According to something or other that I read somewhere (or somewhere else) this week, New York hair salons have reported (in another report somewhere) a doubling in the number of male clients seeking colour treatments since the recession hit.
According to the place where they reported this (which was somewhere else altogether) these NY gentlemen are keen to retain just enough grey hair to look distinguished and employable – see George Clooney, for reference – but not so much as to appear completely past it – see a corpse – as they strive to hold on to, or find, employment in troubled times.
As soon as I read this article, in whichever newspaper it was, I was struck like a ten tonne truck carrying packets of ‘No-More-Grey For Men’ might strike one, if it hit one, that this is exactly where I’ve been going wrong in my search for more employment:
I am not looking after my appearance as much as might be wise in these dire economic times.
Indeed, given that it’s now possible to French plait the hairs on my legs, and my eyebrows haven’t seen a pair of tweezers for two years, one might argue that I’m not so much ‘not looking after’ my appearance, as denying all knowledge of its existence.
And, if the New York City gents are to be believed, this ever-so slight laspe in my personal grooming route (my what..?) is not helping my career prospects one bit.
Cue a trip to the Holy Grail of personal appearance improvement and scarily orange-coloured ladies (the beauty hall at John Lewis) and the purchase, dear reader, of a £5 mirror.
That magnifies things.
This, I thought, was pure genius.
At last I could stop squinting at my blurred reflection in the toothpaste-splattered bathroom mirror with the help of nothing but a 20-Watt bulb and blind optimism.
Because now, armed with my £5 recession-busting gorgeousness-enhancer (which magnifies things. TEN TIMES!!) I could find the nearest sunlit spot, see what we’re dealing with here, and start the big clear-up.
If there were any areas of my face or neck or…well, wherever, that needed improvement (like, all of them) I would finally be able to see the culprits, and pull/tweak/squeeze/iron the buggers out.
Hell, by lunchtime I’d be fighting those TV producers and newspaper editors off!!
But it was not to be.
Because four and half nanoseconds after I took my first look at the tenfold magnification of my face I realised that the purchase of my 10x magnification mirror was not, after all, genius.
It was fucking idiotic.
It turns out, as those fiendishly clever readers among you knew already, that if you are past your twentieth birthday, have given birth three times and spend your weekends arguing with your spouse over who should have hung the laundry out, then under a 10x magnification your face looks exactly like the dry, cracked, grimy, hairy arse skin of a geriatric elephant with bum acne.
I don’t have wrinkles, I have canyons.
I don’t have crow’s feet, I have pterodactyl talons.
I don’t have two eyebrows, I have one long, continuous, lush thicket. With wildlife living in it.
I also don’t have a mirror that magnifies things ten times any more. Because that way madness lies.
Instead I have reverted to my toothpaste-splattered bathroom mirror, and that, dear potential employers, will have to do.
I might upgrade to a 40 Watt bulb though. You know, just to keep a check on that thicket…