener, which is the best thing ever for frizzy hair and makes you look d glamorous, but I’m too lazy to use it in the mornings, because honestly, it takes 5 minutes to warm up and then you have to use it for 10 minutes and I could just be writing a blog post instead.

Picking out clothes for my shape?  Forget it. I am just godawful and I have no patience for online shopping or real stores.

I am terrible at all of this stuff, and more. I’m not proud of it.  Somewhere along the way, I missed some basic lessons on how to be a woman correctly and every time I see someone apply makeup with expertise, I can only gape at them the way illiterate people must look at readers; they posses a kind of magic that they own for themselves.

I don’t want to stay this way.  I’ve read hundreds of fashion blogs, watched hundreds of makeup tutorials, and collected hundreds of tips on “the right look.” But none of it still really seems applicable to me, so I’m going to declare fashion bankruptcy.

So , for my birthday, I’m going back to shopping for what I know best.

Creepy books about gualgs n’stuff.