Home » Pet Peeves & Other Oddities

Say NO To The Dress!

Bargain Shopping

There comes a time in every woman’s life (usually at a young age) when she finds herself having to shop (or wanting to shop) for clothes. For many women, this is an enjoyable and fun experience, for others, not so much.

I was taught at an early age to look for bargains. Of course, I could not really appreciate the quest for bargain savings during my teenage years when I wanted nothing more than to wear only name-brand clothing. But at some point, that bargain mentality found it’s way into my purchasing choices.

When planning for our son’s upcoming wedding at the end of September, I was pleased to remember that I had a nice, taupe long dress that would work perfectly for my “Mother-of-the-groom” big event. I sent a picture of me in the dress to my future daughter-in-law for her thumbs up or down thoughts. She kindly told me it was a pretty dress and would be great.

Of course when I casually mentioned this to my daughter, I was met with a horrified response. ” Oh Mom, you HAVE to buy a new dress for your only son’s wedding!”  Sufficiently guilted, I found myself starting the hunt for the perfect long dress. In between I found myself reading current-day wedding etiquette on what the mother-of-the-groom is “supposed” to wear. It said that I was supposed to match the Mother-of-the-bride. Okay, I can do that I thought.

Because I work full-time and have limited free time, I took my search online (how I do the majority of my shopping these days). I learned that my future daughter-in-law’s mother was wearing a lovely dusty pink long dress with sparkly silver dress accents. Now here’s where things really got interesting.

Buyer Beware!

mother of the groom dress
Simple, yet elegant.

In my google search I found a site that offered almost exclusively wedding attire related clothing, shoes and accessories. The dresses were beautiful and the pricing even better. I was excited to have found this neat site. I poured over dresses and finally came across the perfect dress. The style was simple, yet elegant and the (20+) dress reviews were all positive. The reviews were glowing: ” The dress fit perfectly, I just sent measurements in and it came quickly…definitely will be re-ordering from this store!”  I looked to see what colors were available and if they would match the bride’s mother’s dress? I settled on a beautiful lilac that I thought would compliment her dress. I decided that sending in my measurements was the smart way to order. I very carefully measured myself and sent in the order form. A week or so later the dress arrived. It appeared to be beautifully made. I was excited to try it on.

The Moment Of Truth..Or Should I Say Horror!

As soon as I got home from work, I ran up to my bedroom to try on the dress. I noted that the higher the zipper rose, the tighter the fit became. I felt like I had an antique waist-cincher device on. I had my husband finish zipping the dress. OMG..what have I done! As I looked in the mirror, my heart sank. The dress…on me..was hideous. The first word that came to mind was MATRONLY. The beautifully illustrated ankle-length dress in the picture, grazed my calves. I could breathe, but feared that if I raised my arms to have a Mother-Son dance or dance with my husband, that I could rip out the sides of the dress with the ease of the Incredible Hulk. The only thing that made this whole thing just a bit worse at the moment of the dress try-on..was that I had just lost 20 lbs. and was feeling pretty good about that achievement. The way this dress looked on me made me feel like I needed to add more exercise to my food plan.

Always the kind and loving partner, my husband tried to help. He suggested (I can laugh about it now) that perhaps I could just put in a couple of spandex panels on the sides of the waist. If you are anyone who knows even the tiniest bit about sewing, you are rolling on the floor laughing at that suggestion.

sewing items
Maybe Jeannie Can Do Some Magic

My next thought was to see if my trusted alterations lady, Jeannie could do anything to help this dress drama. Before I tried on the dress, she explained that sometimes when a lining is added to the dress, it makes the dress become too tight. With that, she took her “seam ripper” and sliced one side of the lining. Off I went to try the dress on. Hmm..it was still too snug for my liking. Jeannie tried to be polite and tell me it was such a pretty color & well-made. Fortunately, for me, I had also brought my original (already owned) dress choice with it’s jacket. Granted, it was so old that it still had shoulder pads in the jacket..but geez, I had only worn it twice and it is still a great dress.

Bridesmaids
#DressDrama

When I came out in the second dress, Jeannie gasped and said, “Oh..that’s the Mother-of-the-groom dress, get rid of that lilac thing.” About that time, another of Jeannie’s customers came in to drop off some clothing items for alteration. She commented on my lovely taupe dress and I began to tell her the story of my bargain buy. Jeannie piped in while laughing and said, “Show her the lilac dress.” I brought it out. The woman, with a hint of recognition, said, “Aww, it reminds me of the Bridesmaids movie.” Or was it 27 Dresses? Enough said, right. That clenched my decision.

Allow Me To Share My Observations…

Here’s what I have learned about online retailers. Many of the new online clothing stores offer really cute fashion designs that I don’t always see in local stores. Some of these creative stores (I have learned), are in a different country. I will not generalize about all of these stores, but at least some of them have no clue about how to size their designs to fit American women..and seeing is not believing! The sizing charts cannot always be trusted. It is obvious that some out-of-country clothes designers have not learned the psychology of American sizing.

 

Clues That The Store Is Not In The U.S.

Size chart
Sizing Chart

USD icon
USD Icon

I can always tell that the store is in another country when I see the USD icon in the top toolbar on the website. American stores do not typically display a USD icon on their U.S. store websites. I also learned an expensive lesson because I sent in my exact measurements (rather than ordering from a typical American size) which made my dress a custom one, and as such, non-exchangeable. I learned that a bargain is not always a bargain! So if you decide to take a walk on the wild side to order cute, international clothing, just say NO to the dress!

Just say no C

Ask Your Doctor If ____Is Right For You

Ever Heard That Before?

 

iStock_Rx_Drugs

At the end of a long and exhausting day, I appreciate the opportunity to sit down and “chill” as my kids say. As empty nesters, my husband and I have fallen into a routine of eating our dinner on our TV trays in front of the news and other TV programming. Now I won’t apologize for enjoying my TV time because I have earned and need it. But I will tell you that I am enjoying “regular” TV less and less because I see more pharmacy ads and less of my favorite TV shows. Is it just me? It feels like the majority of commercials that I see are touting a new medication.

Thankfully, our kids gave us a fancy Amazon Fire TV box for Christmas. Admittedly, it is cool and we are still trying to figure it out. We have lots of choices for movies and TV series that frankly, we never knew existed. It has turned out to be the gift that we did not realize that we needed. There is one striking realization that has occurred to us since utilizing this gadget. We have confirmed what we always suspected before, the length of TV shows are very short and commercials occupy the majority of programming time.

It seems that any time I turn on the TV no matter what time of day or night, I land on a commercial..doesn’t matter what station. I rarely turn on the television to find a TV show in progress. And mostly I just see commercials, the majority of which are mostly medication commercials.

