- Which hairstyles/products work best for my frizz-prone follicles;
- How to do my makeup so that I don't look like a squinty clown and/or prevent foundation from sliding off of my face;
- Which clothes flatter a 5'2", size 12, slightly large-headed, 36J frame (Did you know they even make a J-cup? Neither did I. At this point I think there's scaffolding in my bra.);
- How to cook a week's worth of edible meals without poring over a cookbook;
- Which undergarments are necessary for which outfits/fabrics (slips? camisoles? shapers?);
- How to accept a compliment graciously (Example: Friend: "Wow, I really like that shirt!" Me: "I got it on sale for three bucks at Marshall's!")
- How to make small talk;
- How to give myself a manicure without using nail clippers, ending up with a monstrously thick coat of glaze on my nails, or strips of unpainted fingernail at the edges;
- Which clothing colors really flatter me, because I can't believe it's just the black, burgundy, dark blue, chocolate brown, and dark pink hanging out in my closet;
- Where to find an attractive office shoe that I can wear for more than 2 hours without swearing, restructuring my day so that I don't have to walk, or contemplate renting a Lark for the day.
- How to diagnose what kind of skin I really have such that I am able to buy effective face products.
- A way to remember to ask for sauce when I drive through Taco Bell (My flavor of choice has been "Hot" since they came out with "Fire." I always go for the "medium" option.);
- How to feed a family of nine on $100 per week (I don't need to do this, but I am impressed that my mother managed it without growing her own food/raising her own livestock.);
- How to iron shirts so that they look like they just came from the dry cleaner, and not from a Kleenex box.
There are more, but I'll stop there, because I'm slightly appalled that I haven't been putting my maternity leave to better use. Truth be told, I've dedicated some of the leave of absence to answering the more superficial of these sweet mysteries of life. Okay, by "dedicating," I mean religiously watching TLC's "What Not to Wear."
Aside: WNTW has provided some helpful tips, like applying a dark shadow applied with a stiff, angled makeup brush instead of stabbing myself in the eye with an eye pencil or, worse yet, using liquid liner. Merciful gods, that saves me from looking like a drunkard attacked my eyelids with a Sharpie. My inability to use eyeliner has always really bothered me because I took about seventeen art courses between high school and college, so you'd think I could develop the skill that most tweens seem to master.
The older I get, though, the more I think these things will elude me.