Foray into Beauty

For the past 30 years I have been paying lip service to skin care.  I wash my face 1-2x daily, use moisturizer with SPF 15 on my face and regular moisturizer elsewhere, never sleep in my makeup, and try not to spend too much time in the sun.  But in my 49 years there have been a number of really bad sunburns, poor eating habits, and a general dislike of routine, all of which has contributed to signs of aging.

In general, I don’ t mind looking my age.  However, a few weeks ago I had to make a road trip for work and was spending 8 hours a day in a car for three days.  The trip resulted in a moderate case of sun poisoning that left my skin worse for wear.  All of the sudden I noticed my huge pores, flaky skin, age spots, and wrinkles.  When did I get so decrepit?

In an effort to repair some of the damage, I pulled a sample bottle of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair out of the bottom of a drawer.  My mother had given it to me many years ago and it had been put away and ignored.  Well, that stuff just worked a treat so I looked it up online and discovered it was really expensive.  I don’t like the idea of spending so much for a tiny amount of face serum no matter how well it works.

I went back online and started educating myself about skincare and decided that I am doing way less than I should to have healthy skin.  All the women in my family of the previous several generations were so meticulous about skin care that they had beautiful skin well into their 90’s.  I want to be like them and am now trying to assemble a skin routine to help me get there.  It’s a lot more complicated than I thought.

I ordered some items online and just went to Ulta to get a few essentials to hold me over until my order arrives.  My hair has been bugging me too so I started doing the Curly Girl system with it.  Man, that has made a huge (good) difference!  I am hooked.



The Delivery

This evening I found myself unprepared for dinner when one of the boys came downstairs looking for food.  How do the weekends go by so quickly?  After weighing the relative merits of going shopping, or ordering in, I picked the easy way out.  Only two places deliver to our house.  We could either have lukewarm Chinese or hot pizza, so the latter was the obvious choice.

Dominos pretty much has us on whatever special VIP plan they’ve got.  We are such frequent customers (remember the “unprepared for dinner” statement above?) that I think we probably keep that particular location in business.  They usually send the same driver each time and we’ve gotten to the point where we have some inside jokes together.

Tonight’s delivery featured a heretofore unknown-to-us driver – a slight young lady with a brow piercing and a fair bit of awkwardness.  After signing the ticket and helping her wrestle with our order (teenage boys eat a LOT), I offered her the usual farewell I give to all delivery drivers.  Apparently, my flip “Be safe!” was not something she anticipated because she gave me a look usually reserved for Christians offering unwanted blessings.  As if they had the power to bless anyone, but whatever.

The reason I tell delivery drivers to be safe is because I truly hope they will be.  Our pizza driver has come through rain, snow, sleet, flood, and high winds to bring us pizza.  Sure, they do that for anyone who calls, but my pizza place and I, we’ve bonded.  Ok, I tip pretty well too, but people who drive for a living deserve hazard pay, and very few of them get it.

Maybe I caught her off guard, or maybe she resented my command to stay out of danger when she was very obviously getting into a soon-to-be hurtling death machine made of metal and combustible fuel.  Perhaps she thought I was being condescending because of her age.  At any rate, I’m not sorry I said it because I meant it, every word (all both of them).  ‘Cause here’s how I see it: if they don’t get back safely, then the probability of me continuing to get hot pizza on demand goes down.

Seriously though, I don’t like it when people get hurt, particularly on my behalf.  Oh, and I don’t tip as well for lukewarm food.  Just sayin’.

Like I said, my pizza place and I have bonded.

Time for a Change

I have a love-hate relationship with my hair, but one thing that has been pretty consistent over the past 30 years is that I have kept it long.  It occurred to me recently that the only reason I was keeping it long was so that it would look right for historical reenactment purposes.  Well, I haven’t been doing that nearly as much as I had to, oh say, go to work, or look professional for other reasons.  Hippie-long hair does not lend itself well to what I do for the majority of my life.

The last straw with the long hair came last weekend when I came down for breakfast and my husband joked that I looked like a religious radical.  That tore it.  I made an appointment with my hair stylist with no real plan in mind, just a vague idea that it needed to be shorter.

I thought I would only take off about 4-5 inches and layer it up again.  In the end, when I marked off how much I thought we should take off, it came to around 7 inches.  The stylist said that if I took off 8 inches, it could be donated to wigs for kids.  Sure, go ahead.  After tying it off, it ended up being 9 inches off.

After all was said and done, about 11 inches was cut off the length, and my hair is above my shoulders.  It turned out pretty cute though.  Best of all, hubby likes it!


Oppositional Forces

It’s odd how life has a way of mitigating forces that oppose each other.  There have been some criticisms directed towards me this week from several different directions.  One of which made zero sense whatsoever.  Each criticism has been blunted by multiple indications of support and encouragement.

These opposite forces can be seen everywhere.  From the winter storm that shut down the city for a day, followed by 70 degree temperatures, to a shipping delay that was handled with friendly and expert customer service.  Each negative was mitigated by something that not only erased the issue, but made life in general better all around.

I think that some people do not have a personality that allows them to see the forces of good working so they wallow in misery.  They’re simply toxic, and they spread that toxicity like a disease.  It’s quite sad.  Even sadder, when it is obvious to most observers what the individual is doing, because the person they are hurting the most is themselves.  I feel sorry for them, but I gave up trying to reason with people like that a long time ago. 

In my life, I have spent a lot of time trying to rise above and be the better person.  Letting someone verbally self-destruct might not be strictly in line with that claim, but sometimes one has to walk away and hope that whatever dark thing is possessing them becomes weak from lack of input so that they are better able to see the light of day later. 

And anyway, living well and happily is the easiest way to prove them wrong.  The best way to lead is by example.