About The Meds…

 

handful of pills

Let’s see if any of these ring a bell. Allow me to create a vision for you:

Does That Ring A Bell

 

It was a warm spring night. We arrived at what would prove to be an Eliquis night of fun. The event was both a fundraiser and party to Celebrex a good cause. As we approached the gala, I could smell the fragrant Hyacinths and Humira. We could hear the sounds of old familiar Lyrica being played by the band. They offered dancing and Yaz, even a California Shag for those who could Abilify with ease. Of course after having a drink or two of Xeljanz, I can never resist dancing to certain songs. If I over-do however, I can always count on a sore Latuda the next day. Somehow I always manage to Neulasta until the last song the band plays. Let’s face it, dressing up on occasion and attending such a function has a great Effexor on all of us. And just because I dress up in my fancy attire does not make me an Opdivo. In fact, the Rexulti is just the opposite. I often leave these functions knowing that my participation has helped a good cause, and that’s a feeling that will Neulasta. But a word of caution, on occasion the excessive partying toasts and celebration of a job well-done can lead to a serious case of Tamiflu the next day.

 

Funny dancing pic

My Point?

 

guy asking doctor a question

Where do these drug companies come up with these medication titles? If I am being honest, I am more entertained by the names than the content of the commercials..at least until all of the warnings about the medication start. These commercials are typically emotion-heavy and light on facts. Also, the images frequently confuse me on many of the commercials. My husband & I are still trying to figure out what the heck the two people are doing in two matching bath tubs What is interesting to me is that pharmaceutical ad spend is somewhere in the 4.5 billion dollar range. I am not sure who these commercials are benefiting. Perhaps the corporate lawyers have told their pharmaceutical employers that due to potential liability, they must put these commercial warnings on TV, I am sure that I don’t know.

Have You Listened To These Warnings?

 

Side Effects CartoonR

In reality these medication warnings are scary, particularly if you or someone you know experiences them. But to listen to them being presented in rapid gunfire succession almost makes you wonder if you’re being punked..like who would want to try some of these drugs?

  • May cause depression or If your depression worsens
  • If you experience changes in behavior or have thoughts of suicide..really? Yikes!
  • If you have a high fever; stiff muscles & confusion; uncontrollable muscle movements; chest pain; digestive problems; painful swallowing or joint pain..

Geez, I have to ask myself if maybe the side effects are worse than my original medical issue(s). Or maybe that is the point! These companies are doing us a favor by pointing out that we could have it a lot worse..just look at all of these possible side effects we COULD have if we take their drug.

And of course…the ultimate warning: Taking _______may have an increased risk of stroke or DEATH. Holy Cow…these kinds of warnings just make me want to live with the problem. It kind of sounds like a crap-shoot anyway, might as well err on the side of caution and live.

 

little mouse

Anyway, for all of my Sjoggie-Mates and chronically ill friends out there, we already have most of those symptoms anyway..so we are not looking to increase or exacerbate them.

And Guess What?

These commercials tell us to go ask our physicians if ____________medication is appropriate for us? Again, this is a critical miss for the people who have created these commercials. Because this would assume that our physicians give us enough time to ask questions, which many do not. Patients who are able to ask this kind of question of their physician just annoy the physician. I get it. They have had multiple patients coming in daily asking if the medication that they saw on TV last night would be a good one to try.

Let’s face it…professional patients (defined as patients who have learned how to advocate for themselves and do not experience intimidation from doctors or others for standing up for themselves) know better than to squander their tiny window of appointment time by asking silly TV commercial meds questions.

So what’s a person to do? Avoid these drugs at all costs or live dangerously and take a chance? Or probably the same thing that most of us do anyway (or should)..research any medication before starting to take it. And meanwhile, try to enjoy the fierce pharma barrage of  commercials with the humor that they have earned.

What's The AnswerR

 

In addition to your own sources of medication research, I will add that I have a site that I like to visit to check out medications. The site is called: AskAPatient.com. This site includes medications from A ~ Z and random people’s responses to them (good, bad or the jury is still out). Individuals complete a form about the medication they took or are currently taking and then indicate whether the medication has been helpful or otherwise.

Until Next Time..

When in doubt do your research

 

 

It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time..

There Is NO Substitute For THIN MINT Cookies

It’s almost here! Girl Scout Cookie time. The time when excited Girl Scouts, Brownies and their Moms stand in front of the grocery store at a table selling the globally popular & delicious, Girl Scout Cookies. I think it is safe to say that almost everyone loves Girl Scout Cookies. The Thin Mint Cookies are universally a frequent favorite for most people. I can happily testify that the ultimate way to eat a Thin Mint cookie (or 12) is straight from the freezer. I am not sure how many cookies come in a sleeve, but I am confident that I can blissfully down a whole sleeve within moments…and still want more.

Lasting Memories Of My Brownie/Girl Scout Experience

If you’re a Baby Boomer, it is likely that you had the experience of being either a Daisy, a Brownie, or a Girl Scout (or all three). My Girl Scout journey started as a Brownie at the age of 7 years old. My competitive streak started long before the age of 7, but was well established when my Brownie Troop announced that there would be a contest to see who could sell the most Girl Scout Cookies. I giggled with excitement, because I knew that I could win the contest. And yes, my over-confidence was well established at that time also.

                               Here I Come!

With my exploding enthusiasm, I launched into an all-encompassing sales attack. I made my pitch to every neighbor in sight and even those who were not. Back in that day and time, kids could stay outside until dark and wander all over a wide expanse of their neighborhood territory without fear of abduction. Being the helpful Mom that she is, my Mother took my Girl Scout Cookie sign-up sheet to work with her to solicit orders from her co-workers. Driven with the goal of winning the contest, one forgets that all of those boxes of cookies have to be delivered also.  Yes, delivery is definitely not the fun part of Girl Scout cookie sales.

And The Winner Is..

Well of course it was me. I smiled from ear to ear as my Brownie Leader announced that I had sold 105 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies and as such, was the winner of the wonderful prize of attending Girl Scout Camp For A Day. For days I was beyond excited. Finally, I had arrived at the day before my journey to Camp For A Day.  As I laid in bed contemplating my day of fun the next day, I was giddy and could not close my eyes. In spite of my lack of sleep, I bound out of bed the next morning, ready to ride the bus to our camp destination.

AND..What A Sing-Along Ride It Was

 

As all Daisies, Brownies and Girl Scouts do, we were lead in a rousing repertoire of sing-along tunes. Of course we sang about making new friends and keeping the old while we made hand motions to accompany the song. We belted out every verse of the Wheels On The Bus and of course sweetly sang the spiritual campfire song, Kumbaya. I was as they say, “a happy camper” up to this point. And then it happened. The group started to sing a song that I was unfamiliar with. As anyone who doesn’t know the words does, I mumbled along singing a few random words here or there. But imagine my shock when the entire group came to the last verse. It went like this: ” Now that is the end, the end of my story, story. That is the end, the end of my story story. Everything is (clap once) hunky dory, dory. Child..ren.. of the. Lo’rd.

