Monday, January 25, 2010

Parenting fail

I got brave and exercised my stealth cell phone photography skills this weekend. I could not pass this up.

What a touching scenario... a family gathered around a patient at the hospital... no, wait a minute, this was the piercer's station at the tattoo shop*.

When they left, it looked like a dad, two young (barely teen?) girls -- one on the table, one holding her hand -- and the little boy. I have no idea what she was having pierced, but it was below the chest. I only hope to hell it was her navel.

What in the hell was that little boy doing in there???

* No, I have no new body mods to report. Just stopped by to get my nose piercing checked.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

In the mirror

I unsubscribed from one of my (formerly) favorite blogs recently. I fought it as long as I could, but you see, there was this one day and this one post and I just couldn't take it any more.

The decision didn't come lightly -- I tend to be pretty loyal to my blog list. I'd been reading that blog for probably two years. When I first signed on, this blogger wrote about his/her kids and his/her spouse (yes, I'm being intentionally vague) and the perils of parenting, and other personal issues. It was funny and crass and irreverent, with lots of swearing, just they way I like it. It was a real homespun kind of blog; no pretensions, just sayin' it like it was, balls and all.

Then, last year the book was published and a new book begun. Posts dropped way off, but I can totally understand that; shit happens, you know? I certainly have no right to tell anyone they're not posting enough. (snort!)

The problem was when the posts did come. Every word was agonized over to provide maximum impact, every drop of spontaneity squeezed out. I don't know enough about writing to be able to explain it in real words, but I'm guessing you can see what I'm saying. The language became so contrived that it was too embarrassing for me to read, and that's saying a lot.

Worst part is, I totally get that contrived thing. After my first Nano I spent way too much time reading about the craft of writing and learning all the horrid newbie mistakes you should NEVER EVER MAKE, and in the process I pretty much paralyzed myself into a Grade A Writer's Block. Even now, I am pretty confident that I edit the life right out of just about everything I write.

And that's probably why I couldn't handle reading the blog any more -- couldn't stand the awkwardness from seeing myself in that mirror.

The day came when I realized the suckage outweighed the amusement and I clicked the 'unsubscribe' button.

And I've been afraid to post ever since.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fine line

I've noticed in the last month or two that there's something weird going on with my neck. Some of it is because I have gained some weight in the last year but the bulk of it is because I am, as they say, fifty.

I usually handle it by only looking at the mirror square on with my chin held just so, but occasionally I'll see a recent photo of myself and, uh, kind of freak out. It's becoming apparent I have my grandmother's neck, and not the skinny grandma, either. It's Mema's neck, the same grandma whose very sturdy legs I inherited. Let's just say cankles are the least of my problems and leave it at that.

I am having mixed feelings about these very explicit reminders of my age because, as you know, I have mixed feelings about everything. I wouldn't know a clear-cut feeling if it bit me on my ample dimpled ass.

On the one hand, I loved my Mema but I don't want to see her neck when I look at my profile! I don't feel old enough to have old lady wattles, to have to clear out a drawer to make room for pearl chokers, scarves, and turtlenecks. Not that Mema would have bothered with any of that. She was who she was, and that was that.

On the other hand, I don't really want to have it fixed, IYKWIM. I've been gradually accumulating data since I first realized my neck skin was sliding south a few years back, and even though I would love to have my old jawline back, there is really only one way to get it, and that includes SURGERY and the better part of my annual income. Sorry, I am cheaper than I am vain.

And then there's the dilemma that results from having 'work done'. Is it better to suffer the slings and arrows of age and try to do it as gracefully as you can, Mema's neck included, or to look like you were sculpted out of Fimo?

I have to say, as much as I dread the mirror these days, I keep ending up voting for the former. Even in my relatively un-plasticized corner of the world, I see women who obviously have had just enough Botox to make their normal expressions creepy. Sure, they look great in the mirror and in photographs, but get them out in the real world and they look like they are either tranquilized or paralyzed.

(BTW, WTF is up with the lips, and the lip-plumping crap they're selling on the TV? Did I miss the memo about the desirability of the candy wax lips effect? Was it attached to the other memo I missed about waxing one's lady parts? Apparently somewhere along the way I fell completely out of spec and am now a thin-lipped, hairy freak of nature.)

While at the dermatologist last week waiting for my annual skin check, I almost couldn't stop myself from staring at the receptionist. Long, straight, blond hair; taut, featureless skin; large, turgid, pink lips, and an expression that revealed absolutely nothing. I'm sure she turns heads, but all I could think of was a blow-up doll. I don't think it's just me, either. Take a look at this slide show from a well-regarded plastic surgeon, and see who tends to garner most of his favorable comments. It ain't the flawless ones. And he's a plastic surgeon!

Oh, I do get it, believe me. I've reached the age where I so get it. A glance at the mirror at the wrong angle, the accompanying lurch of the stomach, and the 'what ifs' begin again. Just a little Botox to forestall the permanent frown lines between my eyebrows, would that be so bad? It sure would be nice to do something about my baby jowls, and then there are my eyelids that fell overnight when I reached thirty-five... and I am not even joking. They really did.

But I can't. I just can't. Firstly I can't afford it, and secondly, I feel there's something vitally important to be learned by aging, even though I don't seem to be doing a good job of growing up.

Having said that, here's where I admit to accepting the Retin A prescription the dermatologist offered, and I confess to a few laser treatments in my past, to get rid of some of the redness from the rosacea I've enjoyed for twenty years. I can't say I'd turn down other topical treatments if they would help, either. I think I have decided to just say no to the injections and incisions.

But check back in a few years when my neck really lets loose. We'll see how virtuous I am when I turn my head and it takes my neck five seconds to stop wiggling.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Speaking of WTF?!?

While I'm waiting for inspiration to hit, here's my most favoritest recent spam:

I can't even imagine what this is supposed to be about. It's probably better that way.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Today's Daily Quote of the Day

Young Son, telling me about his dream: But when I'm in metal mode, there's not a lot of brain activity going on -- it's mostly my brawns.
Personally, I could use more brawns.