Week In The Life Of An Unemployed Beauty Writer
This is a recounting of my past week, recorded as semi-accurately as I could feverishly bang out in my Notes app. Why? I (still) get asked so much about my “job” and what I do — job in quotes because as a self-employed person, AKA selectively employed, AKA unemployed for half the time, no one knows what I do, and neither do I! We’re all in this together! In the interest of dispelling illusions or preconceptions of Success™ that may be broadcasted by certain career arcs of mine, the ground level of making this living of mine often contains little slices of weeks like this.
Also, for an immersive experience (hehe), I’ve compiled a playlist of the songs I’ve had on repeat all week.
Enjoy! x S
Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
Alarm goes off. Hit stop. Look at phone. Check emails — only the spooky ones. Check D8ing apps. Check Twitter. Look at Instagram. Lots of voting stuff. Gotta remember to do that.
OK, I’m up. Wash up. Get dressed and do my face. Delete emails. Respond to one or two that can be done in a sentence or two.
Drag my ass to the subway. It’s a beautiful morning. One of the last warm, sunny days of fall. My kingdom for an M train. Please.
Get off at West 4th, and hunt for coffee. Scurry to G’s apt in Greenwich Village. It’s been a year since we saw each other and she moved to a farm with her husband. It’s so good to catch up. We hug! We cry! We spill our guts! It feels so good!
Get the L back to Williamsburg. Text D, who is leaving the country forever (allegedly), to pick up a computer charger he borrowed and to say goodbye. Stomp over to his apartment on the north side of Williamsburg and have a heartfelt goodbye squeeze. His bank account suddenly bleeps “insufficient funds” and I call him an Uber to JFK. It’s $65. He says he’ll Venmo me when he sorts out his shit. Somehow once again, for the last time, I am saving this man’s life. It’s fitting.
We hug goodbye as Mohammed in a black RAV4 pulls up. We kiss quickly on the lips but not in a sexy way. I think. But also maybe a little bit. I don’t know. My sentimental memory will debate this in the future, I’m sure.
I’m emotional in a Kacey Musgraves Happy and sad at the same time way. I also realize I am so so hungry and swing by Caffe Lilia for a spicy soppressata sandwich. It’s $15. It’s been an emotional Monday! I deserve a little treat!
Go home and polish up a draft for a Harper’s article that’s due today.
A texts me to see what I’m doing and if I wanna get dinner because he doesn’t have plans tonight. I told him I’m not free until midweek. Don’t be annoying!! I tell him, I can’t, I have deadlines. It’s true this time.
Send the draft.
Edit the podcast. Debate cutting out anything I’ve overshared about L. Compromise and bleep out some bits. Upload it to go live tomorrow. Feel OK about it.
Alarm goes off. Hit snooze
Alarm goes off. Snooze.
Why am so so tired? I better not be getting sick again.
Look at phone. Check all the apps. Meh.
So many Election Day things. Lots of lunar eclipse content. Spooky!
Get out of bed. Wash face, teeth, etc. Get dressed and do my face. Debate voting before my errands or after. Decide that if I do it before I can get a little treat before my errands. Hehe.
Walk over to the elementary school that is my polling spot two blocks away and microdose democracy. Takes a mere 10 minutes. They give me a pen and a sticker about it. Hehe.
Walk over to Butler and get an oat milk latte and croissant. It’s bizzy. Casey’s working. Love saying hi to Casey!
Haul ass to midtown for a deskside with a fragrance brand in some hotel lobby cafe. It’s nice. Meet the founder. She has the cutest kiwi accent. I get an earl grey tea and they serve it straight up, no milk. My stomach will not enjoy that but I drink it anyway.
Some other girl who is probably a beauty editor arrives and our sessions overlap. She mentions her boyfriend who is also from New Zealand and how they just spent the last year in Cambridge. Ooh, la la.
I think about the hot kiwi banker I went on a couple dates with two years ago. Maybe I’ll text him…
No, that would be way too weird.
I Uber home (on the PR’s dime, hehe)
There is nothing to eat in this house! I cannot believe that past me would betray future me like this!!!!
I stick some frozen Trader Joe’s sfogliatelle in the oven to eat and in the meanwhile slop some expired tzatziki sauce on an old pita to snack on.
FaceTime with R about the project he’s asked me to work on with him.
My brain feels like mush from FaceTiming for the past however long. Like totally wiped. How. Excited about the project tho!
Pop by Baba Cool to catch up with Z — update him on all the “cryptic Instagram posts” he says I’ve been apparently making. It’s nice to have friends who are invested in your emotional well-being and thrivery and are completely nonjudgmental about whatever you tell them! Even though they’re probably annoyed at a lot of the things you tell them! Friends rule!!
Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
Alarm goes off. Hit off. Look at my notifications. Check Instagram. Check Twitter. Check the romance apps, assess the daily “standouts.” I shan’t be giving any my weekly government ration rose.
I really need to get out of bed.
Wash my teeth, brush my face, do YouTube yoga in the living room, and then say “hey google” to the google and ask it to tell me the news. The news sucks.
Making coffee. Making breakfast — usually expensive non-dairy yogurt from Whole Foods with discount about-to-expire fruit from the bodega. A true high-low breakfast. Pray for a bowel movement.
Put on clothes. Do makeup/hair. X out emails intermittently and save ones I should respond to. I’m not “doing” makeup so much as I am just staring at myself in my LED Riki mirror, imprinting today’s face into my brain like I have that lack of short-term memory thing. Goldfish syndrome. Or I’m just decorating my disassociation. Sometimes being in a body is so weird.
Leave the house for a facial appointment at 2:15. It’s at Bryant Park. I will be late.
Thought I was being clever transferring from the local to the express. On the B or D, underground. It’s moving at a glacial pace. Constantly pausing. Joke’s on me, once again. Why can I never get anywhere on time!!
Everyone on this train can fuck offfdfdssff
Fuck midtown. Why don’t people know how to fucking walk. Get a job!! The hardest thing to do in NYC is just to walk in a straight line, I swear to god.
Someone with more sidewalk rage than me almost gets creamed by a Tesla at an intersection. Rule of thumb as a pedestrian is the last car will always race through the light that’s just changed red. Let ‘em pass.
I get to the facial place. It’s. A. Madhouse. There are so many people people-ing about. It’s somebody’s birthday and they’ve chosen to spend it in the reception area of this membership-based facial franchise.
The receptionist is very gracious despite my being a half hour late and swaps aestheticians for “someone newer” because of the time crunch. I wonder what this means for the fate of my face, knowing I want extractions, but I am grateful. Good extractors are like injectors. You don’t want just anybody doing them, you want someone experienced.
Shawn Mendes wails on the speakers above, Have mercyyyy on me as I’m getting my shit absolutely obliterated (satisfyingly). His voice sounds like pre-distressed denim. Like buying new jeans with holes already in the knees. Designer angst. I think about that one part of the Señorita video with the arms. Hnnghh
Extractions don’t even hurt anymore. I almost fall asleep. You think you can hurt me? I have a Korean mother who’s a middle child. (I am not a masochist.)
My facial is done. The front of my hair looks fucked up from the headband but I look snatched.
I leave and immediately need a treat (coffee, croissant) or my demons will win. I could feel them nearly at bay all day. There are four coffee and croissant places on the corner of 6th Ave and Bryant park. I panic and pick the wrong one and end up at Pret A Manger.
I get home, and I’m meant to call this therapist for a story. Something about gaslighting that I need “expert” quotes for. She doesn’t pick up. Again. I text to see if she’s available to chat. She doesn’t respond. AGAIN. I’m LIVID. Ghosted! By a therapist! ME!
J messages me. He’s a British guy I matched with this week. He tells me (in British) what a “fittie” I am. I love nonsense!!
A texts me asking if we’re still on for tonight. I say “Sure, let’s get soup” because I said three nights ago that I was free tonight to hang out and I hate being a liar. My toxic trait is that I try to streamline all my dates into my food cravings.
A and I went on two dates two years ago and I was confused about him because he is very hot and also a bit odd, which is very much my type, except he was significantly hotter than he was odd, which I don’t know what to do with. He’s been texting me incessantly since we matched on [redacted] a couple weeks ago, maybe because he thinks I’m slutty now. If he wants to find out, he will have to soup me about it. I mean, we both gotta eat.
Dinner is over. He wore a brimmed hat throughout. It matched his outfit, I guess. Kept thinking NO HATS AT NIGHT the entire time. Ironic because he has a full head of hair last I remembered. It’s the LA in him. I’m sure of it.
His phone chimes a reminder to buy oat milk, which I remember I also need to do, so I cheerily suggest an oat milk run to Whole Foods afterward. We go there and pick up our respective milks. He asks if I want to keep hanging out and come by. I say Whaddya mean I have to go home and get this milk in the fridge! He doesn’t kiss me goodnight. Booooo
That’s OK, I kind of just want to go home and paint my nails.
I put on Don’t Be Worrying, Darling, and paint my nails with this magnetic polish that I don’t get the hang of, and the effect isn’t quite there. Meh!
The movie is weirder than I expected so I kind of like it. Gemma Chan is the most beautiful living person in the world and I cannot be convinced otherwise.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Hard Feelings to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.