You may be asking yourself why I had a shocked reaction? Let me explain. As parents throughout time have done, in an effort to simplify the family anatomy discussion, my parents had labeled my female privates with an anatomically incorrect term. You guessed it! The name ‘hunky dory’ was a private family descriptor in my family. I was beyond horrified when the entire bus began to sing about a Hunky Dory. I mean afterall, that was a very private term that was reserved for behind family doors…or so I thought. This began the first part of my unforgettable day at Girl Scout Camp.

Let The Fun Begin

Maybe it was the length of the long bus ride, or perhaps it was the stress of hearing forbidden words being being loudly belted out, but I arrived at the camp with a bladder that was about to burst. But as all organized Girl Scout Troop Leaders do, we were ushered off the bus in an orderly fashion and directed to various parts of the landscape where different activities were taking place.  I think that it is important for me to point out the irony of my situation. Here I was, an eager young Brownie who boldly and persuasively sold several boxes of cookies to win a contest. Yet, upon arrival, I somehow turned into a timid little bunny. Was it the forbidden bus song that threw me into a supreme lack of confidence, so much so that I could not even ask where a restroom was? I had certainly never before been afraid to speak up about..well anything. And then it happened..despite my efforts of restraint, my bladder, in a slow leak attack, won the battle.

Poor Little Introverted Brownie

Once again, I was horrified. I didn’t want to move. I thought if I just stood there like a statue that no one would discover my very graphic secret. Sadly, I watched as all of my fellow Brownies and Girl Scouts happily participated with the day’s events. They squealed with an infectious laughter which beckoned me to join in the fun. But I could not. Various leaders squatted down to softly encourage the timid and shy Brownie to participate, assuring me that I would have fun if I just tried it. But I shook my head no and refused to join. To say I was discouraged would be an understatement. It was more like crushed. I had worked hard for this day. I had dreamed and looked forward to this day.  And here I was, uncomfortably standing in wet pants on the sidelines, unable to enjoy the day that I had worked so hard to earn.

The Bus Ride Home Was A Long One

The bus ride home was probably longer for me than for anyone else. My fellow scouts chattered away about the fun they had, some holding ribbons of distinction. I sat there watching the trees whiz past me, just as quickly as my day of fun had disappeared. When I arrived home, I was met at the bus stop with my Mom and sisters. They excitedly asked me if I had fun. I mumbled that I had, but it was probably evident that something was amiss. I incredulously shared the story of how everyone on the bus began clapping and singing about Hunky Dories. I expected my mom to react with the horror that I had, but she suddenly started laughing. I was confused, this was no laughing matter. I mean it was one thing for a mom to say behind closed doors, or to even whisper, but to deliberately sing loudly about one’s hunky dory was beyond my comprehension. It was at this point in my shell-shocked life that I finally received the correct definition of hunky dory and learned that most folks don’t use hunky dory as a term for their anatomy.

Lasting Lessons And The Girl Scout Legacy

Thankfully the Girl Scouts offered many enjoyable and wholesome learning experiences for me through the years.  But the Girl Scout Legacy which has stood the test of time, is their wonderful contribution of Girl Scout Cookies. Eating Girl Scout cookies as an adult always makes me nostalgic and takes me back to those simpler times. I will never forget my prize-winning day at camp..I guess it can best be summed up in two words..

Hunky Dory

Hair Crisis…The Story Of My Life

Never Satisfied

ironing hair

Once again I am in hair crisis mode. It should be noted that I probably never leave hair crisis mode. That is, no matter what hairstyle I have, I am not happy with it..or at least..not for long. As a junior-high and high-schooler, I had longer hair (like most girls my age). I enjoyed the ability to put it up, pull it back or just let it hang loose. Of course..back in my day..if you wanted your hair straight, you did what every other girl did..you got our your Mother’s iron and ironed your hair on the ironing board. If you were good at it, you didn’t leave a crease around your head  for everyone to see, or worse, burn your hair off. And truly, I don’t think that I obsessed about my hair back then,  as much as I do now in my older age.

Big hair

I used to consider myself somewhat of a free spirit as far as my hairstyles were concerned. I went through my various hair phases. I went through the “big hair” (what were you thinking) phase. I am both horrified and entertained when looking at those pictures from back in the day. Then there was the shaved (beyond Pixie haircut) period. I loved the ease of it. But when your hair is only 1/4″ high, there is not much in the way of maintenance or styling that needs to be done. The reality is that I think that this super short look is very cool, but only on the few women whose size and facial features allow them to fearlessly carry it off . But that didn’t stop me from trying, ya’ll.

short buzz

For many years I just wore a short, blown back haircut. I was and still am about the convenience & ease of a style. But with age comes a lot of head and facial changes that can have a dramatic impact on one’s ability to wear certain hairstyles. What I used to be able to get away with is no longer an option.

Of course I can’t forget the perm phase (or two) I went through. What’s interesting about perms..is that I somehow commit to them thinking that I will end up with a relaxed, tousled style and end up looking like a basketball with hair. It is always accompanied by the stylist’s comment: Wow, you’re hair really holds the perm solution..ya think!

perm

The Lengths That I Go To..

Yes..pun intended. Bangs or no bangs..decisions decisions. What I love about bangs is that they can hide a forehead, keep hair that is close to my face from falling into my face, and in general..can flatter most face shapes. The problem with bangs is that current hairstyles which feature bangs that are attractively feathered or curled, hang at a length that puts them at mid eyelid level. Did I add that I HATE hair hanging in my eyes no matter how cute the hairstyle may be. Going any shorter on the bangs with some of these styles gets a whole different unintended look.

And What About Those Random Non-Conformist Hairs?

old newspaper

You know the ones I am talking about right. At a certain age..we start growing these gray hairs that have a different texture and form from the rest of our hairs. They sometimes resemble thin wire which someone has curled. Seriously it is as if they have a mind of their own. They refuse to conform to style and shape that the rest of the group has decided upon. I can attempt to coax, heat or saturate them with product, only to be left with the same non-compliant behavior.  I am told by my stylist that one of the best ways to tame this acting out is to “color”  or highlight them with hair dye. Of course the coloring and highlighting of one’s hair begins an expensive, non-ending, every 6-8 week cycle of doing hair battle to fight off the inevitable. It gives new meaning to the words: color guard. With one there is honor, with the other, shame.

The Search

I remember a time when I could rock an outfit and the hair to go with it.  I have always considered myself to have  a healthy amount of fashion sense and taste. I did not have to ask anyone what they thought about my hair or outfit of choice (unless a group of girls were just casually sharing with eachother). And then it happened. I started to receive well-intended comments from my daughter or others in reference to a specific clothes choice or hairstyle. Or maybe pointing out that only certain retail stores were well-suited for women at my stage in life. When asking my daughter how she thought I would look with a specific hairstyle I was considering, she would comment,..”Oh no Mom..you’re a little too old to wear that”..or “Women of YOUR age..should never blah blah blah.” What!? Women of MY age! Although I am sure that it was said with an intention to be helpful, it has had a long-lasting (will never go away) impact on my hairstyle & fashion choices.

