Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Your definition of high maintenance is...?

The routine is always the same.

Get out of the shower, grab two towels – one for the body and one for the long hair – and then get dressed. Total time in the bathroom, maybe 15 minutes.

One evening, the routine changed. Once finished with the shower, eyebrows needed plucking, extra Calvin Klein “Euphoria” lotion was smeared on legs, arms and cleavage, and the hair curler set required attention. Total time in the bathroom, at least an hour.

I walked out of the bathroom, dressed to the nines, and my husband says, “Wow! You look great, but you just spent an hour in there. You’re sooooooo high maintenance, Alisha!” His nervous laugh meant he was trying to be semi-funny, but also semi-serious.

I, on the otherhand, found little humor in his comment. Me?! High-maintenance? What?! No way!

I told him if he thought I was high maintenance, he obviously had a skewed idea of the definition. How could one night of spending a couple hours on prepping to look good translate into me being labeled as a high-maintenance chick?

In my viewpoint, someone who is high maintenance is in constant need of attention, is rarely happy with anything substandard and tends to focus on the monetary value of tangible things instead of the overall worth.

It seems everyone has a varying idea of what accurately describes a high-maintenance person, and the divide in definition appears even more obvious from a man's perspective versus a woman's.

Is it greed? What about neediness? Could it be an exaggerated view of self-importance? Or is it just when a woman camps out in the bathroom with her best friends OPI and Redken Guts 10? Can it be when a guy refuses to learn how to cook?

It'd be nice if we all could agree on one concrete definition -- so when the hubby says you're high maintenance, you'll know if it's a good thing or not.


Anonymous said...

- No matter what you do for her, it's never enough

- There's always something she wants

- Once she gets it she enjoys it for about 1 minute, then wants something else

- She's concerned about what everyone else thinks, especially other women

- She compares her life, possessions, etc to every woman she knows

- Everything has to be a big deal, makes mountains out of molehills

- She finds the fault in everything and tell you about it

- If someone has something that she does not have then she is jealous

- If everything does not go just perfect then she throws a fit

- She thinks men should spend their time trying to make her happy

- Making her happy is all but impossible

- She's always looking to upgrade (her car, house, man)

- She's greedy, spoiled, self-centered

- Takes forever to get ready to go anywhere, not just a nice night out

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me as if you are making a mountain out of a mole hill regarding your husband's comment, or are somewhat desperate for material to write about. Perhaps both. Don't be so sensitive. Do what you need to do in the bathroom to get ready for a night out (or whatever) and get on with it. No one is really interested in a blow by blow account of your bathroom regimen. Stop seeing criticism in offhand remarks made by your husband. And your use of the way-over-with term "chick" to describe women is stupid.
I don't even know any men who still use that term when talking of ladies. But maybe it's just a girl thing with you.

Whew-glad-that-is-over said...

Sounds like Anon 10:53 AM stumbled over my ex. :-)

Anonymous said...

As a woman, I was first offended by Anon 10:53's comments. How could someone just wrap women up in such a way... then I realized he's right.. I concede. We can be high-maintenance... even the tomboys in some ways. It's not our fault is our daddy's told us we were princesses and expect the rest of the world to carry that same viewpoint. I try not to be that way, I really do... but I get fussy a lot when I don't get my way... that alone makes me high-maintenance...

Anonymous said...

this is high maintenance, right here:

January 7, 2008 -- YOU'D better have bank if you want to date Maria Bartiromo's foxy rival at CNBC, Erin Burnett. In her list of "Eight Things That Would Impress Me," in next month's Men's Health, the high-maintenance news hottie advises: "Any guy who can plan a trip to an exotic locale, such as Mongolia, Mozambique or Papua New Guinea, would impress me . . .You could unlock my heart by allowing me to dream up my next trip. I love to travel and hope to eventually set foot in 100 countries . . . Family is important to me, so round-trip business-class tickets to Australia and New Zealand for my parents would earn you big points in my book . . . I'd be impressed if you thought to send a yoga instructor to my apartment for private sessions . . . Hiring a personal chef to prepare meals for the few nights a week I am home would be unforgettable . . . A long weekend spa getaway for my sisters and me would be perfection."

Anonymous said...

It appears that some think that high maintenance applies to women but I disagree. Men can be just as difficult to please. Substitute him and he for her and she in the first post, and you have a high maintenance man.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a great blog. Anon 10:53's post made me realize that maybe I am a little high maintenance. Definitely something to think about.....

Anonymous said...

Something tells me that Erin Burnett is going to be a lonely person. With a lot of company perhaps, but lonely.

What should we expect in this me-first self-absorbed culture we live in?

Anonymous said...

High Maintenance=spoiled (or a desire to be spoiled) with no appreciation for what you've gotten.

A high maintenance woman is one a man has to constantly buy material things for to keep her from leaving him aka gold digger

Anonymous said...

