I've been assiduously avoiding the mirror all day today. I didn't bother doing my hair or putting on makeup, and I'm wearing a particularly unflattering pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt emblazoned with a logo created by a 10 year old member of the children's choir I accompanied back in 2002. I pity my poor husband, who had to look at me all afternoon. Lucky for him, he was dozing blissfully unaware each time I walked past him. I felt particularly guilty about my state of personal disrepair when I read the chapter in Tracey Jackson's new book (Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Why Fifty is Not the New Thirty) about cosmetic surgery. Granted, Ms. Jackson is a Hollywood screenwriter and moves in the kind of circles where it's important to look your absolute best. But she pursues looking good with quite a vengeance, one I certainly don't have the fortitude to undertake. First off, I'm much too paranoid about medical procedures to ever undergo plastic surgery. And the idea of somebody sticking needles into my face sends me into spasms of dread.
My other problem - and I know I'm in the minority among women here - is that I just don't like the whole "pampering" routine. I don't enjoy the salon experience, I think massages are kind of creepy, and I have no patience with complicated beauty regimens.
I finally started coloring my hair about five years ago, but after one particularly horrific experience I have to indulge in some dutch courage each time I go in for a repeat performance. And it's becoming necessary to undergo that ordeal more and more often, as the gray hairs have been sprouting faster than you can say "does she or doesn't she?" (Of course she does.) About that same time, a stylist convinced me to have my eyebrows waxed. I was perfectly happy with my eyebrows until I saw how much nicer they looked after they were arched so perfectly. Now I'm stuck with going in every three weeks.
I think the bottom line is that I don't like people touching me. For instance, the whole massage thing, with the dark room and the fey music and the trickling water fountain that just makes me want to go to the bathroom, and then some stranger rubbing lotion all over my body - ick.
I do sort of enjoy facials, partly because I love the young woman I go to. It's unfortunate that she works in Florida, but I make a point of having a facial once or twice a year when I'm down there, and we have a lovely visit. She's worked in a number of spas, where I have also had manicures and pedicures and massages (sigh), but she has her own business now, so if you're ever in Ft. Myers and would like a facial, look her up and tell her I sent you.
It's funny, because I like to look good, I really do. I just don't like all the rigmarole that goes along with it. If you want to pamper me, set me down in comfy lounge chair by the beach with a stack of books and a bottle of wine.
I'll be downright radiant, I promise you.
How about you? Do you enjoy a special beauty routine? Or do you have a different idea about being pampered?