FUNNY WOMEN #58: As Seen on TV

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A day in the life of a woman whose life is exactly how all TV ads think it is:

The first thing I do when I wake up is dance-twirl to the kitchen and pour myself a bowl of Special K. I should mention that by “wake up,” I mean I sit up in my bed where I’ve been lying still with my hands folded on my chest, in full makeup, calmly imagining my wedding for seven hours. So anyway, when I’m in the kitchen, I’m smiling and eating Special K and losing weight. I’m doing this thing where two of my meals everyday are cereal. This makes me happy, so I laugh and toss my hair.

After breakfast I’m off to the coffee shop to meet my friend Susan, who isn’t so much my “friend” as a person I feel bad for because she wears glasses. I brought a book with me, which is kind of weird because prose makes me nervous, but Susan’s making us do a book club. Susan and I sit down with our coffee, and I decide to break the news. “I hear that McDonald’s is making lattes now,” I say in a voice that I’m guessing might be what pretension sounds like. It feels like a stretch because I normally just oscillate between joy and PMS, but Susan seems to get where I’m coming from because she’s all snarky with me until she realizes that I’m realizing that we are both totally PSYCHED.

After my coffee date I head home because I don’t have a fulfilling career beyond applying Latisse. One time this man tried to get me to start a career in standalone movie kiosks, but I was like “I don’t know anything about running a business! That’s a man’s game!” and I was busy wearing a cable-knit sweater and, I don’t know, it was all just too much. We cannot have it all.

It’s a little nerve-wracking getting home because I have to sprint from my car to my front door because there are like one to fourteen animate discarded cleaning tools in the yard. When I’m in the door and have activated my seven alarm systems to keep out predators, it’s time for my favorite distraction from the fact that I’m 24 and somehow don’t have a baby yet: cleaning!!! Put me in front of a hard surface, and I will scrub the shit out of it. Nothing gets me off like the touch of porous sponge betwixt my fingertips, though I can’t say for sure because so far in life only inanimate objects and icy-hot gels have been able to get me off. This is what I like to worry about when I’m dusting with the latest iteration of a Swiffer.

After a lunch of delicious lo-cal vegetable water imported from SoCal, I have just enough time for a quick round of trying on pants. The thrill of zipping up my own pants that I bought for myself in my own size gets me every! damn! time!

As I hear the doorbell sound, I jam an electric smelly thing into the wall so that the whole house smells like a pleasingly scented maxi pad. Don’t ask me how they think these things up. Really: don’t ask me, because I’ll probably start crying. Anyway, at the door are my three best girlfriends (NOT Susan). We never seem to have that much to talk about, now that I think about it, but frankly I’m relieved they’re still willing to be my friends after how many times I’ve lied to them about where the smells in my house are coming from.

For dinner it’s a bowl of Special K for one (is this the second time I’ve eaten this goddamn cereal today? I’m feeling lightheaded. Oh right, Special K twice a day! Makes the fatties stay away! That’s a song that I just made up right now. I feel sick.). Afterwards, I’m on the toilet for a solid forty minutes, which I’m relieved to be able to talk about now, thanks to the help of my female-toilet-paper-users support group. All this non-food food takes its toll on the digestive system, if you know what I mean. I hope you know what I mean because that’s as explicit as I am going to be.

After a dessert of frothy powdered chocolate milk, it’s off to the comedy club for my set of strictly diet-related stand-up. “You know when you’re on a liquids-only diet for two days, and you get on the scale and you are only one pound less than you were before you started? And you just take the scale and smash it into the mirror and get in the bathtub and scream for twenty minutes? Ladies, am I right??”  The other comedy gals and I always go out for drinks afterward, when we alternate between warning each other about the potential risks of various types of birth control and dancing vigorously to prove to each other how well our tampons work. That’s the thing about girlfriends: they’re always there for you to compete with, dance with, and secretly openly hate.

At the end of the night I go home, all by my lonesome, although Trojan Brand Condoms and Plan B suggest I do otherwise. And yet, I wash my face alone or with a best friend, laughing and splashing water so zealously that it gets all up in my clogged pores and all over my bathroom. This makes me even happier, because you know why? More cleaning.

Before I get into bed, I apply my bedtime makeup and fix my hair and put on my vibrating stomach harness that guarantees I’ll lose inches off my waist while I sleep–all because I’ll try anything to be beautiful.

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Katie Heaney is a graduate student and writer living in Minneapolis. Her work has also appeared on The Awl and The Hairpin. Follow her mostly food-and UFO-related concerns on Twitter here. More from this author →