Coffee Rhetoric: Fountain of Insanity

February 20, 2006

Fountain of Insanity


It's sunny and beautiful (albeit it cold) outside, and I'm surely getting back to my usual self. The funk has all but subsided. I am still dying for spring to make an appearance, however. Don't know why she's being so elusive; this winter seems rather long and tedious to me. Anyway, I've thoroughly purged my disdain for Valentine's Day, enjoyed the chocolate fruits of February 15th, and I am feeling pretty good.

March is clipping at my heels. Pretty soon August will have arrived and I will be 29. Thirty is looming ever so closely, and I actually look forward to abandoning my twenties! I am forced to have to admit however, I'm starting to get caught up in the rapture of vanity. I've always been vain, in the usual way most of us are, but I'm finding that I've become more cognizant of the signs of aging.

While I will welcome thirty with open arms, I don't want my older age to be apparent on skin or face. To note: I'm supposed to be using this day off from work to exercise but upon waking up and dousing my face with cold water, I spent time staring into the mirror, checking for loose skin under my eyes; pinching here, pinching there. I turned my head this way and that way several dozen times, viewing at every angle. I have always been obsessed with skincare. As a tween, (whose body developed earlier than most girls my age), between the ages of about 10-13, I endured the rough, tumble, and seemingly pitiless period known as puberty. My forehead developed an outbreak of nasty spots that make me shudder when I think about them, till this day. Some of the musty-smelling, harsh boys in my class (who were grappling with puberty in their own stinky, weird voiced ways), took to calling me "freckle face" due to the spots on my forehead.

 It wasn't the worst acne outbreak. I still fared better than most during that time, but I was singled out nevertheless. I felt powerless. I would wash my face, to no avail. My mother lectured that I wasn't washing thoroughly. That plain water simply wasn't enough. She scolded me about the importance of Noxzema or some other cleansing cream. I didn't want to believe her, for what child wants to succumb to the revelation that mother does, indeed, know best. So I tried her method, and much to my amazement and relief, my skin started clearing up. It simply needed a thorough cleaning.

 I still grappled and fought for beautiful skin throughout my life. College wasn't a good skin period. I was living in a rural college town in Wisconsin, where the water was harsh to both my hair and my skin. My pores were clearly visible, my legs were ashy and dry a lot of the times, despite slathering on oils and lotions... it was a nightmare. It didn't matter that I was doing all the proper things to care for my skin; I may as well have been washing my face in battery acid with that water.

Anyway, my skin is finally where it needs to be. I have my moments -- particularly once a month -- but I am obsessed now. I never go to bed without washing my face, no matter how tired I am. I have, but will end up lying there, unable to sleep, thinking that I can actually feel the harsh elements coagulating on my skin. So I end up hopping out of bed to wash. I’m generous user of Oil of Olay. I'm constantly slathering on moisturizers of all sorts. I exfoliate the hell out of my face and body. Mint Julep Mask? Check. English Mud Clay Mask? Check. Microdermabrasion scrub? Check Olay Regenerist hot scrubby stuff? On my list, but they're always out of stock. Exfoliating bath towel? Black Soap?? Salt scrub?? Olay Quench, Black & Beautiful Body Sheen, Cocoa Butter, Body butters, resistance to super-duper cold water, Red wine???... Check! Check! Check! I even pay close attention to my hands.

 I think I am slowly, but surely, becoming one of those anti-aging fanatics. I probably won’t ever need Botox, however, because I've been deadpanning most of my life, and am sans lines on my forehead. I think a lot of the hype is bullshit, but at a whopping $100+, would probably splurge on some Creme de la Mer  if I could afford to. Who am I fooling? I look forward to getting older, I really do. I just don't want to LOOK aged. It's an expensive and exasperating religion to buy into.

While I am clearly more aware my skin's texture and on the lookout for lines and such, I don't think I'm as bad as other women. I stick to a pretty basic skin regimen, and it's been working wonders, but I am open to trying new things. Are men this obsessed with skincare and their own vanity? You must be, to some degree.