Tag Archives: aging humour

Would You Like Me to Wax the Hair on Your Toes?

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What the fuzz?
Okay, I realize I’m off the charts here with asking you such a boldly bumptious question. Nor do I have any intention of following through on the answer if you say yes.

I’ve been under a wee bit of stress lately and decided I needed some pampering. So I scheduled myself into a day spa for the usual scrub, rub, soak and polish routines. It was deliciously decadent.

Who me?
But then something happened. As I was getting my pedicure, eyes closed, enjoying the ambient sounds of the soothing spa playlist du jour, the lovely young technician interrupted my zoned-out state by asking, “Would you like me to wax the hair on your toes?”

Ditching the cucumber slices on my eyes, I bolted upright! “What did you say?”
“The hair on your toes,” she repeated. “Would you like me to remove it?”

“I have hair on my toes?” I said to her, like she would make such a disgusting thing up. “I can’t see that far down”…I insisted. “I have cataracts, I didn’t know I had hair on my toes. How long has it been there?”

Stay calm and breathe!
“I don’t know,” she said in her spa-soothing voice. “But don’t worry, just relax and it will be gone in a minute.” She proceeded to take care of the big hairy deal with the speed and diplomacy of the professional she was. Then she quickly followed up with a leg and foot massage that made me forget my bushy phalanges and put me right back into a zen state of mind. I left feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and slippery as a mango pit…my Hobbit feet a thing of the past.

Hair today, gone tomorrow:
What is it about our obsession with body hair and why do we find it so unappealing? Studies have shown that many women hide their depilatory secrets from their partners, too embarrassed or ashamed to admit they keep up high maintenance routines to keep themselves basically as bald as baby kangaroos. The Daily Mail in the UK did an article a few years ago entitled, Top 20 Beauty Secrets Women Hide From Men.” The number one item on the list that women never wanted their partners to know was, “Pluck/Shave hair from the toes.”

Yikes!
We older women usually don’t go baby-kangaroo crazy in our plucking, shaving and waxing pursuits. But with hormone changes, we can have a few surprise visitors in the mirror. Pesky little hair follicles can pop out in unforeseen locations, like chin, nipples, belly, moles, knuckles, shoulders, forehead, upper lip and yes…even our noses and ears, usually reserved for the male species.

Hairy contrary:
Sometimes there are medical conditions that cause this problem, but most of the time it isn’t a problem at all. Just annoying as hell. And some women are embracing their inner-hairiness and growing their own leggings and dyeing armpit hair in rainbow colours. But that’s a post for another day. I worked with a woman many years ago who had a patch of long bushy black hair on the back of her legs above the knee. We wore mini skirts in those days and when she bent over the file cabinet, every chair in the office swung around to check out the view. I always wondered if she brushed it.

Let’s think about this:
So with all the maintenance most of us do to keep the forestry down, let me ask you this. What do you think we would morph into if we were deserted on a south Pacific island with our favourite heart-throb? Picture yourself in a bodice ripping story as a romantic castaway with…(fill in the blanks.) My own personal fantasy includes Nathaniel Bonner, from the book, “Into the Wilderness.” Honestly, I can’t get enough of that man. But I digress…back to the deserted island…

The story continues:
So after a few months or a year under a palm tree in the Pacific, and depending on our own personal speed of hair growth multiplied by genetics and dominant genes – our appearance may be more bewhiskered than bewitching. As our eyebrows spread slowly into a monobrow and we braid our armpit hair to keep it out of the oyster stew, will we still want to frolic on our hairy Hobbit feet into the crashing waves on the beach? And without our dream man’s manscaping routines, will we still whisper sweet and salty nothings as we do the beach tango, like a couple of hairballs in love? Hmmm….

 

Final word:
So the next time someone asks you, “Would you like me to wax/tweeze/shave that?”  know that you’re in the good company of someone from the Secret Society of the Hairy Sisterhood.


See you between the lines and on Twitter @PatSkene

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Arriving Naked

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RetirementTelling Lies: During the 1980’s when conspicuous consumption was the flavour of the decade, an insidious marketing slogan saturated our spongy boomer-brains like a pop-culture virus. It promised us freedom from life’s miseries when we arrived at the magic age of fifty-five. We aspired to live like the advertisements and longed to become the beautiful retirees lounging in oceanfront hot-tubs and roaming the golfing green pastures of everlasting fun in the sun. But life is full of Mrs. Cleaver’s sweater-sets and pearls until one day reality comes of age and bites you on your assets.

Reality Check: Now we find ourselves in an ongoing economic downturn where many people are ‘fretting 55’ instead of planning their escape route into nirvana. Like programmed humanoids, we continue to think that if we aren’t rich and free by middle-age, we have failed in our life’s mission to hurry up and do nothing. Get real folks!

Easy Money: In the 1970’s, financial institutions came out of their cash-closets and made it easy for people to borrow money. Since then, credit has been increasingly used to supplement income so we could all buy now and pay later. Years later! And even today, boomers still hold the biggest bag of debt.

Time to Pay: So what are we going to do about it? Stop whining for starters. Stop spending and start living a life we can afford…especially as we age. Debt makes the lenders rich, not the customers. So it’s up to boomers to cut the crap and the plastic.

Empty promises: Exacerbating the whole credit issue is the repository of bare bones left buried in so many savings portfolios. With the downturn in the economy and interest rates, much of our anticipated nest eggs have been cracked open and left to rot in dried up investment pools. If I hear, “You have to think long term,” one more time, I‘ll barf up my worthless stock certificates. It’s the standard line used by investment hounds to keep your hard earned pennies from escaping into the nearest woolen sock.

Taking Charge: So how do we know when it’s time to relax a bit and switch gears? Sometimes we make a conscious choice and sometimes it whacks us up the side of the head. In today’s climate, most people need or want to work after 55. And with the future of our government pension plans up for grabs, and more companies opting out of cushy pension perks, there should be honour in working at whatever we want to for as long as we can.

Arriving Naked: But starting over and exploring new options after decades in the workforce – whether by choice or not – is a scary thing to do. Who are we without our retired job titles, our network of contacts and our social grids? It’s like being reborn at mid-life and arriving naked without a business card. I left the raw-bone stresses of my corporate job for health reasons when I was in my fifties. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but I plunged into my post-corporate life and reinvented myself to become a writer. I let go and never looked back.

Digging Deep: Finding new ways to live and work can be a daunting experience as we age. But every one of us is standing on a mountain of life experiences. Whether it’s setting out to find a passion we want to follow, or doing an about-face into a new career or volunteer position – it’s all good. We just have to go deep and be fearless.

Anything Goes: Many seniors are taking on jobs in retail and service industries, after years in a professional workforce. Some need the money and some simply need a place to go each day. Either way, if that means slinging java at a coffee shop, becoming a neighborhood crossing guard or doing the meet-and-greet thing at a department store, why the hell not? There’s less stress, simple hours, and at some places – a cool uniform.

Freedom to Choose: Each one of us should have the courage to choose when the time is right to arrive at our various destinations in life – naked or not. Freedom is about living life to the fullest; the good and the bad of it and on our own terms. It’s about choosing our lifestyles wisely and having the courage to simplify when we have to. And it’s about not thinking too hard if we have to back-up to go forward.

Bottom Line: So is there freedom after fifty-five you ask? Damn right there is! It’s all in our head!

See you between the lines and on Twitter @PatSkene

Check out my children’s books at www.pressheretostartpublishing.com