Monthly Archives: October 2012

One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman . . . and damn is that process expensive!


Here’s a picture of me and my sister, Nancy Botwin. You might notice we look nothing alike:

Shvester 2012
NB on the left, PP on the right

There are reasons biological (random dispersion of genes) and reasons behavioral. To wit: In the morning, I brush my teeth, take a shower, run a brush through my hair, throw on whatever clothes are lying on my floor or near the front of my closet, stick my helmet on my head (no “style” to ruin!), and take off to work (or the local, organic coffee shop) on my bike.

Nancy has never left the house with wet hair. After showering, she blow dries her hair for an hour, with a diffuser, and mousse, and whatever other special ingredients go into the mix. She brushes her teeth at least twice. She flosses. She puts on her makeup. She tries on a few outfits. And then she steps into her “sports car” (which is really not sporty at all, but it’s not a mini-van, and can’t fit all 4 of her kids, so to her is a sports car) and drives to work (or the mall).

Admittedly, in the picture above, I’m about as groomed as I get. Nonetheless, my hair, even here, is a bit greasy (I worked out in the morning and then sprayed on a little dry shampoo–which is nothing like real shampoo–to cover up my sweat), and the fake eyelashes I stuck to my lids quickly, without reading the instructions, are in the process of coming off.

My sister like to tell me that I’m the lowest maintenance woman she’s ever met. She regularly calls me a hippy.

And yet —

This “hippy” spends a pretty penny on waxing, threading, highlighting, pedis, and a few other such woman-becoming procedures because apparently even an academic, feminist, hippy can fall into the trap of buying into that whole feminine mystique thing.

Also, I’m afraid I would terrify people if I walked around in my natural state (as might NB):

Shvester 1989. A true “before” photo.
PP, a sloth, NB