Present Tense

Present Tense – #3

PT 1003

Personal confession: Although I am a true acolyte of the Church of Exfoliation, I’m not one to spend extraordinary amounts of money on the latest-trend mechanized implements that dubiously guarantee to whisk away unnecessary but truculent skin cells. (I’m retired, after all, which means my spending mantra has switched from “I can buy anything I want!” to “How many times can we eat beans this week before one of us snaps and does something unforgivable?”.) My low-budget arsenal consists of two things: those woven-plastic body sponges (these non-biodegradable contraptions will survive for centuries in your local landfill) and those plastic tongue-depressors enhanced with a strip of mid-grade sandpaper (another landfill stalwart) so you can get all Medieval on the hardened parts of you that shouldn’t be hard.

But I may have to reconsider this plan of attack, mainly for health reasons. As mentioned, I am retired, even though I’m not as old as what this might make me seem. (There was a happenstance at my previous job wherein “the numbers” managed to coalesce in a manner that meant I needed to get the hell out or I would actually start losing money; it’s a long and drab story.) Still, despite my relatively dewy youthfulness (at least in my mind), I am getting a bit long in the tooth, and the previous things I used to accomplish in the shower stall are no longer within easy grasp.

To wit: Prior to intrusive and rude body decay, I could expertly use the landfill-sponge and the landfill-stick to quickly rid myself of demon skin cells whilst taking my daily shower. It was a lovely, satisfying arrangement. Now, however, my dexterity and stamina have both chosen to pursue relationships with someone that is not me. I can still manage the sponge fairly well, whisking away at my elbows (girl, nobody wants to see ashy, chalky elbows!) and the various other upper-body points of concern. But my heels? That’s becoming a bridge too far.

Back in the day, I could easily stand on one foot for hours on end, whether it was for beauty-regime or sexual-gratification purposes. (And really, what’s the difference?) Back in the current day, I can no longer hold my foot over my head for the entire running-time of Gone with the Wind without subsequently requiring physical therapy. Things must now be accomplished in stages. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Rest. Scrub, scrub… wait, what was I doing? Scrub, scrub… why am I sweating in the shower? What was that popping noise? Are there any working ligaments left in my body?

Moral of the story: It’s nice to be streamlined, but there eventually comes a time when you realize that you can only do so much. We are all an amalgam of genes and happenstance. Don’t fret about what you see in the fashion magazines. That’s all smoke and mirrors, designed by trendy editors trying to make a pointless point. The richness and goodness of all of us lies in the heart and the brain, not the elbow or the foot or the ability to prance down the walkway at a fashion show. Yes, treat your body well. But at the end of the day, nobody is going to remember the chalkiness or the roughage or however the hell you might have looked at a certain moment. They are going to remember what your heart did for them, meant for them. And if they don’t, screw em. Said with love…

 

(Note: All of the above was actually a response I made to the lovely sepultura13 in a comment discussion last evening. I was just about to hit enter, proofreading a bit, when it hit me: “hey, this could be a blog post”. Done.)

 

26 replies »

  1. You sir, are exactly what this exhaustef, decaying, worn-out brain needed. LOL for lack of a better term. Remember back in the day when dev would call you ‘Brain…’? Well. Do you? Do you remember ME at all or….wait, who are you again? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Madame Tiffany, I do have vague recollections of being called “Brain” by folks from exotic locales, and there are slight memory traces from time spent toiling in a cubicle farm on Sordid Ridge, but I must admit that such faded images are vaporizing from my cortex. You, however, well.. how could I ever lose the deliciously decadent concept of your manicured hand reaching for a forbidden door on the streets of Paris….

      Like

  2. Only through my ex was I exposed and welcomed to the mystical world of the loofa, the plastic king of the facecloth long since banished to a realm of landfill.
    And spot on, all the metrosexual extras are bollocks too apart from maybe moisturiser.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, moisturizer is key. Otherwise, beloved parts of our body that were once supple and dewy will suddenly turn on you with a vengeance that you normally only see in documentaries about crocodiles eviscerating their prey in less-traveled parts of Africa…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I had to look at my elbows when you referenced ashy and chalky… I think they’ve actually improved with age. However, I agree with you on the shower thing… I used to be able to put one leg in all kinds of precarious positions… for shaving purposes… but now it’s just not that easy. Too sad. Maybe I’ll make that one of my fitness goals. 😀

    Loved this!! Thanks for the smile yet again! And yes… in the end, only the heart matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it amazing how quickly we go from “watch me do a triple backflip!” to “I don’t think I have the strength to lick this envelope”? But yet, we’re all still here, tomorrow is another day, and we are surrounded by hearts that matter…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. So nice to know I’m not the only one who looks at my body and compares it to days gone by. What I need to do is look at this lovely piece of art and realize it looks as good as it ever will going forward. In 10 years I’ll wish my bod looked as good as it does today.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ROFLMAO – I love it! Perfect post, and thank you kindly for the shout-out!
    This, right here, is perfection:

    Back in the day, I could easily stand on one foot for hours on end, whether it was for beauty-regime or sexual-gratification purposes. (And really, what’s the difference?)

    You said it! Too damned true.
    😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “We are all an amalgam of genes and happenstance.” – Love that, so true. I really enjoyed this whole post Brian, it is those small things in life that you start to notice that seem to indicate your use by date is rapidly approaching, but are extremely hard to ignore. I know there are things I don’t do now that I couldn’t imagine NOT doing a decade ago (or maybe I have just got lazy, with no-one now to admire me on closeup).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Claudette! It really puts a perspective on things when certain doors start closing and you have to re-evaluate what is truly important. It would have been nice if someone had shared these thoughts with my younger self, but I probably wouldn’t have listened… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I too have realized–too late?–that people are really only concerned about themselves and rarely give me a second glance, especially now that I’m on Medicare. I’m somebody’s grandma for goodness sake. Still, I exfoliate in the shower because I want that nice soft, somewhat saggy grandma skin to glow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s never too late to learn new things, of course, but it certainly would have been nice if some of this insight had developed during my formative years. Perhaps I wouldn’t have spent decades trying for conform to someone else’s ideal of me. Then again, if we truly shot out of the womb knowing everything, I would think life would be rather boring… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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