American Woman: Preventative Maintenance is a B**ch

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To all of my aging sisters with resistant gray. . .

Middle age. It’s the period where we discover that our parts are in various stages of breaking down, filling out, and succumbing to gravity. This transition is wholly unkind and unapologetic.

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Just call me Bruce.

In fact, it sometimes feels like the gruesome, writhing metamorphosis Bruce Banner experiences every time the Hulk emerges, only slower. His transformation looks painful–as is ours.

The first clue is his eyes stop dead in their tracks, and turn bluish/white. He rears back his head with a grimace on his face, as his neck begins to bulge, veins rising under the strain. At the same time, muscle groups enlarge out of control, bursting through Banner’s shirt sleeves and forcing its buttons to pop.

For me, blouse bursting happens at the most inopportune times, and without the blue/white eye-change warning. I’m just sitting there trying to enjoy a dessert at brunch with friends, for example, when POP!hulk

And I am thinking, C’mon, give me a break, this top can’t contain me and a few bites of cheesecake?! Really? That’s just wrong.

To keep the monster at bay, I engage in all manner of preventative maintenance. Okay, not really, but I should. I engage in a few. Being a die hard Do-It-Yourselfer, I purchased some exercise equipment for home, lots of moisturizing products, specially formulated shampoo and conditioner, and I stock piled L’Oreal hair color, in Espresso, for resistant gray. So far, I’ve managed to use these products successfully.

One area of maintenance, however, that I have finally decided needs to be left to the experts is feet. My feet, size 5-1/2, require a lot more attention than one might think for such small pedestals. First, feet have to be marinated in oil, then nails have to be clipped, filed, buffed and polished. Then, calluses have to be sanded with pads resembling S.O.S. steel wool. And you are supposed to take a cheese grater-like thing to your heels.

The problem with trying to maintain your feet yourself is that it’s tricky, . . . and involves bending over.

Besides, your feet are too important to be left to amateurs like ourselves. Steel wool and skin graters can be brutal in the hands of an inexperienced, unlicensed, aging Do-It-Yourselfer.

I came to this conclusion after whittling my heels down to a point where I now inadvertently step out of my shoes in mid-step.

I just hope I don’t burst through my blouse and lose my shoes at the same time.

Don’t laugh, it could happen.  Especially if I’m eating cheesecake on the run!

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