“You look tired.”
“No, I just don’t have any make up on.”
Never tell a woman she looks tired, because not only is she always tired, but 9 out of 10 times she probably doesn’t have all of her make-up on. This is what she normally looks like and now you’re making her feel bad about it.
Men never have to look tired. They never have to explain why they look tired. They never have to answer the question, “Are you tired? You look tired.” Unless of course they are actually tired, in which case no one questions them.
I recently had a sty in my eye (more fun to say than to experience). That morning, I woke up and there was this dull pain whenever I blinked. It wasn’t enough pain to call in sick to work, but it was unquestionably annoying. What was going on? My eye was swollen, yes, but was my eye red? No! Mom asked me to send her a picture. I did, but you couldn’t tell in the picture that it was swollen! Oh, frustration. I swear it’s swollen even if you can’t tell, Mom!
I called Boss #1, “Do you know any eye doctors?” “Only on the East Side, and you probably couldn’t get in today. Go to the hospital.” I was raised by doctors so I know better than that. I refuse to wait around in ERs when I can go to a specialist.
I called Boss #2, “Do you know any eye doctors?” She did. She gave me a number, but they didn’t have any openings! How terrible! But! They’re referring me to a doctor in Burbank. Great, wonderful, thank you. Now I’m on the phone with Burbank. Appointment at 1:30.
But it’s 11 now. I’m supposed to be at work. Do I have to go? I can’t put on any make-up, my eye is swollen!
But it’s not a serious pain, so I should go to work.
“You look tired.”
“I know, I don’t have any make up on and there is something wrong with my eye.”
“Why did you come in? Go home.”
I was trying to be responsible! I came in with an infected eye! And you told me I looked tired.
I waited for what felt like forever in the eye doctor’s office without the eye doctor. Was she ever coming in? If I was home my father would have had this taken care of immediately. Again, raised in a medical family means I have no patience. I want help and I want it now. Every time I’m near medical people I feel the need to tell them “My father is a doctor.” As if it’s going to force them to treat me better than every other patient.
Finally she arrived. “You look very tired.” You’re the doctor! You of all people should know I’m not tired! I just don’t have any make up on, because of this eye, that you need to fix right now.
“You have a sty, they’re very common.” You want to know what causes styes? You won’t believe it. Make-up.
“When you don’t properly take off all of your make-up it can clog the ducts along the water line and then this pocket forms underneath your eye…”
First of all, I clean off my make-up every night. I promise. Second, you’ve got to be kidding me. Make-up? Make-up is supposed to help you and now here I am with a stye and getting called tired left and right.
I was given strict instructions to wash my eye 2-3 times a day after applying a warm compress. What does this mean for the next week of my life? I cannot wear make-up.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
I arrive at job #2 for the day.
“You look so tired.”
“I don’t have any make up on.”
Can we all just continue working?
Job #3, I volunteer for a storytelling program (where I also tell stories), but that night I wasn’t picked to tell a story. The producer remarked, “It’s better you didn’t get picked, you look exhausted.”
I KNOW I LOOK TIRED I DON’T HAVE ANY MAKE UP ON THIS IS WHAT I NORMALLY LOOK LIKE.
The week continued this way. At each job someone would remark, “You look tired,” and I would explain, “stye..eye…no make-up.” One woman, after telling me I looked tired, admitted she knew all about the stye, “Oh…make-up, yes.” So then why did you say I looked tired? You should have known.
It’s Friday. Mom texted me, “Can you wear make up yet?” No Mom, not yet.
Because Mom understands. Make-up is about a grand of a love affair as food. I don’t care how much I hate it, I need it. Mom needs it, I need it, women need it. And you can tell me that’s ridiculous, I don’t care. You’ll see a woman walking down the street and she won’t have make-up on and you’ll want to scream at her, “Just a little mascara! It would do you wonders!” (DISCLAIMER: If you’re one of those girls who honestly looks good without make-up, you know who you are and you will not understand anything I say, ever).
Why do you think there’s an entire section to fan magazines dedicated to celebrities without make-up? To prove that everyone needs a little mascara, because how do they look in those pictures? They look tired.
I’ve been sitting here typing away at how horrible it is to think this, but it’s true. However, let me make myself clear: I would never tell a woman she looks tired. I know better than that. I’d tell her to put on some make up.
Then it was the weekend, which meant I could hide in my apartment for two days (as usual). No one could tell me I looked tired, I didn’t have to worry about applying (or not applying) make up. I was a free woman.
Monday again. My eye is mostly healed, but I don’t care. I am going to put on some fucking make-up and probably get another sty.