My two guilty pleasures…

My two guilty pleasures are haircuts and pedicures. And for good reason.

Somewhere in my twenties and early thirties, I decided it was best to focus on my hair and my feet. Nothing good happens to all the pieces parts in between…

Eventually there just isn’t enough Botox, liposuction, or newfangled product to stop the march of time. Unless one wants to look perpetually startled or be unable to form a smile. Plastic surgery can head off aging for a time, but then time, effort and money must be dedicated to ‘surgical maintenance’ to keep everything in place. And ultimately, you’re the woman in the nursing home with the shriveled up body and boobs that resemble baseballs shoved under the loose skin. Or a face stretched free of wrinkles–with a hanging neck, because necks just can’t be counted on to hold up.

My third guilty pleasure would be getting a manicure, but I cannot in good conscience add them to the list. My fingers are stumpy, short and indelicate. Because my fingernails bend and break before they gain length, I tried acrylic nails a few years back.

For a time, fake nails were part of my ‘maintenance activities’ and I admit to feeling quite glamorous with my bi-weekly French manicure, even though they mostly ended in disaster.

Forget about a manicure lasting two weeks. I had difficulty making it out of the salon without destroying the polish—I often smudged a nail (or several) while letting the damn things dry. I perpetually got dirt under them while working in the yard and found the simplest tasks impossible. Typing. Peeling off a band-aid. Turning pages in a book. And it is far more painful to rip off an acrylic nail on accident, than a real nail.

When I got my first set of acrylic nails, I drove home with my hands resting on the steering wheel—kind of like when we hold ten fingers in the air. I couldn’t wrap my fingers around the steering wheel.

My Wingman: You can hold onto the steering wheel…AND LOOK AT THE ROAD!!

Me (Tearing my eyes away from my nails): But my nails feel funny…

My Wingman: You WILL become ONE with the nails.

I never did.

But they were really pretty. Sometimes for five minutes. Sometimes five days. But NEVER for two weeks.

Which is why I love a nice pedicure. Because it is almost impossible to screw it up.  Unlike a manicure, a pedicure tends to look great for a month, or so. And I do so enjoy looking down at my feet to see a Perfect set of ten shiny red piggies winking back up at me. More so, when other parts of me aren’t looking so great.

And so it has come down to hair and toes for me. I fluff my hair in the mirror in hopes that it is spectacular–or at least interesting enough–to keep attention from wandering down to what is below the neck. The goal is to draw the eye up.

Thank goodness, I’ve been blessed with one good genetic trait–my brown hair. In my family, we tend not to go gray. Which means I don’t need to color my hair. Though in July, I noticed one thin, gray strand of hair in my bangs—but that is probably because I’ve been surrounded by teenagers all summer.

And it isn’t terrible, considering I will be 41 in October. Even pushing 60, the most I’ve seen anybody in the family do is highlight their hair every few months. There is still enough brown to avoid coloring the entire head.

I used to get a haircut about every two and a half months at an expensive salon. Because my budget is a bit tight, it is more like every six months these days. Still, I’d rather have infrequent haircuts at my favorite salon, with my favorite stylist—than risk a horrible haircut.  I’ll say no more. We’ve all been there…

None of this would be so terrible if our men fell apart along with us. If THEY required ‘maintenance activities.’ But they don’t. Their behinds remain supple and dimple free; their legs keep their muscle. Salt and pepper (even gray) hair is distinguished. A little–or even a big–gut does not detract from their looks. In fact, men tend to wear their maturity well, getting more handsome as they age.

It just doesn’t seem fair that as women, our in-between parts (in-between the head and toes, that is) begin falling apart soon after they finish developing.  We never really get to enjoy the Perfection, because when we ARE young and Perfect, we are also somewhat immature and insecure. Meaning we see flaws instead of Perfection.

And by the time we’ve got this figured this out, things are already falling apart…

Maybe it’s time I worked on developing a winning personality? Or went shopping for some clothing that better accentuates my positives…

More likely?  I’ll just get a pedicure and call it good.

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