Google Search>  70 Respectable Yet Modern Hairstyles for Women Over 50

Sadly, I find myself googling ” Best hairstyles for women over 50. “ or “Should older women wear Bangs.” Of course I got the full low-down on us older women. Along with pictures of every aging actress whose still alive. Of course there are the beauty tips that accompany the images, such as this one I found: “Bangs can visually take years off your look–they bring attention to your eyes and keep attention off your neckline, which tends to get saggy and wrinkly even on women with the best plastic surgery.” Or this other tip: ” Play down a wrinkly neck with shoulder length hair .” Apparently it is universally understood that we older women are on a mission to do everything we can to hide or camouflage our multiple facial flaws. I found myself thinking about the fact that few men, with the exception of some fashion-conscious metro-sexual men would care about specific hairstyles for men over 50 (or under 50 for that matter).  I found myself wondering what a man would say to some well-meaning person who told him that after 50 years old, he should never wear a ball cap or a cool graphic Tee shirt. The only response  that I think he would give is either a crude two word response or it’s matching crude gesture. Because men don’t care. Of course I knew this already about my husband. Probably almost every woman anywhere has attempted to help style her man’s hair with a blow dryer or worse..tried to save them a few bucks from having to go to the barber. (Sorry honey…you’re sideburns will grow back). My only shaving grace is that I no longer give him haircuts after that the first one thirty-something years ago. Anyway, my point is that women seem to be the ones who are hyper-focused on vanity and how their hair, etc. looks.  As much as I would like to take myself out of that group, I can’t. Of course I care..whether I want to or not. It’s ingrained into my large pores.

So What’s The Answer

The only thing worse than having a hairstyle that you hate..is getting a new hairstyle and then not being happy with that either. Inevitably, I end up at the same place even if I like it for awhile. Why is it I can’t be satisfied with my hair ever? I wanted it all grown out and decided I had; had too many years of short hair. It was time for a change and so..I decided on a cute, ‘can’t go wrong’ Bob hairstyle. The cut: It’s cute..there is nothing wrong with this style…it’s me. The hair starts to find it’s way to my face or in my eyes. This leads to me pulling a strand on either side of my face back with barrettes. What I like: The hair stays out of my eyes. What I don’t like: Me with two barrettes holding my hair back. Next, I move to headbands (I have them in every texture and color). What I like: The hair stays out of my eyes. What I don’t like: The matronly look of me with a headband on and the two painfully cavernous holes/knots that are created directly behind each ear. If I wear the style as it was cut and intended to be worn, it is necessary for me to heavily spray it with hairspray to hold it in place. The only thing worse than using all of that hairspray is having crunchy, scarecrow hair.  I never dreamed I would be my age and be this conflicted about such a  seemingly insignificant issue. Oh the problems we see.

And The Winner Is..

I don’t know. I am still vacillating between the ‘Throw Your Age To The Wind’ Mid Length Bob With Bangs;  the ‘I’m Old And I Don’t Care’ Disheveled Dirty Bob Without Bangs or the ‘Keep What You’ve Got And Save Your Money’ Bob. What I do know is that what goes around comes around..so if I wait long enough..I’ll be in style again.

What-goes-around-comes-around

 

Once Upon A Plane

Stress Producing

angry-airline-passengers_large

Flying and airports..just thinking about it can cause us stress. So much has changed in the past several years. Once upon a time we didn’t have to worry about security, concern ourselves with the weight of our suitcases or think about how many ounces of liquid we had in our purse. We didn’t choose our shoes based on how easy they are to remove while going through security.

We didn’t choose an airline based on whether we were going to have to pay a baggage fee or not. Of course we felt confident that if we checked our suitcase, it would be waiting for us at the end of our destination in the same condition in which we checked it. We certainly didn’t feel like it was necessary to plan our air travel snacks, because the airlines offered some fairly good options.

Lorna_Doone_cookies

If we were frequent business travelers, or just wanted to splurge to sit in “first class”, we could afford the increased ticket costs to do so. Boy times have changed. Most of us can remember when meals were freely offered, no matter which seats you were sitting in. Now mind you, they weren’t gourmet, but one could always manage to find a bite or two of this or that, enough to hold you until you arrived at your next layover or destination. Gradually, those meals changed to tiny bags of mini pretzels, peanuts or a Lorna Doone shortbread type of cookie if you were lucky. We could at least still count on our signature flared, clear plastic cup with 6 mini ice cubes and the beverage of our choice, and on some airlines, could even snag the whole 12oz. of pop.

For Your Flying Comfort..

movie on plane

 

I can vaguely remember when customer service on any airline was the priority. Yes, airlines were about making money, but they seemed to really care about our comfort, or did I just dream that? I suppose as airline budgets shriveled, so did the idea of passengers as the priority. When taking my first international flight, I remember thinking how cool it was that I could actually watch and listen to a movie on an airplane. Wow. But there just seemed to be something incongruent about the luxury of watching a movie with earphones which left my ears very sore for days afterward. Or listening to only parts and pieces of the movie because of the inevitable static in one of my “free” ear-buds, or the battle to keep them in my ears at all. It wasn’t too bad if you were among the lucky part of the population whose ear canal could accommodate the wide base of the cheapo earphone design. At some point, I had to pay money for the privilege of using those sub-standard ear-buds. And I even thanked them for the opportunity.

cheapo earbuds big ear canal

The Perks Of Flying

Not long ago I had an occasion to fly to a different state for a family wedding. The total trip duration was approximately 3 to 3.5 hours. I didn’t check prior to the flight, but had the expectation that I would likely be served a drink and snack. After arriving at our cruising altitude, I busied myself with my reading material. Periodically, I would look around to see where the flight attendants were & whether the refreshment service had begun yet. And sure enough not long after, I saw the flight attendant come through with a large, gleaming smile and a bag.

I wasn’t quite sure what she was doing until she came a bit closer. I realized that she was moving through the cabin and offering passengers the opportunity to throw away any garbage they might have. Hmm, I thought to myself that this seemed a bit odd since we had not been served yet. I decided that perhaps they did not have time to fully clean the cabin before the passengers embarked on plane for their flight. No worries. I continued to read.

Inflight Bites Anyone?

snacks0615-airplane

Periodically, I would look up and around to see if orders were being taken or how close the attendants were to arriving at my seat. In another half hour or so, here came the smiling attendant, again offering the garbage bag for anyone wishing to donate. This stuck me funny and I thought to myself.. this is really strange, we haven’t been offered any refreshments to generate any trash yet.

punkd-ashton-kutcher

 

On the attendant’s third run through the aisle, I thought that maybe I was being “punked”. Here she came again with her gleaming white toothed smile, graciously offering the refuse bag with her plastic gloves on. I didn’t see any cameras..but what the hell? No cookie or peanuts even?! Truly, it was the most efficient non-service I had ever received on a flight. I wasn’t mad as much as it struck me funny. Why not just ask the passengers to release their seat belts and each clean their own space?!

