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.)
Originally published in “Bonnywood Manor” on 05/20/16. Minimalistic changes made, concerning a few typos that hid in plain sight for a few years. (Doesn’t it drive you crazy when you find a glaring typo that everyone has been politely ignoring for years? It’s a shame spiral. Or maybe that’s just me.)
Story behind the photo: That’s one of my own landfill-sponges plopped on a shelf in the guest bathroom. At the time I painted said cabinetry, there was some degree of household dissent about my color choice. (Not naming the names of the anarchists, but one of them had a moniker that rhymes with Splotch the Chat, who was concerned that his ginger disposition would clash with such a hue whilst he posed stoically in his litter box.) I feel that my spiritual vision and foresight has been justly justified, as that sponge looks pretty damn good on that shelf, yes? Or maybe that’s just me….