To find an accurate definition of a high maintenance woman read this book.

American Epidemic: High Maintenance Women

Anonymous said...

Somebody getting uptight about the term 'chick'. Now THAT's high maintanance!

Anonymous said...

The media and advertisers have made it an "in" thing to be a high maintenance woman. They want women to believe they can "have it all" and deserve nothing but the best and anything less and you are missing out.

Also, most TV and movies show the following....

Woman: Always on the go with her career, marriage, kids, friends, shopping, dining, spa, gosh - how does she do it all???

Man: Poor bum can't even tie his own shoes, gets treated like one of the kids and lives in fear of his wife. God help him if he steps out of line or does anything that might make her the least bit upset! If and when he does he is such an insensitive jerk. She should leave him....she doesn't even need a man!

No doubt the high maintenance women who have managed to climb the corporate ladder in these industries propel these images.

Anonymous said...

Of course there is a solution to this problem, don't give in to the BS. How can you blame anyone for expecting the world from you if you continue to give it to them, and then apologize when you don't. Yeah right, take your ball and go home.

Anonymous said...

All women are high maintenance.

Like my dad said,

Never trust something that bleeds for seven days and doesn't die.

Anonymous said...

Here is the test:

If you have to ask if you are high maintenance, you are high maintenance.

Anonymous said...

High maintenance in a woman can be defined in an instant. The foundation makeup, the lipstick, the hair, that scarf (!), and ... the nails.

And high-maintenance women run the gamut of ages ... 99% of Topcats are high maintenance, just look at them. They are young, and yet ... extremely old.

On the other end of the spectrum are the 'Realtors' ... decked out in Guicci suits, scarf, Mercedes SUV and probably a horse stashed away in some barn (they don't ride, though.)

Oh, and the sorority girls, who can't pass a mirror without pausing (3 minutes, minimum) to check out their perfection.

Geez ... I like the low-maintenance ones. The Dove girls, comfortable in their bodies, minimal makeup, a hiking vest and blue jeans. Hair in a pony tail. Now that is SEXY.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the lucky ones. I have a low-maintenance woman. That doesn't mean she doesn't take care of herself. It just means that she doesn't take forever in the process. And what makes her even sexier is knowing that if something ever happened to me, she could take care of herself. She wouldn't go to pieces without me. Hey, she was taking care of herself before she met me, and she doesn't really rely on me to take care of her now.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Somebody getting uptight about the term 'chick'. Now THAT's high maintanance!"

Perhaps you're talking about me? Nope...sorry...not uptight about it at all. I just think it's a stupid, outdated, and somewhat derogatory term when applied to women instead of fowl.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, most men I know LIKE "high maintenance" women. I should know because I'm the antithesis of high maintenance and I never get any "play" at all. I dress up for work (because I have a job that requires it). If I happen to go to a bar/club after work, you'll catch me on top of my game. If not, I may or may not make the effort depending on the situation, but I don't in any case "play" anything that isn't me in any situation. At home, I am HOME and I am what I am and I make no excuses for it.

Anonymous said...

High maintenance is about physical appearance, first, then has been rewritten to be defined about material and emotional demands as well. If it normally takes you over an hour to get ready to leave the house for work, a date, a jazz concert, a football game... you're high maintenance.

I'd be willing to bet that Richard's nervous comment came from a tiny fear that perhaps Alisha was buying into this female consumerism appearance obsession... after all, he married the 15-minute-get-ready-Alisha. I'll bet that's one of the things he liked about her. He doesn't want her changing, and maybe he's heard her say things or is starting to see a shift in behavior that nags at him a little.

Honestly, this reminds me of Deirdre's post about cleaning out her closet and that ridiculous fashion designer who said she wouldn't be caught DEAD grocery shopping in jeans and a T-shirt. Honestly, when was the last time she did household grocery shopping (not just "stopping in" for milk for coffee), cooked her own dinner (instead of eating out), and carried on middle-class life? It's pretty vain to think you're the center of attention at the store in your outfit.

And high-maintenance women have this same hyper-self-centeredness.

Look, just be neat and clean in appearance and dress appropriately for the venue/occasion. The sexiest thing you can wear is quiet confidence; the most attractive thing you can show others, a kind word.

Anonymous said...

OMG, this is too funny. So many of the moms at my elementary school breeze in with their perfect tennis outfits on, then breeze back out into their perfect Lexus' or BMWers before heading to Southpark to pick up a little something at Nordstrom's with their perfectly botoxed faces and bleached blond hair.
Ugh. Talk about high maintenance.

Anonymous said...

high maintenance usually refers to the fact that something is fake. the anatomy, or the personality. something's done all for show.

the term "chick" takes me back to saved by the bell. sounds like something AC Slater would say. which means like hammer pants, "chick" is best left with that era.