As the plane door opened upon our arrival, there was our friendly attendant at the door. With her commercial-worthy smile, she thanked us for flying with her and said that they enjoyed having us…really? I’m not used to that kind of hospitality…I’m not sure I believed her. Well at least we were safely brought down (in more ways than one.)

Buh Bye (1)

False Expectations

Let’s be clear. There are no travel frills or extras on a plane ride anymore, unless you can afford to pay for them. We all know where we stand (or sit as it were.) We have now been fully conditioned to expect nothing..not even great customer service. In fact, when we get it, such as a funny joke on Southwest Airlines, it is an unexpected surprise..and the only one we don’t have to pay for.

The Lesson

Plan ahead. Take your own drinks, snacks and sanitary neck pillows. Airlines will, if you are lucky, get you to your destination by the time that is printed on your ticket. Expect delays, expect hassles, expect airline personnel who have previously been beaten down by angry passengers to be totally emotion-less to see you. In the event that these expectations are un-met and you have an enjoyable flight, consider yourself lucky. And thank you for flying the friendly skies. Ya’ll come back now, ya hear!

 

 

Cattle Call At The Mall Ya’ll..

Never Fails

Time for another one of Sandy’s pet peeves. I don’t know what having pet peeves  (or more so writing about them) says about me as a person. Does it say that I’m an impatient person with little tolerance for others? Maybe it indicates that I need to just slow down and relax..or as my kids might say, “be chill”.  Oh well…might as well get it out of my system until next time.

I will apologize for my visual terminology right up front and ask that no one take offense at any resemblance of my imagery.

Mall Cattle

Family shopping in mall
Spread Out In Red Rover Formation

I rarely go to the mall these days, probably because Amazon Prime has become my best friend. But when I do, I can always count on (what I call) the Mall Cattle to appear. What’s that you ask? People. It’s not just any “people”. It is the group(s) or cluster of people who have all of the time in the world. They are not in a rush. They trod along like cattle making their way to the food trough. But unlike cattle they move in a horizontal line (similar to the one we created when playing ‘Red Rover Red Rover’ at recess in grade school). That is, they spread out making a human-like fence that extends almost the entire width of the mall isle, oblivious to the lone person(s) trying to squeeze between them to get by. The occasional cattle call is not a problem, but at holiday time, with large crowds…more cow bell.

The Mall Stall

Mall Stall
Mall Stall In Multiple Areas

Of course the only thing worse than the slow moving cattle group shuffle, is what I call the Mall Stall. A Mall Stall occurs when one or more people in the group stop while the group attempts to make a decision of some sort. Unsure of the choice that needs to be made, a dialogue of the merits or other considerations is had right then and there regardless of the rude traffic jam it causes to others in the vicinity.

The Mall Tech Check

Mall Tech Check
Better Answer This

Common to both individual and group cattle is the Mall Tech Check where everything must stop for one or more members to check their with-body tech devices. This check is not limited to a read-only viewing. It may include multiple messages and may involve rapid text messaging responses that can’t wait until mall business is finished. Further, this frequent tech check removes the viewer from his/her reality of all space and time, much the same as a Mall Stall in which others may be unable to pass within the same mall isle vicinity. Mall Tech Checks are made frequently and by multiple offenders.

The Mall Meet & Greet

groups of people
Meet & Greet

Also known as the Mall Reunion, this event takes place when one group of cattle unexpectedly shuffle into the path of another known cattle group and gridlock happens. All cattle begin to greet each other and chew the cud regardless of how jammed up the area becomes. This often happens on Friday or Saturday nights when the calves have been allowed to leave their home for mall grazing.

The Mall Selfie Stop

Better Take A Selfie

I can’t forget the unexpected Mall Selfie Stops. Cell phone makers have ensured that everyone with a cell phone now has the ability to take a “selfie”. This selfie activity is popular no matter where one goes, including the mall. This event typically occurs when one, two or a few find themselves in what they perceive as an impromptu mall photo op and are urgently driven to upload the image to social media. This behavior can lead to sudden stops and potential collisions.

The Mall Walkers

Mall Walkers

At every mall everywhere, are mall walkers. These are the healthy people that choose to fast walk the entire mall footprint multiple times at various times of the day. They are sometimes by themselves, but may also be found in small groups. While a mall walker’s pace is typically far preferable to a cattle group, they are conditioned to walk the same exact path and may create a temporary dodge dance when they encounter another individual. They are serious about their walking agenda, counting their laps in their heads and don’t like to be interrupted.

The Mall Meet-Up

Mall Meet Up

Centrally located and usually in the food court, one frequently finds groups of cattle grazing  while they wait to meet the other heifers who are expected to join the group. While they chew the cud waiting, they par-take in a bit of cattle watching. They size each other up for markings and tattoos.

So Now You Know..

So now you know why I prefer online shopping. It wasn’t always like this. I used to be one of those active cows. I will chalk it up to being a busy person who works full-time with a limited amount of time to run errands and get things done. Going to the mall is not as fun as it used to be. I end up more tired and exhausted than anything. And I avoid them at all costs during holiday time. So there it is…you now know my mall pet peeves. Perhaps I need to do a little cow tipping. Hmmm.

 

Happy Shopping Ya’ll!

Sandy

 

 

 

 

Call Me Vain/Vein

Perspective

grandmother-silhouette_318-59578

I remember a time when I thought 30 years old or anyone in that age range sounded ancient. I couldn’t even comprehend life beyond my ego-driven teen-centric self. But a strange thing happened. Just like some kind of movie magic alien event, my body began to age while my mind stayed in it’s youth. 

I still feel like me, but the calendar and birthday celebrations say, “not.”. Strangely, this bizarre phenomenon has continued through the years. It’s as if a Star Trek Transporter landed me at this place and time with someone else’s body. I’m not okay with this. I liked my body just fine. And since arriving, I am discovering unapproved body changes.

Mirror Mirror On My Wall

liver-spots-on-face-251x300

I find myself in a daily analysis of conflicted discovery. For instance, this development that they call “liver spots.” Can I just say, “What the hell!” Where did these off-color oddities come from anyway? I’ve scrubbed, I’ve moisturized and tried various make-up camouflages to no avail.

Of course I have already devoted another separate post to my random facial hair growth in all of it’s appalling glory. Random facial hair for a woman is worthy of an anti-depressant prescription. People always wonder why it takes a woman so long to “get ready” to go somewhere. Well this is why. We are desperately trying to address our physical issues so the whole world doesn’t discover our shameful body secrets.

