It’s almost daylight saving time: How are you planning to use the extended hour of sunshine in the evening? By taking a stroll in the park? Painting a landscape? Or — dare to dream — by sipping a martini on the veranda? Or maybe you’ll spend it waking up to the fact that as women we rarely have time for any of those things. With that said, you might be able to squeeze in a few of the following:
1. Work overtime to increase your earnings. You need to make up for the wage gap and for spending half of what you earn on overpriced dry cleaning, razors, personal care products, your new business suit that automatically leans in, and the primal scream therapy you signed up for after your insurance stopped covering birth control. And just kidding about extra pay for working overtime; you’re a woman — working extra is your thing.
2. Cook a gourmet meal that’s vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, ketogenic, and low-carb to meet the needs of your low-maintenance family. It shouldn’t contain any yellow foods (your toddler hates yellow). Use only organic, locally grown ingredients that have flowers that prevent bee colony collapse because saving the planet is your responsibility, too. Prepare it in an iron skillet so no one gets anemic. Make sure it’s low on the glycemic index because if the whole family melts down an hour after dinner, we know who’s cleaning up that mess (see Item 3). Do the dishes. Hit yourself on the head with the skillet. That’s the only way you’re getting to bed early.
3. Engage in some extra emotional labor. Let your husband off the hook for not doing the laundry, emptying the dishwasher, or straining the artisanal yogurt. Tell him it’s not his fault your teenage daughter is angry. Reassure the dog it’s not his fault, either. Sit on the porch and organize the family’s schedule for the next ten years. Sure, you could do that inside, after dark. Emotional labor is a 24/7 job, but the extra sunlight will build up your Vitamin D reserves. You’ll be multitasking!
4. Plan your political campaign. Learn to maintain a smile while discussing nuclear proliferation. Scour the internet for a wardrobe that is highly professional, slightly sexy, and that could have been purchased at a discount department store. Bake cookies and brandish them at a press conference where you shout, “We can have it all!” Go home and binge on the cookies in the back of a dark closet.
5. Run twenty miles and take a dozen step classes. Figure out how to maintain your womanly shape while having the thighs of a ten-year-old boy. When you come up with a plan, please tell me. Please.
6. If you’re a young woman, practice walking in heels, putting on mascara, lipstick, eyeliner, foundation, blush, and shaving and waxing — everywhere. Get used to saying, “I’m so bad at math,” while completing advanced calculus problems and hiding your acceptance to M.I.T. behind the cover of Prom Dress Weekly. Giggle when your father says you look like a princess. When your mother says you’re too young for makeup and that engineers make more than princesses, scream, “You hate me!” Reassure your father, you don’t mean him. Reassure the dog, you don’t mean him, either. Practice taking off your makeup until you can do the whole routine in only a few hours every morning and every night for the rest of your life.
7. If you’re no longer young, dye your hair and have a procedure. Botox, facelift, eyebrow transplant, tummy tuck, lipo, chemical peel, butt lift, grin lift, eyelash transplant — it doesn’t matter which you choose as long as you end up looking half your age. Take estrogen. Change your sweaty sheets. Have that martini — or make it a double — after you realize you’re now not only a victim of sexism but of ageism, too.