As someone who aspires to make a living by writing, I pitch a lot of story ideas to various websites–I’ll think of maybe 10 ideas, and be thrilled if the editor likes two or three. I’ve also written quite a few personal/human interest pieces that I’ve submitted to major publications that were met with rejection…which is totally fine! I just don’t like my time to go to waste, so I’ve decided to share these literary rejections with you. Here’s the first! (Submitted to Hearst’s “The Mix” before it was shuttered earlier this summer.)
Almost daily, I take the 9:23 commuter train to work. And almost daily, there’s a woman a few seats in front of me who spends the entire train ride doing her makeup. I am by no means a morning person, but I really don’t feel like 9:23 is painfully early. I always manage to give myself plenty of time to fix my hair and put on my makeup before leaving the house. Unfortunately, many of my travel companions seem to lack these time management skills. I’ve become familiar with some of my fellow commuters who clearly depend on the 25-minute train ride to transform from bedheads to beauty queens. Foundation, powder, eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara are, admittedly, masterfully applied with one hand while the other holds a compact mirror.
It’s one thing to touch up your lipstick, or dab a little concealer on a zit, but it’s another to contour your face on a moving train. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always thought it was worth it to wake up an extra ten minutes early so I can attempt a smoky eye at the comfort of my own vanity table.
This public application of makeup bothers me so irrationally for a couple of reasons. The first is that I value my privacy so much that I can’t imagine putting on makeup while a train car of disgruntled commuters looks on. I have a hard time just letting the salespeople at Sephora show me how to use a kabuki brush in a store full of people, let alone paint while balding businessmen peer over their newspapers at me. For me, makeup is a part of getting ready–in the same category as taking a shower and getting dressed. (All of which I like to do in the privacy of my apartment). Also, isn’t it frustrating to have to pack up a little makeup bag every single morning? What if your mascara wand falls on the germ-covered seat? Or worse–the floor?
The second is that it says something to me about your priorities and time management capabilities. Anyone who knows me will tell you that one of my biggest pet peeves is lateness. While I can appreciate that you’re applying makeup during your commute to save time and not be late to work, I’d appreciate it more if you managed your pre-train ride morning routine a little bit better. As a non-makeup professional who has made a routine of makeup in two minutes (concealer, a few strokes of bronzer, liquid liner, and some mascara), it’s puzzling to me that you would need to spend over twenty minutes putting on makeup for work. Sure, when I go out at night I’ll take a little more time on my makeup, but I keep things pretty clean and simple at the office, as do most of my co-workers.
My point is, there are other ways to manage your time efficiently that doesn’t have to include publicly applying your makeup. Put on your foundation while you wait for your coffee to percolate. Apply lipstick while you’re waiting for your mascara to dry. And please, please paint your nails the night before so I don’t have to breathe in acetone for breakfast.