In Living Color

Your varicose veins

And then there are the varicose veins. Veins are one of the obvious external genetic markers we gain from our parents. They come in all different colors, shapes, thicknesses and patterns. Even if you’re lucky enough to be born with “good” veins that stay hidden in your body parts.. things change. I can now see what resembles a google map on both of my legs. Of course some of the map markers include the small red clusters, they call spider veins.

I’m not sure why veins start to change shape, maybe it has something to do with the American diet and how we clog them with plaque and the like. But my veins have suddenly decided to bulge and take on a rope-y appearance. I always knew I was a twisted sister..but thought it was in a fun, charming kind of way.

Now for the fix..what is the answer? I’m not one to rush to a plastic surgeon to fix my veins or other parts unless they are more than a cosmetic problem..which at this point, they are not. Yet I am vain enough to be bothered by them too. Doesn’t everybody want a body to match the age they feel like in their head?

To Throw A Wrinkle In The Mix

wrinkle face

I can’t talk about the dreaded aging process without including wrinkles. I understand that they are inevitable. I also understand that genetics, again, plays a role in the timing and nature of those wrinkles. For instance, I am part Cherokee Indian. I didn’t care so much about my heritage as a kid, nor did I have any desire to go research my ancestry or the family tree. I remember that my father was very knowledgeable about our Cherokee roots. However, as I got older, I started to find more interest in my Cherokee ancestors. I learned that I was related to Chief John Ross of the Cherokee Indians. My dad had has his tribal card to the Cherokee Indian Nation, and I later decided to obtain my card as well. When I noticed that there was an upcoming PowWow in the area I live in, my husband & I decided to go. One of the things that I found very fascinating was that when I looked around at the people there, I could see myself in their faces. I could see the familiar deeply ingrained mouth and nose lines that resembled my Cherokee father and grandfather. The same ones that I have now.

And even though there is a quasi-cool reason for having deeply embedded wrinkles & grooves in my face (at least some of them), it doesn’t negate the difficulty of hiding or minimizing them. I have on occasion come across totally confident women who wear their wrinkles like a badge that they earned and are damn proud of them. I am just not one of them.

What To Wear

webmd_rm_photo_of_painiful_bunion

Aside from our daily efforts to do battle with our cosmetic imperfections, we are faced with special occasions. You know the ones I’m talking about right. You’ve been invited to a summer wedding and immediately launch yourself into the dilemma of what to wear. And isn’t it funny (in a non-ha ha kind of way) how we immediately start trying to make a clothing choice based on what others are likely to see. Oh, I love this dress, but it shows my “old lady” arms. Or geez, this dress would work if it didn’t have that slit down each side to reveal my pasty legs and varicose veins. Aww, I love these shoes, but they hurt now because of my bunions.

Men don’t understand why it takes us so long to make a decision. Why can’t we just pick something for gosh sakes. I have now been married 35 years and my husband has never grasped the concept of why women buy “cheap” shoes to match the outfit. “Why would you put yourself through pain like that?”  Or how about this suggestion from him, “Why don’t you just wear your tennis shoes, they’re comfortable.” “Well, because the only impression worse than calling attention to my flaws, is presenting the glaring impression that I have absolutely no fashion sense.” Women get this.

The Arsenal

My latest cosmetic weapon is my new self-tanning purchase. Admittedly, in my youth I had what can only be described (or perhaps I should say diagnosed) as an unhealthy tanning addiction. God only knows what I have done to my innards from tanning bulbs placed 6″ from my face. For years my mantra was: No matter how big it is, it looks better tan! It gives the illusion that I am in better health than I am, or even better, that I must have just returned from a fabulous vacation. When in reality..well..whateva.

So back to my recent purchase, my spray-on tanning product. Like many of you, I have purchased at least a handful of self-tanners, usually from a drugstore. I get them home and start to apply them, only to be met with a funky, what is that, smell. You know the one I’m talking about..it is a very distinct odor which may lead people in close proximity to think you missed your shower that day. Nothing that a little well-placed perfume won’t fix. But it’s not just the smell that is the problem.

Inevitably when applied to my body, I am left with a streaky, ‘missed a few’ parts semblance of a tan. Or even worse, an overly dirt-like appearance in the rough areas of my elbows, knuckles or ankles. I am not sure which is worse: Having my self-conscious body issues viewable for the whole world to see, or having an epic tan fail which screams, get your money back, it didn’t work! Snicker snicker.

Tanning Streaks

Past experiences have lead me to google the top rated self-tanners out there. I don’t know if all of the reviews on Amazon.com are real or not, but they definitely influence me when making my purchases. So I was pretty impressed when I found a product called Fake Bake which had over 4 thousand reviews. I have to believe that many of those were the real deal and as such, slashed my deliberation time to about a minute. I picked the Fake Bake Spray Tan and a tanning balm blending product. With my Prime membership, it was only a matter of a couple of days before I would be able to attack my cosmetic worries. In the meantime, I binge-watched young women on YouTube doing Fake Bake self-application videos. I learned, like, it really smells tropical, like, not those drugstore self-tanners. Like, it is really easy to put on. Like, it isn’t streaky, like those others. Like, you’ll really like it. Yes, like, I did say that the women were, like, youngish.

And The Outcome Is..

So did it work? Well..my first time application impression is ..not bad. I need to practice my method of application and getting the correct amount of product on the tanning mitt. The smell is pleasant and the effect is immediate. It does not have the orange tint that I have typically been left with. And lo and behold, it has indeed minimized the appearance of my varicose veins. That works for me. In fact I’m changing my title from Call Me Vain/Vein, to Call Me Almost Tan. Stay tuned for future updates from Sandy’s The Annals of Aging Ungracefully.

Until then..keep fighting the good fight ladies, and stay as TANfastic as you are!

Sandy 

 

Sugar Town

Remember When..

Nancy Sinatra
Shoo Shoo Shoo Shoo Sugar Town

 

Nancy Sinatra belted out the popular 1967 tune, Sugar Town? It went like this:

 I got some troubles but they won’t last
I’m gonna lay right down here in the grass
And pretty soon all my troubles will pass

‘Cause I’m in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo sugar town.” 

