Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Scratching the Surface


Today's blog is brought to you by actual thoughts from the shower. I went in tonight conscious that I have about ten days to look ten years younger and thirty pounds thinner. If you read yesterday's blog, you know that I have been offered a lucrative modeling contract... well at least I get to prance around on stage for one day to benefit The American Cancer Society and I suppose Maurices. Okay, maybe I don't really care about the thinner part, this is after all a zero to plus size clothing store, so that part doesn't bother me. I do however want to go to this thing looking as though I do know a bath sponge from a kitchen sponge and have a close relationship with youth and style. Basically, I want to lie.

As I was putting my skin and hair through the paces tonight, I realized all the unnatural things we women do to ourselves in order to look as though we have natural beauty. It's really a little frightening. For instance, the first thing I do to myself is get this body scrubber mitt I have that is a first cousin to sandpaper. This mitt is a bright pastel blue and my husband's sandpaper is usually black or brown, so I can tell them apart. I dump Oil of Olay soap on it and scrub my face beyond all reason to remove dead skin cells. Now, I am admittedly not one of those women with the hour long face cleansing process. I use soap. That's it. Oil of Olay soap scrubbed into my face and I'm pretty much done. I don't use all those other things because they break my skin out and make me look like a scaly lizard woman instead of Claudia Schiffer. I cannot afford chemical peels and trips to the day spa, so my scubby mitt thing has a daily job of turning my face into a well sanded piece of flesh, and that's that. Then I glob more of the same soap on the sandpaper mitt and do the same process to my entire body. I am a little OCD about germs and the idea of dead skin being in my bed is enough to give me nightmares for a year, so I make sure there is as little skin left on my body as possible. By the time I get through scrubbing, there is nothing left but a single bright red layer of skin covering my whole body and all of the cells left on it are desperately trying to regenerate so they have some company for the night. Once I am through stripping my body down to nothing but a coating of skin over muscle tissue, I grab a pumice stone and start on my feet. I abhor the thought of ashy feet. I've seen those poor diabetic people who get that thick, rhinoceros-like skin on their heels and toes and it gives me the shivers. I am not a person who believes we need callouses. I believe we need cute trendy shoes and baby soft, pink feet. So I begin the daily foot sanding. I never ever skip this part. I have a four sided foot stick thing with a pumice stone, an oval of actual black sandpaper, an oval of metal nutmeg grater and an oval of some sort of brush that I use on my thighs to get them smooth. And heaven help you if you, for just random instance, not that I have ever done this EVER, but if you slip into a daydream about Shemar Moore watching you shower and reaching heights of ecstasy previously unknown to him before and he suddenly finds himself head over heels in love with you and... you realize you have sanded a hole into the bottom of your big toe and you are now freely bleeding into the tub. So after I have for the most part bereft my body of any skin at all, I shave. Now I will never add this to the list of unnatural things we do. I have a superstition that if I don't shave my legs, the day that I don't shave them, I will dislocate my knee (which hurts worse than child birth) and a male doctor will have to re-set my knee and it will be hairy I will be mortified. I have actually had my kneecap around in the bend of my leg before about four or five times and while the human body was not made to deal with that much pain, I am also aware every time I do it that I have hairy legs. Therefore, I have found a way to keep my kneecaps where they belong; shaved legs equal safe legs. Also, I know this doesn't bother some women, but the idea of even a single hair in my armpit is just a little too natural to me. Those bad boys are shaved every day whether they are hairy or not. Moving on. I know that the day before I go do this thing, I will spend a good hour ripping hair out of my face by the roots. There is a quote by a lady, and forgive me, I do not remember who said it, but it was so great “I refuse to call them chin hairs. They are simply stray eyebrows”. Once I hit thirty, I became the bearded goat lady from hell. There is a little patch under my chin that grows very thick, very manly beard hairs. I never notice these suckers are there until one day I am maybe scratching my collar bone and I feel a hair blow across my hand and I begin feeling around and realize there is a hair hanging from my face that is a foot long. It's one of those hairs you kind of wrap around your hand a few times and then give a big YANK on and pull it out of your face by the roots. I swear, I don't know where these hairs come from. The men in the middle east look at my face and cry for the unfairness of it all. So, yes, I will sit with a mirror that magnifies my face to four times it's actual size a pair of tweezers and I will spend a significant amount of time pulling hair from my chin, upper lip and eyebrow region. I have a cream actually that I am supposed to use on my upper lip to help rid myself of my man-stache, but after it has dissolved the hair roots and I have wiped them out of my flesh with a warm, damp washcloth, my upper lip area swells up and turns red for about twelve hours and people tend to stare. Back to the shower: after all of the washing, sanding, scrubbing, and exfoliating, at the very end of my shower, I take my same blue mitt and lather it up with my Bath and Body Works body crème of the day and scrub the good smelly lotion back into the one remaining layer of skin I have left from the neck down. This approach to applying lotion makes me smell good all day long as I have scrubbed the scent into my flesh and keeps me from feeling greasy because any extra is allowed to rinse off in the shower. Then once I'm out of the shower I put on that Oil of Olay Reginerist stuff because while I do not care if I get grey hair, I have an innate fear of wrinkles. I don't know how I think I am going to get through my senior years, but I do not want wrinkles. I don't wear face makeup ever because I just hate the way it feels, so I have nothing to cover up blemishes and wrinkles, so every night I put on this face crème, which I swear must be made with heroine, it's really addictive, in hopes that I will always have the face of a twenty five year old.

All of this torture and scrubbing and ripping and gashing and slathering for at least an hour a day, just so I can make you think I am naturally beautiful? Something is profoundly wrong with me. I don't have time to worry about it now though, I have to go do my hair...