On an average day I take 15 minutes to get ready for work, 25 if I'm washing and drying my (scant) hair.
This was not the schedule I took while getting ready for the opera.
The opera season is over now, but every Saturday before the opera, I would take an entire day relaxing and getting ready, as if I were going to prom. Well, prom, but only if I had to make my prom date Gary promise not to talk to me so I could actually relax instead of getting all worked up with his nonsense.
First, I would spend time relaxing in bed and sleeping as late as possible so I wouldn't fall asleep mid-opera at 9:30, which is evidently my age-enforced bedtime.
Around one I would evaluate my hair and the weather to see what the plan of attack would be. There was the rainy day hair plan and the hot day hair plan and the windy day hair plan. And on top of that, last Saturday the Tiara threw an extra variable into the plan. I wouldn't do anything at one with my hair. I'd just plan.
Then, I would start assembling the components of my ensemble, and select the shoes and bra and jewelry, and lay it out. Then, I would take photographs of all the permutations and decide on the one that looked the best.
After that I'd bathe and commence implementing Stage 1 of the Hair Plan.
I'd stop drinking fluids, because you can't just pop out of the opera and expect to get back to your seat in the middle of someones aria.
Deodorant was applied with a one-hour drying window. Half an hour was devoted to a relaxing face mask. Another half hour was spent measuring, plotting, and plucking the eyebrows.
About an hour before it was time to leave - which was actually four hours before the actual opera was to start - I would start putting on clothing (specifically anything that might muss the hair or touch the makeup).
Then I would begin implementing Stage 2 of the Hair Plan, which frankly would sometimes end with me just brushing my hair out and plastering it back together with hairspray because the weather shifted.
Then, there was the makeup, which incorporated the special Clinique rarely-used foundation and various eye-bag unguents.
After asking Gary how I looked ("Fine!") I would head off to my friend's house, with an extra fifteen minutes to get gas in the car, buy pre-opera picnic food, or duck in to the pharmacy to buy and swig a small bottle of Pepto-Bismol (again, one cannot just leave ones seat, and I wanted to quash any nonsense and rumblings). No chaos. No crisis. No rush.
Finally, after hours of preparation, I would pick up my friend who, I swear to you, would decide what she was wearing minutes before she put it on, which was seconds before she would brush her perfect, thick, weather-independent, straight hair, which was followed by zero seconds applying makeup because she doesn't need it.