I loved that song and belted it out right along with my radio. I’m not quite sure why that just popped into my head. I think it is because I have made some major changes to my life with regards to my sugar eating and health. I am not sure at which point I am allowed to call it a “lifestyle” change. I am guessing that it would have to be at a point longer than the two weeks I have been following my new protocol. Throughout my entire life, sugar has been a part of me..both literally and figuratively. I remember when I was a  very young girl and had any money at all, it was typically spent at the nearby drugstore on whatever penny candy I could afford. If there were cookies in the house, I had to have them. Of course, positive reinforcement of my behavior as a youngster typically involved some form of sugar or one of my favorites, a good ole’ Southern Moon Pie! And a southern dinner wasn’t a dinner unless it was followed by dessert. Of course that determination to have sugar sometimes concluded with a bitter ending..like the time I spent a summer at my aunt’s and discovered what I was sure would be a delicious chocolate bar. Note: Bittersweet chocolate is not the same as Hershey’s.

bakers-chocolate-coconut-baking-57768

Was/Is It A Sugar Addiction?

moon_pie

While I’m in nostalgia mode, I am reminded of my older sister announcing (in typical tattle mode) as loudly as possible that I (her cute, younger sister) must have a sugar addiction and probably had diabetes and that our Mom should take me to the doctor to find out. I didn’t even know what diabetes was, but it certainly felt like a damning declaration to make. It always elicited my loud and angry response that I did not have ‘Di-beet-eze’ or a sugar addiction. Even then at eight years old, there was clearly a negative connotation to having a sugar addiction.

The reality is and probably was, that I did indeed have an addiction to sugar or chocolate in any form. For most of my adult life it has been true and I didn’t even care. In fact, I am a person who has had very severe, chronic medical conditions which have involved a lot of medicines, tests and specialists for a long time. I have focused on healing myself with western medicine, the typical standard american diet (SAD) and a steady sugar influx. It never occurred to me that sugar was anything other than an immediate endorphin high and necessary part of my diet.

GooGoo-Cluster-Wrapper-Small-2013

The Queen Of Rationalization

That.Sugar.Film.2014.720p.BluRay.x264.YIFY.mp4_20150830_044549.734

Yes, that’s me..the Queen of Rationalization. I deserve chocolate and sugar and by damn, I’ve earned it. Lord knows I suffer enough with all of my other health issues, it would be cruel and inhuman to deny myself my daily dose of sugar. I mean, afterall it’s not like I am binging on sugar every day. Have you ever said that? I have (a lot) and I really and truly believed it. I never “researched” sugar like I do most everything else..why would I? What’s to know..I enjoy it and can even salivate like Pavlov’s dog just thinking about it. 

Anyway, researching sugar would mean that I might be confronted with the real truth about sugar and it’s damaging and inflammatory impact to my body. I’d be lying if I told you that I had not heard Dr.Oz, Dr. Weil or others address the latest research about sugar and what it does to our bodies. Deep down, I have never believed that I could give up sugar/chocolate..even if I wanted to..so I might as well as accept and enjoy it.

The Big Picture

Every now and then, we have a revelation or breakthrough in our lives. For parents, it’s when our kid’s are mature enough to get the “big life picture”..you know, all of those things that our wisdom allows us to see and know from experience that we try desperately to impart to our children. As adults we have these breakthroughs also. It is with great enthusiasm that I share my most recent breakthrough with you. Yes..I have had a total about-face when it comes to my health and approach to eating. For years, I looked at thin women wondering how they stay that way. Or I would meet someone who had embarked on a new eating approach with eye-popping results. Obviously, I thought, they have a very active metabolism, not like mine I rationalized. I wondered why it wasn’t easy for me. Why did every “diet” I tried end up in failure?! Why was it so darn hard to stick to the things. And why oh why, did/do I always give in to those drug-like cravings for sugar? 

And what about those food plan trail blazers and authors. They tell us to just follow the plan and it will work. The reality is that it will not work without a commitment and determination to make it work. That my friends, is/was the missing ingredient for me. No matter how much my mouth always said all of the right things, my attitude had not arrived on board for the journey. Until now.

No Grain. No Pain

Every time I read about or hear about another restrictive food plan that eliminates most of what I’ve eaten my whole life..it seems overwhelming. All of my past weakness and seemingly obvious lack of willpower I have always given credit for my lack of success. But guess what I just learned! One can arrive at a place of  total frustration or some might call, “rock bottom” (not Rock Candy bottom). This is what happened to me…finally. Miracle? I don’t know. All I can tell you is that after just celebrating my 35th wedding anniversary and a birthday, I took a hard, depressing look at myself. I decided that I did not like what I see and don’t want to spend the rest of whatever time I have left being an unhealthy, whiny load. I want to be the fun me..the unstoppable me that used to stay active and love it.

As luck, karma or the planets aligning would have it, the right people and timing came together for me to discover an alternative medicine doctor who is working with me to chart a new course for my eating and improved health. It is undoubtedly the most restrictive eating plan (along with supplements) that I have ever been on. Before I would have cringed in disbelief and lasted a few days before diving back onto the shoo shoo sugar train. Not now. An amazing thing has happened…I am following (with ease) the food plan (Paleo for those of you who might be interested) without gluten, dairy, sugar, vinegar and a few hundred other things. Now granted it has only been two weeks..so I can’t declare total success. What I can say is that I am having no blood sugar dives which translates into no sugar cravings. Because of this, and the steady dose of the right supplements, I am finding that this totally restrictive food eating plan is the easiest I have ever followed. Not only that…I am sleeping better and already have more energy. Will it cure all of my ills? Too early to tell/tale..but for now..the train has left Shoo Shoo Shoo Shoo Sugar Town!

I Will Leave You With This..

Sugar Addiction

 

Sandy

 

 

To Eat Or Not To Eat…

That Remains The Question

healthy heart

If you are human, you eat. We are taught at an early age that we eat three meals a day.  Along the way we add snacks and in-between pick-me-ups, either good or bad for us, or somewhere in between.  For many of us, food has had far more impact in our lives than we ever would have guessed or given credit for. When we were young, we learned that a sweet dessert or candy bar was the reward for a desired behavior. If you grew up in the south, like I did, you learned that “food is love”.  Food was cooked in abundance and eaten equally all in the name of family unity. It was as if my Mom had an automatic serving arm that piled food on your plate if part of the plate surface was starting to show. By the way, this happens in most southern families.

Food Is Love

Trying To Find Our Food Identity

women body sizes

At some point, we recognize that food has become some kind of problem for us. We have forged an unhealthy relationship with food or maybe with the wrong kind of food. I find myself wondering how many people make it through their lives without having some type of food issue. For women, it typically involves how food has impacted our physical appearance and how we look in our clothes. It’s not just women who think about food in this way, men do also. I just think women obsess about it more. When we want to look good in our clothes or have an upcoming event to attend, we suddenly realize that food has changed us in ways we don’t love. Did the food do this to us? Or did our ingrained food eating habits do this? I think I know.

Which “Diet” To Align With?

I have lost count of the diets I have tried and failed at. I should have a lifetime membership in Weight Watchers. I loved Nutrisystem and my 31 pound weight loss, until we stopped eating on the plan. I also thought the Cleveland Clinic Diet (which had nothing to do with Cleveland by the way) was the answer. Three days on and the rest of the week off?! I could suffer through anything for 3 days. I lost weight with that diet also. There are always merits to these diets that sound really great at the time we try them. Somewhere along the line..we read that we need to lose the term “diet”.

