going gray

Soon after every birthday, I take a photo of myself. My 68th birthday was last Tuesday, and here I am, way past the time when I would normally touch up my hair color. I’ve begun to go gray:
I took this photo with a new webcam that I just hooked up so that I can video conference with my grandson, who will soon get, from me, one of those indestructible XO laptops that are no longer available for private purchase. It comes equipped with a webcam. In order to buy one for him, I had to buy one for a child in a 3rd world country.
I went to visit my kindergartener grandson and family last Sunday, and I’m sure that, as a result, I have a few more gray hairs. By the time I left on Tuesday, both my daughter and grandson were seriously sick with sinus infections and the construction of a second floor had begun on their home. After I left, the workers had accidentally put two sizable holes in their first floor ceiling, letting the cold in and further endangering their health. You can read about the fiasco on my daughter’s blog.
I wish I could have stayed to help out. My son-in-law has his hands full. He even had to take time off from work because my daughter now has laryngitis and can’t talk at all. Just imagine how that works out with a chatty 5-year old.
Ah, if only there were such a thing as a Star Trek Transporter.


When she flutters her hands in front of her nose, I know that she needs a Kleenex (well, we use Puffs because they’re softer on her nose). When she taps her teeth, I know that she wants her flosser. When she reaches out with her right hand and opens and closes her fist, I know that she wants her cane.
She doesn’t always use her self-devised sign language, but she’s tending to do it more often — especially when she’s tired. And she seems to be tired more and more. The signs are often there. The words are often not.
On a sunny day last week, when I got into my car to go to the drug store, I flipped down the visor mirror to check for any stray chin hairs that my Tweeze might have missed. No chin hair — but what’s that??? Long white hairs in my eyebrows??? Now there’s a sign. Definitely a sign.
I’m not sleeping well, my reflux is acting up, and that contact dermatitis I get on my elbow every once in a while is itching like crazy. I can’t ignore the signs.
Signs that I need a break. I need a couple of days away from here. And so I’m going to my daughter’s from Sunday to Tuesday. It’s my birthday present to myself.
In two years I’ll be 70. It just doesn’t seem real to me.
Maybe it will seem real when my natural hair color finally grows in. Then I will see the most obvious of all signs — the gray signs of being where I am in life.
Each year, on my birthday, I take a photo of myself. Each year, the signs are more obvious — the drooping jaw, the sagging chin. There won’t be much of the gray hair visible when I take this year’s photo. But next year, there will be no denying that sign of this life fading to pale.
If I were able to live my life at the age I am today in the way I would prefer, I wouldn’t be obsessing so much on my age and what I am losing with each day that passes.
But here I am, watching for signs and missing those times when the only sign I looked for was the one that said “dancing until 2 a.m.”

I tried, and they’re true

I guess I don’t have enough distraction in my life because I seem to spend too much time buying and/or trying new products that look interesting.
Recently I was sent some samples of a skin moisturizer called Theraplex. I was particularly interested in the Emollient, which is supposed to help the kind of skin I have on my feet — winter dry and scaly. So, after getting off as much of the callouses and outer dry skin as I could with my new PedEgg (see below), I slathered on the Theraplex emollient and put on a pair of socks for the night. I ran out of the samples after two nights, but by then, my feet were almost as soft as a baby’s butt.
The one complaint I have about the Emollient is that it makes your feet feel a little tacky to the touch. But putting socks on and letting the moisturizer soak in overnight makes that complaint a very minor one.
I also tried the HydroLotion on both me and my mother. While it did a great job as a protective moisturizer, neither of us liked the way it felt on our faces — too sticky.
The ClearLotion, on the other hand, smoothly soaked right in. When I used it on my 91-year-old mother’s face, my brother (who didn’t know I had done that) commented that she must be feeling very relaxed because she seemed to have fewer wrinkles.
So, thumbs up for the Emollient and ClearLotion. The HydroLotion needs a little more work.
What doesn’t need any work at all is the PedEgg, which, as far as I’m concerned, does exactly what the ads say it will do.
And so does the Samurai Shark. For the first time in memory, every pair of scissors and every knife I own is sharp.

MYRLN’S Monday Meme

Ah….Paris Au Printemps!

Yes, Paris in the Spring…or the springing of Paris…or Paris reslammered.

Yeah…that Paris, the Hilton one, not the worthwhile one.

A friend of the lesser one points out, “It was so cruel what has happened to her. She wasn’t allowed to wax or use a moisturizer. Her skin is so dry right now!” My god, Paris with dry skin! Leg stubble! Returning bikini-line hair! How dreadful! “She’s had an awful five days,” the friend goes on. “She wants to see her friends and have fun. She’s been punished enough already.” Five days without a party? My god…cruel and unusual punishment! California’s Guantanamo!

And well-heeled, high-powered defense attorneys to a person cry out that she’s been singled out only because of her celebrity. Right. And those same attorneys say nothing about how their butter’s breaded by the rich and famous.

But you know what? What happens to Paris Heirhead is not the important story. What is of relevance is the national obsession with her and this event. Every t.v. station covers it incessantly, even cutting in for “breaking news” about it, lest they lose advertising revenue if they ignored it as they should. Newspapers are adorned with the story. They’ve reached tabloid heaven. And why is this obsession important? Because it shows us loud and clear and in no uncertain terms just how shallow America has become. Paris Hilton drives all else out of the news of the day! Paris Hilton!…who’s not worth a rat’s aspersion of our time or interest, yet here we are, dominated by her.

If we asked that friend of hers what the american military death toll is in Iraq, do you suppose we’d hear from the friend that it’s over 3500?

If we asked what help she and her friends have given to the poor, or homeless, or an ailing parent, think we’d hear about any meaningful humane efforts?

If we asked about what’s happening in Darfur, think we’d get a knowledgeable answer?

Of course not. Those events detract from party time. Please…all we’d get is more drivel about “poor Paris.” More petitions to “save her.” More websites crying out on her behalf. Or another fan yelling, “She’s America’s Princess Di!” (Another pitiful obsession inexplicably rampant.) All of it is hard evidence of precisely where we’ve arrived in this country: in the shallows of monumental stupidity.

Oui…pauvre Paris au printemps.

Et pauvre l’Amerique.