Monday, October 13, 2008

Low-Maintenance Or Dirty?

The Amazing Race didn't give me the same warm-fuzzies last night that I usually get while watching the show. Several moments made me particularly uncomfortable, particularly the marching band and the wrestling scenes. Normally, the show does a decent job of finding something unique to the location and presenting it in the most positive light possible. Last night I thought they made the locals look like asses. Really? The coolest thing you can come up with in La Paz is to perform staged wrestling moves? How sad.

But I was already irritated from a scene that occurred early in the show. The contestants reached Bolivia before dawn, and without proper accommodations, they were asked to camp in a plaza next to a statue of Simon Bolivar. As soon as the sun rose, the campers began their morning rituals.

I was shocked. Here they were in a public square treating it as if they were in their own bedrooms. Men were shaving with electric razors, while women were applying full-on war paint. Foundation, mascara, several colors of eyeshadow, the works. I know they're going to be on television so perhaps they want to add a little color, but I found this ridiculous. "You're traveling around the globe as fast as you can. You're sweating bullets, sleeping very little, and arguing with your partner for all the world to see. Will makeup really help?"

But then I started to get a bit more realistic. In humid weather, my crazy curly hair harkens back to Halloween costumes unless I employ the help of a little hair gel. I love the smell of vanilla, and even when I'm camping I like to have that dab of lotion to make me feel a bit softer, a bit girlier. I don't travel with a lot of jewelry, but I do wear earrings and a watch daily and sometimes a small bracelet.

I could do without the jewelry--except for my rings and a watch--and the vanilla lotion. The hair gel? I'm not sure I can give that up, for fear of scaring children. My question to you is this: when you're on a long trip and you're trying to pack light, what are those non-essential things that you still pack just so you can feel like you?


Michelle said...

We were watching the episode and I said, "Is that girl darkening her beauty mark???" I thought the center-of-the-city beautifying was pretty strange, too.

And I understand the curl issues! I can't leave home for any length of time without something to make it better. I also feel really weird without at least some small earrings on, and lip balm. The lip balm is pretty crucial.

julie said...

Hmm. Good question. I'm not a product person at home--I don't use make-up, I don't even blow dry my hair (even in winter), so I would have found the city center primping bizarre!