The floss digs in between your molars and jabs deep into your gums. You struggle trying to pull it out. “I can’t remember the last time I did this,” you say to yourself. You spit, making a crimson line that beads down bowl of the sink. You endure the mint flavor being wrung in and out, into deep cracks you didn’t know existed. As you finish, you grit your teeth in the mirror. There is a slight red spot right in between your two front teeth. You run your tongue across the spot and hope that it will go unnoticed.
You brush and remember to go over your tongue more than usual. You rinse and look up at the mirror to see a tiny black whisker growing out of your neck. You grab the tweezers from your left, and guide the pincers to it. The tweezers click a couple of times awkwardly before you can grasp it and yank it out.
Deodorant goes on extra thick; right down to that spot on your side where there’s still a definite depression that could be considered ‘armpit’ but where you can also faintly feel your topmost ribs. You pull out your comb, and for once in the last month you try to give your hair a definite shape. You realize that it’s slightly too long to get the look you want, so you settle with a simple side part to make it seem like you actually gave it some thought.
You put on an undershirt that is just faintly too tight for you. The crew neck is rough and rubs against your neck every time you turn your head. You dig through your drawer to find black socks. There’s a few sets of gym socks that have holes big enough for individual toes to fit through, and that one pair of massively oversized thermal wool socks you bought a couple of winters ago because your cousin who skis all the time said they would be necessary. The two darkest ones you extract successfully are faintly the same shade of black, but have a different ridged pattern on the calf. You can’t find any perfect matches, so those go on.
You pull your slacks off the hanger that they were folded over. Halfway up the thigh, there is wrinkled line across the leg where they were sitting on the bar of the hanger. You pull the iron out of your closet and plug it in, wondering how long it takes to heat up. You fold out the ironing board, and check the still cold iron.
Your dress shirt comes off the hanger, and it has managed to stay wrinkle free even after being used several times. You are glad you let talkative sales lady at the department store encourage one that was slightly more expensive. You turn around, and feel that the iron is now radiating heat. You hold it horizontally and see that there is no water in the reservoir to make steam. You grab a cup, fill it with water, and spill half of it trying to funnel it into the small opening in the iron.
You lay your slacks out the best you can and run over the wrinkled area several times. Looks good. You make a quick pass up and down the legs. A small unnoticed wrinkle got folded over and permanently pressed into the fabric. You push the sides apart and run over it with the iron, fixing it but accidentally burning the tip of your finger.
You pull on your slacks that now have an awkward warm spot on them, button them up, and then forget you still have to put on and tuck in your shirt. You slip your dress shirt over one arm, then awkwardly twist your other arm around in order to get into the proper arm hole. You unbutton your pants and try to hold them up while you put your shirt down in its place.
The belt goes on. For once, no real issues except one hole makes it too tight and the next one up make it too lose. Your pants fit fine anyways. As you finally get ready to exit the door, you grab your dress shoes that have a slight layer of dust on them, but otherwise look fine. Bending down to tie them, the back of your shirt extracts itself from your pants. After standing you go back and shove your hand down the back of your pants to fix it. All the essentials come with; phone, keys and wallet, along with resume in hand to keep it pristine. The items that normally fit fine in jeans now cause huge bulges in the much more delicate fabric of slacks. They get played with a bit to make them lay down the best they can.
You get into your car and it’s still 30 minutes before the interview starts, but the place is only 10 minutes away at best. You decide to drive there anyways and take your time. Now you’re there and there’s still 15 minutes to go. You wait a bit, adjust your hair in the rear view mirror, and head inside, still early.
You sit down in the chair in the reception room. Suddenly you’re immediately more self conscious. You aren’t normally self conscious, even when you know you’re wearing those jeans that have the small hole right above the back pocket. You should be self conscious, you think. The interviewers are going to be conscious of you after all. You push at the back of your shirt that pulled itself out of your pants slightly once again. You try to avoid making it obvious that your hand is deep in your pants. You end up pulling up your pants slightly to even out everything else.
You try to sit with one leg up on your knee. You notice that your pant leg rides up more than you’d like. You wonder if anyone would notice that your sock ridges don’t actually match. You put both of your feet flat on the ground and lay your hands flat on your thighs. You notice the palms of your hands are definitely warm, and potentially moist. You don’t want to make a mark on your freshly partially iron pants, and instead choose to interweave your fingers.
You look down at the ground to avoid the receptionist’s eyes. You don’t know if she was ever looking at you, but you don’t want to risk starting a conversation with her in fear of forgetting all the things you wanted to say in the interview. The short office carpet has one of those non-descript grey stains on it. You stare at those and repeat in your head all the answers to every possible question they might ask. Finally you hear their name. A door with opaque glass and text silk-screened on opens up and a man in a suit looks at you in the eye.
Entering his office, there is a large office chair that is unnecessarily fancy. Sitting down in it makes an audible squeak of the leather contracting. Finally, the questions start. And you ace them, because you already used up your worrying on things that didn’t matter.