I was born pretty.
(At least by my grandfather’s standards).
He told me so, every time I saw him, and I believed him.
My mother and father were beautiful. A beautiful couple.
They bred well.
My sister is a knock-out.
It’s the genes.
I never much thought I let it define me, but as I get older I wonder if I did, or if I’m letting it influence me now?
Here’s how simple it used to be: wash hair.
Wash my God Damn hair.
Everything else just fell into place.
I had good skin, large blue eyes, good brows, full lips, white teeth, good body proportion, blablahblah…
It ALL worked.
I didn’t own a scale, and I hardly looked in a mirror for more then the time it took to apply mascara.
I concentrated on other objectives, like getting smart, and making money, developing nations, and influencing World leaders.
So, please try to imagine my surprise, when several years ago, my asshole of a father laughed at me while saying,’Hey Cheryl. You’re looking old. That’s a riot.’
Am I you turd???
It was time to take a deep look and Oh My God, what the HELL?
When did this happen?
And, so it began- My journey with ‘Maintenance’.
And it ain’t pretty any more.
Here is my Vanity Truth:
I get my hair colored every 6 weeks. I get it glazed a few times a year. I am BFF’s with my hairdresser ’cause I pay his mortgage.
I bleach my teeth once, or twice a year. So does my daughter. She’s 26. If her teeth get any whiter they will be able to be seen from outer space- or generate global electricity.
I remove hair, daily, from places on my face that should not grow hair. Thank God it’s fascinating.
I am loosing my eyebrows. Seriously. Just two little puffs of hair near the bridge of my nose will be left. I blame this on over-zealous Vietnamese tweezing of which I have been a victim. I use a powder brow filler.
I am loosing my lips. They are getting thinner and dull. I have recently had them ‘plumped’ with filler and upped my lipstick game- sorta like what a clown does. I always loved the circus so what the hell.
I have had the ‘apostrophe’ marks on each side of the nose that fold down around your mouth- filled. I no longer look like I am going to kill someone.
I use Botox. I use it often. If I could just keep a snake in the tub and kiss him every day, I would.
I have gained 30 lbs. since newly married, and no matter how much I exercise, or eat appropriately, I can not seem to loose it DAMN WINE so I have just bought larger clothes. Thank God I have larger money too.
I have youthful sun damage on my face and on my back. Retinal vitamin C serums are now part of my daily routine- like smoking, though I hear there’s a new study that says….
Of course, the boobs (and ass, and tummy) have dropped. Without surgery I don’t see a way around this, and I hate ‘down-time’ so this probably won’t happen, but I can totally imagine the gain if you have the patience for recovery, however, I am considering a breast reduction. I just have to convince my insurance carrier that my boobs, at optimum cup size C (the girls are currently D’ancing’- EeGads!), are a part of our national security policy.
So, where does this leave me? Let’s see…
I am 57 and I’m actually aging.
My mother did this too and I’m still having a hard time forgiving her.
For being mortal.
She was supposed to stay young forever. And she almost did.
‘Your genes aren’t working anymore Mom! WTH? You promised!
No, really. I’m okay with it- because I have to be, or I’ll just end up one of those invisible
people that walk around with their head down, or the woman down the street who looks like
she was ridden hard and put-up wet- KIND OF bad, or my great aunt Gert. (Dear God, not
Gert, I beg of you Jesus) who never met a day she didn’t HATE.
Nope. Not going there.
Instead, I will continue to rev-up the sportscar, put the
top down, tunes up, and drive full-out in a 35mph school zone in front of a police station with
an ambulance on my tail, while I’m re-apllying lipstick and lighting up a cowboy.
Because being upset about aging will have to catch me first before I go away…
And I drive fast.
Join award winning satirist Cheryl Nicholl in her Kingdom at A Pleasant House, as she chronicles the Elegant Decay of Midlife while dancing at Royal Balls in really expensive slippers, traveling the Globe by private carriage, gardening naked at midnight, making the King crazy, and over-stating the obvious. It’s a gift.