The High Maintenance Person’s Guide to Surviving Lockdown


The following tongue-in-cheek advice is offered to assist those who consider themselves high maintenance, i.e., have exacting personal grooming regimes.

First, a confession. I strive to be high maintenance. By way of example, I have had a short ash-blonde, honey-streaked pate (as opposed to patè) for years. Unfortunately, it has not seen a hair salon since June 2021. Scientists say that hair grows approximately 0.5 to 1.7 centimetres per month, and it seems like my rate of hair growth has hit the high end of the scale just to spite me. It is as well that there is a trend for darker roots right now, although one must confess that one’s anticipated root colour has sadly disappointed: somehow, it’s not as brunette as it was in my 20s. So, it’s true – I look like Einstein (with/without the moustache) when I wake up in the morning, and things don’t especially improve as the day goes by. I refuse to colour my own hair: experience has taught me that this is a disaster that calls for immediate hairdresser salvage. So here are my options: a headband, a hat, or a wig.

I’ve ordered a wig. So has my husband. Just for fun we haven’t revealed what our wigs look like to each other. However, I’m nervous about the wig he’s chosen because he’s a self-confessed funny chap. As long as he doesn’t look like Donald Trump, I think we can go out together in public. Or, for that matter, sit together on the couch in private. I was worried he might order a Hitleresque ‘shake-over’ style, but he put me at ease saying that he did not order the matching moustache.

For those who enjoy beautiful long and shapely nails brought by nail salons, I have one word of advice. Polyfilla. You can acquire this at any hardware store that happens to still; be open, or maybe you can get it at the supermarket in the home improvements aisle. Get yourself a great emery board or sandpaper. You are going to need it.

My monthly massages are a fond memory, but because I am a country girl, I have learned how to substitute this pleasure by observing the behaviour of cows. Instead of scratching myself on random fence posts, I have been resting my back against door frames and gyrating up and down and side to side. I predict there may be a baby boom if the young and virile cotton on to this poor substitute for the hands of a skilled masseuse.

Hair removal. Look there’s no way out of it. This is a do-it-yourself job. Do not ask family members for help: relationships will be ruined. Go to the chemist or supermarket and see what’s available. Creams are good if you follow the directions explicitly. I’m not one for reading directions, and I suspect I’m not alone: there’s a few people around here with very red upper lips, and sunburn just doesn’t cut it as an excuse.

The coming months are going to be tough for us high maintenance folk. But for goodness sake, don’t give up! Yes, we are all in this together, but standards must be maintained, and we cannot let ourselves go.

Keep an eye out for our before and after wig pictures in the next few weeks. Should be a hoot!

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