May 15, 2005

To floss, or not to floss

Every day I make a list of things-to-do. It seems to be a losing battle, between what I can or will do and what I am required or want to do just in terms of maintenance -- personal, household, friendships. I don't want to clean the off-White Rabbit's cage; I want to talk to my friends. I want to see my friends, but we all play datebook hell before that comes to pass. When did we get so busy? People I used to see weekly, I see less than once a month. I miss them.

My memory is so shot that while I like being clean, scheduling time to wash my hair takes up a place on my to-do list. Then there's the flossing. The two full minutes of teeth-brushing. Skin care for the over-40 has a lot more elements than skin care for the post-adolescent. My mother started contemplating having her eyes done when she was 40. These days, I get leftover moisturizer/secret of youth potions from her.

I have grown up with a full package of age paranoia indicators, courtesy of my mother. Naomi Wolf would blame it on the media, per The Beauty Myth, but Naomi doesn't look any older than she did on her wedding day more than 10 years ago, at least not in recent photos. When we attended an artists' colony together, many years ago, she gave me a lipstick in a shade she thought would flatter me.

When I was growing up, my dad subscribed to all the fashion magazines, for business reasons. That my mother or I read them was incidental. Neither of us is tall enough for haute couture, not without extensive alterations.

While my mother is of the "walk-yourself-home-from-the-hospital" "have-a-face-lift, don't-need-pain-meds" school, I have experienced chronic pain since I was a teenager. So I'd like to avoid the scalpel, particularly as I am the poster adult for better-living-through-Western-pharmaceuticals. I don't need to volunteer for pain, on any level.

So day after day, I plod along, scheduling hair cuts and housekeepers and part-time business help, renewing prescriptions and singing "happy birthday" into friends' answering machines. It seems it takes a village just to keep one person going, much less raise a family.


Blogger frog said...

It does take a Village--nothing wrong with that. I think that we weren't meant to be solitary creatures.

9:44 AM  

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