The Beauty on the Cover
Everyone who is past middle age glances at a magazine near the check out at a market, drugstore, and do two things; one is to jab their significant other who might be with them, in the back and tell him to look at that – that beautiful face, not a wrinkle, nothing.
You also remind him that the star on the cover is the same age as you. Then the second question, “Can’t I have some of those wrinkle treatments? Another-jab. “Are you listening to me? Wouldn’t I look just perfect again if I had just a few, these – right here – you point to your own face – removed?”
By now, he is packing the groceries with the clerk and you are still thinking about those photos staring at you from the cover of all the magazines. You laugh to yourself, knowing some are so false – especially when they add 180 pounds to the body of a star who weighed only 100 pounds on the last cover. No one can gain weight that fast, you think. One more glance and you take the cart filled with groceries and head toward the car. “Did you hear me when I mentioned those covers?” By this time you are really getting upset, inside, never on the outside, he just doesn’t listen.
On the day he did listen, he gave a list of why women or men should not use products without knowing the side effects – calling it injections of poison. I try to explain it is tested, doctors do these things but – he doesn’t care. I tell him half the things we eat or drink could be hurting us, and he mentions, then doesn’t eat them. His cool way of saying no, instead of being direct about the subject, he brings up other things now that are more important than two lines on someone’s face.
“You could lose a little around here,” he smiles. “And, maybe wear those clothes with the opening in the back?” There he goes, changing the subject.
Why do women become so insecure when they reach anywhere from forty to sixty? Perhaps the number scares a woman, or in the past, grandmothers were grandmothers – they all looked alike. I would guess it’s parties, neighbors, friends, magazines, etc., that make you wonder why you don’t look as good as they do? Women compare themselves to those close to their age, some know how to age gracefully, some take trips to the doctor’s office for a face job, and other’s ignore the entire obstacle and go on living as they have for umpteen years. There are those so concerned they begin a list of things to do to be fit. Being fit means staying in good health, shape, and getting exercise, but not to some women.
On a Monday a woman makes a hair appointment, white is showing – no wasting time. The hairdresser tells her she was just here two weeks ago, he can’t keep coloring her hair so often, and it will fall out. She begs, tells him about a big party on Saturday. She said she would even sign papers, he won’t be responsible. Besides, she tells him, my hair is already falling out, what’s a few more strands – I see it in the tub, shower, sink and stuck between my fingers.
Now it is Tuesday and the woman takes a ride to the Nail Center to have her nails spruced up, and her toes sparkle and don’t forget the dead skin at the heels. She leans back into a chair with these rollers going up and down her spine. Listens to other women complaining; I can’t reach my toes, I can’t bend, I can’t see them. Then she warns the woman working on her, you must have a steady hand. Going to the Nail Center is like going to a hairdresser, you hear complaining, and you know how you sound.
So it is Wednesday, you, the same woman has an appointment at the Spa for a therapeutic rubdown, you found a deal that consisted of ninety minutes for the same price of sixty minutes and you could not turn it down. So you lay on these clean white sheets on top of a narrow table, face down. You think about whom you will get this week, hoping for the one who knows you well enough to work on those stiff joints. Waiting in this tiny room on a narrow table is as bad as waiting in a doctor’s office. Finally, she arrives; you hear the smile in her voice. Yes, the one who knows me, know where the fat is, knows about my pains and aches, so you warn her – “This time I am going to close my eyes and relax.” How often do you hear these comments from friends?
By the time Thursday rolls around you are on your way to the garment store to purchase a new pair of spanks. Oh, they are expensive but cheaper than the rubdown. They last longer too. All of this for a few hours of looking good thank goodness your husband agreed to buy the spanks. Yes, you have to try them on because they cannot be returned. Have you tried spanks on? Well, it is a trip. I won’t give away the magic.
On Thursday night, you begged your husband to borrow some money for the dress hanging on Broadway, in front of your favorite store, on sale. He quietly asks how much, and you reply 89.99 – and like you imagined before asking, he stares at you, “Don’t you have enough dresses, you have four closets. Do you really think that’s a sale? Then you remind him of the four hundred dollar outfit he loved for a special occasion that had to do with his work. He continues to read the paper, never says another word.
Friday arrives and you knew you were heading downtown to find out if that dress is waiting for you on the rack outside the store – and yes, you notice the colors now for the size. On go the glasses, size small won’t do it. It’s gone, someone else has it. It’s the only one you think, and stomp away like a five-year-old to the next sidewalk sale. You give in to another dress, knowing tomorrow is the function.
On Saturday, you notice you ran out of the only makeup that makes you look good. The only thing. So you leave the house, drive to the mall, pick up the make-up, and hope it’s the right color, you left the empty bottle home, never thinking about bringing it.
It is finally here, Saturday night and you’re dressed, your husband calls you beautiful, you laugh – and out the door you go. Walking toward the car, you complain that you should have bought new shoes for the dress but just didn’t have time. In the car, you look at your legs and start talking about the time when they were thin. Then you pull down the visor, and stare at the face, who is she, who am I?
You walk into the event, and not five minutes later, there in front of you is your dress. You want to run out of the building, sit inside the car until your husband does his thing – but you simply cruise quickly to the other side of the room – and keep glancing at her, hoping you won’t cross paths.
Sunday arrives and you are standing at the counter staring at the magazine covers, and you tell your husband it would be a whole lot easier if you would let me have some poison.