Lifestyle Change

Choc syringe

Yes, it needs to be a “lifestyle change”.  Okay, I get it. Let’s get rid of the temporary mindset of diet and think eat healthy forever. I understand the concept and think it is a great idea. The problem is a lifetime of SAD (Standard American Diet) eating. I think my pores actually crave sugar. They have become accustomed to chocolate in every form. There’s always a caveat to my diets. It is the secret (in my head) unspoken whisper that says..you can probably stick to this diet for awhile..but you know you will never give up chocolate for anything or anyone. I am not sure when chocolate became that important in my life, but it did. Each time I fail at a diet, it is because of my addiction to sugar. Life is hard enough without having to give up sugar, right.

Older Age & Poor Health

And then we arrive at this destination that we call older age. (We called it old age until we arrived). Most if not all of us are facing health problems. For me, it has been a lifetime of health issues and was not sudden. My diet, however, has done nothing (ever) to assist my body into better health. I have never really looked at food as a possible culprit to any of my health issues. Like most of us, I figured it was just family genes & the luck of the draw. We all grew up (at least those of you in my old-er age group) with that food pyramid that told us how we were supposed to eat & how good it was for us. Little did we know that some of the very food sources that we thought were good for us, were actually offering a steady dose of inflammation into our bodies.

So Here I Am Back At The Starting Gate..

Deer in headlights

As I contemplated all of the health issues that both my husband & I are facing, I found myself wondering about the food we eat. Being the researcher that I am, I started to look more seriously at food plans. In the past, I found myself doing a comparison of the Paleo, Weil & Anti-Inflammatory diets wondering how to marry them into one plan that I could live with. Typically, I end up like a deer in headlights…stuck at an inpasse..doing nothing. But recently, on a sick day at home, I watched Dr. Oz and the guest that he had on the show, Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I had read Dr.Fuhrman’s book, Eat To Live a few years before. Both my husband & I read the book and thought that it made real sense to us. We started eating according to the ETL plan & began to lose weight. I am not sure what happened. Probably like all of the other times in our lives, when we “fell off the wagon” as they say, it happened again. Some sweet delicacy, or function we went to offering a table of SAD options…it only took us a second to dive back into our horrible eating patterns. It always takes only a second.

eat_to_live_new

But this time it is different. Our health is at stake. It always was, we just didn’t think about it or care enough to do the work of helping ourselves. It is time. Admittedly, I am nervous. Can we really do it this time? I mean forever?! The good news is that we are allowed fruit on this plan, but not all of the artificial sugar we are used to. It requires a commitment and real planning. No different than anything else in our lives. We plan vacations, family events, etc. So why should we not make the time and effort to do the same for eating the right foods. The convenience of fast food and having no time in our lives are part of our reason and rationale as to why we remain in our unhealthy eating patterns.

Okay..I’m declaring it once again. We will get ourselves healthy…even if it…okay..I’m not going to say, kills us..because it is going to kill us if we don’t do this. I will just say, I know that this will be a challenge for us, but we can do it. And I’m not gonna lie, if I were able to get back into the clothes in the small end of my closet, that would be a real bonus too! So my new motto is: Eat To Live & Write For Fun!

Until next time…

Bon Appetit!

Sandy

What The Pluck!

Cosmetically Disturbing

woman tweezing chin

It’s inevitable..we change both mentally and physically. Especially physically. Some folks will go to great lengths to hide or remove their unwanted signs of aging. For others like me, we just do the best we can.

I am not sure when it happened..but I suddenly became aware of the fact that I was growing random facial hair in a small chin cluster. In fact..it was probably about the same time that my son was sprouting his first facial hair. Of course, I certainly didn’t want to call attention to this fact or that my hair growth might have been more impressive than his. Interesting to know how proud he was of his hair vs how horrified I found mine.

The more I speak with women in my age group, the more I have  realized that I am not the only one in the unwanted facial hair group. Approximately, 20 million American women remove facial hair at least once a week. Likely for most of us, it is hormone related and naturally occurring, rather than medical in nature..but disturbing non-the-less.

As I read about facial hair, my source noted that before puberty, facial hair is a fine, thin type known as “vellus.” With the onset of puberty, hormones transform some hair to a course pigmented variety called, “terminal.” I kid you not, not only do we get unwanted hair..it’s terminal.

Equally Unflattering

hot wax

What I find equally unflattering is the process of trying to remove these unwanted visitors. There are various methods that we try in hopes of causing a stunted growth process that will stop their growth forever..but they continue to grow in defeat of our efforts.

There is the ” Hot Wax” method..the nice warm, soothing feel of warm wax on your face..until it’s ripped off with a harsh jolt of pain. Yes, this removes the hair temporarily and leaves one with a bright, red patch of smooth skin that stands out like a stop light. But no worries, my hairdresser dabs a bit of Witch Hazel on the area of attack & slightly pushes the cotton ball with pressure, to mask the intense stinging. It’s up to me to dab the tears out of my eyes. It’s hard to believe that women will put themselves through this process repeatedly with limited relief and no hair growth end in sight. Oh, be sure to schedule this type of removal when you don’t have an event to attend for a couple of days.

TweezerMan

fight-tweeze

Of course there is the Tweezer method. I find it interesting that one brand of this small torture device is called: “Tweezer Man”. I’m just sayin. Every woman has a pair of tweezers or four. We have our flat tips, our angle tips and our pointed tip tweezers. We surely have our trusty multiple magnification mirror and  our pick of pastel tweezers and are ready for action. I can think of few things less flattering than a woman with her mirror, tweezers, and pursed lips as she plucks with a vengeance, oblivious to the world (or people) around her. My thoughts are that this approach should be reserved for a private setting with no visitors (with the exception of a female slumber party using wine as the anesthetic)…though some women pluck in public with wild abandon and intention.

I suppose if your budget allows for it, and you are so inclined, you can go pay a cosmetic doctor or technician to remove your unwanted hair by laser. Physically, this approach is probably less painful than the primitive torture methods described above, but likely with a pricey cost for the privilege.

What About Bleaching?

Biggest accomplishment - Copy

I know some women who prefer the “bleaching” method. If you can’t stop em’ from growing, just bleach them so they blend in. Hmm. Just reading the instructions on the these bleach boxes is intimidating to me. And based on my past experiences with hair dye, I think that this method would be better left to the professionals who have been trained on how to use dye. Anyway..there’s just something about my husband running his hand through my furry face that doesn’t seem right..even if they are lightly colored.

Our Plucking Plight

True friends

So there it is..the perpetual plucking plight of the middle-aged woman and beyond. The positive thing about growing older after middle age..is that at some point, you don’t care. You don’t care if these unwanted hairs grow or live in harmony with your liver spots, dry skin and wrinkles, or not. Actually, I think that there is probably a comfortable freedom in not worrying about these pesky hairs.

Here’s to older age and not caring about the physical expressions of ourselves. But until then… pluck on Princess!

Sandy