Types of Women I Could Be, But Am Not

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Photo: LWA/Jay Newman

I could be a woman who works at a cozy coffee shop where the baked goods are actually good. My warm smile would offer my customers a tiny emotional oasis from the bustling “rat race” of their regular lives. I would have only a few tattoos, and they’d be really good ones. I would do that thing with my hair where you sort of roll up a bandana and use it as a headband, but it wouldn’t be lumpy; it would actually look cute. I would have some eccentric crafty hobby — whatever’s less mainstream than cross-stitching. Maybe pastels, or macramé.

I could be a woman who works at an art gallery in Chelsea and looks like a Swiss model. I guess I’d have to stop eating for this one, but it’s okay because I would receive nourishment from other people’s envy. I would only wear leather shorts, in all weather conditions. I would do that thing with my hair where you braid the front along your hairline and look like Hot Heidi. I would have a dog so small, some people would not be able to see it with the naked eye.

I could be a woman who is married. I would live in Manhattan and make my husband take pictures of me for my SoulCycle outfit blog. I would do that thing with my hair where you get a professional blowout once a week and it somehow lasts all week even though you’re constantly working out. I would put almond butter in EVERYTHING.

I could be a woman who works for a nonprofit. I would have frequent dinner parties where everyone stays for hours after dinner, drinking wine and discussing politics in their socks. I would do that thing with my hair where you dye it gray to show that you don’t care about your appearance but also that you can appear young and pretty even with gray hair. I would be frustrated by the inefficiencies of the nonprofit world, but also secure in the certainty that I am doing my small part to make things better. I would own more scarves than shirts.

I could be a woman who lives outside New York City. I would have a house. I would have a vegetable garden and large dogs and no friends. I would only ever use two hands (both poking out of the coziest oversize sweater in existence) to drink out of mugs. I would do that thing with my hair where it naturally curls into a feminine mane that never frizzes, like a pre-season-two-haircut Felicity. I would meditate eight times a day.

I could be a woman with an IUD. I would make appointments with my gynecologist regularly, not just when I think I’m getting a UTI. In fact, my gynecologist, my accountant, my therapist, my primary-care physician, my dentist, my psychiatrist, and my landlord would all describe me as reliable, intelligent, and generally an exemplary young lady. (I wouldn’t need to do anything in particular with my hair because I would have a regular hairstylist who would also describe me this way.)

I could be a woman who works in a restaurant kitchen. I would be thick-skinned and never cry. I would be constantly shouting stuff like “behind you!” and “hot on the left!” and “86 the duck!” I would do that thing with my hair where one side is buzzed and the other side angled down to my chin, which would show the guys in the kitchen that I’m not intimidated by them. I would also have a cool nickname, like “Red.” Or “Ice Heart.”

I could be a woman who owns and uses a blender.

Well, okay. That last one just isn’t realistic.