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OK, OK, I admit it. I’m high-maintenance.

I may look like your average Minnesota blonde in cutoffs and a sweater, with tousled hair and tan legs, but you know what? It’s not exactly an organic “I woke up like this” situation.

I fought it for a long time. “Oh, I’m, like, totally low-maintenance,” I’d say. “I can pack a bag in five minutes. I don’t need anything but some mascara.”

It’s a lie. I can pack a bag in five minutes, of course, and it takes me approximately six minutes to get ready to face the day. But it’s a highly calculated method of beautifying, thanks to a handful of treatments I get done on the reg to present a pretty face to the world. I have no qualms admitting that a lot of me is enhanced by what some naysayers might call “fake stuff.” I call it fun, so we’ll agree to disagree.

You see this blonde hair? Well, it was painstakingly highlighted to mimic the shade of North Dakota wheat in August. Maybe the money would be better spent paying off my student loans more aggressively, but at this point I’m resigned to the fact that my personal happiness and sanity are more important than interest rates.

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