Image care of Lucia Pang http://luciapang.com/
Jun 17, 2014 03:58
by Maggie Kelly
I have this thing about fingernails.
To me, nice nails are non-negotiable. I get my nails clipped, filed, painted and smoothed on almost a weekly basis. It’s an outrageously unnecessary expense, but, well, I have this thing about fingernails.
Last week I was wiggling some freshly done French tips (oh god, I know. What was I thinking? I looked positively bridal) in front of my boyfriend’s face when I realised something. He was going to think I’m the type of girl who has a permanently perfect manicure, when really, I just have a goddamn thing for goddamn fingernails. Feeling slightly panicked, I wondered how long I could, and should, keep up the façade.
Am I living a carefully manicured lie?
I started seeing my now-boyfriend some months ago now and to be honest, it’s all been smooth sailing. Quite literally, as he’s a sailor. One of our first dates was out on his boat and I was positively hysterical – having spent the last decade in Melbourne, I was severely ill equipped to deal with a plein air rendezvous. What about my hair? Do I wear makeup? Shoes? Are thongs okay? Oh god, I will need a pedicure. And a manicure. And a wax – wait, will I be getting in the water? The whole thing came off without a hitch (he swam, I watched and drank three bottles of chardonnay) and all was well. But as the weeks and months roll on, you have to wonder: Have I begun to relax yet?
I had this conversation with my girlfriends the other day, and the results were wild. How long does it really take to truly be ‘yourself’ around your significant other? We cackled over concepts like wearing makeup to bed, sucking in your stomach when the sheets get ripped off, and the big P: When do you poo at a partner’s house?
Funny, yes, and humbling. Do we censor ourselves for a new partner in the hope of becoming a better person, or do we do it because we are scared of how they will judge our true selves? I mean, we all know honesty is the best policy, but does the man of your dreams really need to know you wax your upper lip, or still watch Home and Away, or have a secret ratty dressing gown that should have been burned and disposed of in a chemically sterile environment years ago? * Raises hand *
I think not.
Thanks to the magic of Ashton Kutcher movies and Carrie Bradshaw, I now know that grossness is actually the magic of relationships. At the start, when it’s all sex and longing stares and cute text messages with a blatant overuse of the love-heart-eyes emoticon, it’s a different love. It’s a new, exciting, gut wrenching, fucking scary love. But as the years roll on and your guy discovers your enormous, beige, that-time-of-the-month underwear, or accidentally discovers you’ve been secretly recording Home and Away, or – shock horror! – discovers you do actually defecate like the rest of humanity, a new love emerges. One that doesn’t care that you are occasionally gross, or unattractive, or dorky. Just you.
So whilst I think it’s totally okay to keep some of the baggage below deck for a while, don’t let it stay there forever. He might like Home and Away, and unless he has an affinity for expensive footwear, chances are his trainers smell far worse than your boots. Yep, humans are gross, and we can’t hide it forever.
Romance is NOT dead.