It was an innocent enough question.
“Uh, so what is your age now?” she asked. A light little voice with a Romanian accent.
“I’m 40,” I reply.
“Ah,” she breathes. Now I’m worried. She ever so delicately asks me what skin products I use and what my routine is. She then asks me if I have any products for Mature Skin. I have dry, sensitive skin which is the BEST skin EVER if you want to age prematurely. All I need is a heaping helping of leathery skin from OD’ing on sunbathing and it’s the perfect storm of old lady skin. She’s giving me advice, every so kindly, about taking care of myself; making sure I have the right products; the proper routine and regimen.
Here we go….
I’m laying in the dark with lovely, relaxing Nature Music playing. Little Sister has started the two-part process of covering the greys. My head is now turbaned and I’m getting a variety of lotions and potions applied to my skin. One feels like water, the next feels like Jell-O before it sets. I get a mask and a neck and shoulder massage before my little European friend leaves me alone in the dark while the mask seals on to my skin.
Vanity is not a tolerated characteristic in my family. Look good, yes. “Maintain” yourself? Who do you think you are? My big indulgence is the dye job (sorry Little Sister – “colouring”) but my nails aren’t always done. I give my own manicures and pedicures, mostly in the summer time when they are exposed. LS and I have talked about me going grey, since that’s what my hair has had in mind since I was 19. So I’m starting to think, why fight fate?
But as I lay in the dark I start a conversation….with myself.
“This feels SO good! I really need to do this more often!”
“Really?? You have the time to come down here and get all pampered and primped for most of a day once a month!?”
“But I think it’s good for me! This is the most relaxed I’ve been in a long time!”
“That’s great, but where are your priorities?”
“Well I try to take care of everyone else, why can’t I take a break for me too?”
“Really?! Sounds rather self-indulgent!”
“If a doctor told me I had to take something for my body’s health, I’d do it. What’s so different about my skin?”
“I’m NOT being vain!”
“Sure sounds like it!”
You get the idea. I focus on the babbling brook running through down through the speakers and into my head. So much better than my inner voice.
In my truck on the way home – with a jar of moisturizer beside me, the second chapter of the conversation begins. But it includes the information given to me by my new little friend – the magician who makes me look fresher, if not slightly puffy from spending two hours flat on my back in the middle of the afternoon.
“I’m going to do this! I’m going to start taking care of myself.”
“Of COURSE you are.”
“Well, you know what? She told me it’s easier to start taking care of myself now, than it is in 10 years when things REALLY start to slide.”
“Next you are going to be shooting crap into your face.”
“NO that’s GROSS!”
“Well then you’ll end up with surgery.”
“I don’t want plastic surgery!!”
“Ah! You want a nose job!”
“Well that’s different – it’s a genetic thing!! It’s a brutal nose.”
“And your eyes?”
“Well I’m convinced I’m going to wake up one day and won’t be able to open my eyes – and I can thank my father for that too!!! Freakin’ droopy eyelids! You know WHAT?? I don’t want to CHANGE myself, I just want to TAKE CARE of myself.”
“Sounds like justification to me….”
At this point I turn up the radio and sing, because honestly, how does one end an argument with one’s self?
One books next month’s appointment…..