Present Tense – #3

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….


20 replies »

  1. If one is UNDER the dignified age of 65 (a magic number apparently), one can be considered youthful and dewy. Despite the creakiness of bones and joints, and those wince inducing pains that plague the less than limber. I will see sixty in two years (well a year and a bit now), but my own body has been in revolt since 2000 when it declared that doing anything more strenuous than a sedate stroll around my yard was going to cause a lot of high end pain. It also stopped allowing me to touch my feet. I simply can’t bend that way any more and trying to bend over standing up is likely to end up with me on the floor (an unhappy circumstance since hubby toddled off the perch). I can’t get up again, and Huny, while amazing in many ways, is no help. She watches from a wary distance, ready to sprint under the bed or the couch, because the noises I make trying to get back up again are reminiscent of when she is a ‘bad’ girl and a hasty retreat is indicated. A lot of swearing occurs. I can stand upright for about five minutes at a go, so my eternal bath squashy thingie (there’s a name for it, I just can’t grasp that right now) gets a hasty douse with body wash, I scrub vigorously, wash my hair and I’m out. In retrospect it would have been wise to get a walk in shower with one of those benches the ‘old’ people use to sit and catch their breath on. Showering can be exhausting. Streamlined? Some of us have had that happy state of being in the rear view since 1994. In my defense, having a very heavy bed partner, who liked nighttime frolics of the sexual kind, probably broke a few important bits and pieces along our journey together. He was great at taking care of my feet though. *sigh* No. “Old” age isn’t for sissies..

    Liked by 1 person

    • AHA!!! LOOFAH. It’s a freakin’ LOOFAH. I realized that just as I pressed ‘post comment’. Such is the way of things. That green loofah would fit in perfectly with my color scheme in the guest bathroom as well. Further evidence that our great minds tend to go the same places…. is that a little scary or what?

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s still astonishing to me how quickly everything, body-wise, goes to hell in such a short amount of time. It wasn’t that long ago ago (okay, maybe a few decades) when I could frolic about with the grace of a gazelle, never-winded and full of energy. Now? I have to plan my day very carefully. If I don’t prepare correctly, I can end up in traction for months. It pisses me off, frankly.


      • Whoops, I messed up a bit with my comment clicking. That first comment applies to YOUR first comment. This second applies to your second: That’s ANOTHER thing that irks me about getting older. Words that you have used all of your life suddenly escape you at critical moments once you reach the well-trod years. It’s not fair. I was a very good student and I paid attention. It’s unjust that my vocabulary is being ripped away from me…


  2. About typos, I just left a comment on your previous post with a glaring one. In my defense, I typed ‘
    “were” but my phone autocorrected it to “we’re” and I didn’t notice until I hit “post comment.” And then I’m all, like, oh &#@! no, no, NO, ah $#&!
    I hate it when that happens, don’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can totally relate. “Limber” is a thing of the past, and easily clipping toenails and eliminating excess skin cells now requires extra time and planning. Whoever coined the term “golden years” was full of crap. Probably selling something dodgy – a retirement slum? Unless he was referring to my joints, which are only slightly more pliable than gold. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, you bring up another bone of contention with me, The joints! (And I’m not talking about those happy things that helped us appreciate album-cover art in the 70s.) What is going on with my joints? If I don’t remain flat on my back during slumber, instead of flopping around until one or more of my limbs end up in a compromising position, said limbs will be rusty and creaky for several days after that. Madness!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I’m sure you’re at least mildly curious about what I might have been doing in my younger years that require my foot to be over my head, but we’ll save the details for another occasion… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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