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Monthly Archives: August 2013

…Neglect Their Faces

Ever look in the mirror first thing in the morning?

Pause, while you remember that initial glance a few short hours ago…

Scary, isn’t it? Sheet lines deeply etched in your cheeks, hair matted on one side and attempting a mad escape on the other, eye goobers, slobber tracks. Why do we LOOK? Are we anticipating that this morning, unlike all the other mornings of our lives, we will look GOOD upon waking? Forget that!!

Looking good takes effort. A soothing, herb-scented shower (okay, I prefer citrus, but whatever!), a brisk drying off, lotions, cremes, hair gel, diffusers, the proper wardrobe, and, the key to it all — skincare. Make-up!!!!! The wrinkles, the fine lines, the saggy eyes, the stubby lashes — face it. Our faces are a train wreck most mornings. Stop me when I’m lying, friends. And this,

image courtesy of xojane.com

image courtesy of xojane.com

THIS, is why friends don’t let friends neglect their faces. It’s one thing to get up in the morning and scare ourselves. It’s another thing altogether to go out amongst the masses and frighten small children, set the neighborhood dogs to howlin’, chase off potential marriage partners, fail every time we hail a taxi.

Be a friend to your face. And importantly, befriend your friends’ faces too. Whether your spend time together at the Revlon display at Target, the Lancôme counter at Nordstrom, or you just happen to have your own personal Mary Kay consultant for a best friend like I do, remember this: Friends don’t let friends neglect their faces.

Everyone will thank you. Especially first thing in the morning.

…Forget Where They Came From…

I grew up in small town USA. Smaller than that. I grew up on a farm outside Smalltown USA. Party telephone lines. Help when you needed it, and sometimes even when you didn’t. Nobody’s business was private business. Not quite Peyton Place, but I seem to recall watching that on TV…

Grade school friends became high school friends by default, of course, and while we pledged ourselves to be ‘friends forever’ at commencement, most of us instead commenced with the ‘rest of our lives,’ which for many of us did not include sticking around. Keeping up with old friends took a backseat to making new ones. Life, as they say, went on. But if my high school friends turned out to be anything at all like me, they snooped about for the latest scoops on each other at the time-honored homecomings – you know, Thanksgivings, Christmases, summer trips to visit Grandma and Grandpa. At any rate, that’s how I kept up. And that’s how I learned of a high school acquaintance and her layout in a ‘gentleman’s magazine.’ Mind you, I use the term loosely. Layout = porn, right? But I digress…

Here’s the funny thing about that ‘layout.’ Sure, those mags are sold because of the pictures. I, on the other hand, read the story. And I have to say, the details were all wrong. We were a community of farmers, machinists, small business owners, school teachers and those folks’ kids. Everyone attended Friday night football games, band concerts and school plays; we road tripped the ‘away games,’ turned out in force for the Memorial Day parade, the summer carnivals and yearly ‘Fall Festival.’ We attended church on Sundays (some of the Catholics went on Saturday nights). The town sported four bars, and ‘driving around’ Main Street was the teen activity. Cultural hot spot we were not.

But the magazine’s  portrayal of our growing up life indicated otherwise. To read about us, we had arrived. We were the elite, I tell you, with a veritable treasure trove of performance opportunities – musicals, symphonies, dance. Allow me to set the record straight. The closest thing we had to ‘ballet,’ was the high school drill team, aka pom-pom girls. I myself was a member of that squad for a couple of years, I am happy to report. Nary a ballerina amongst us – and not once did we attempt a fouetté en tourant, though we did achieve mastery in presenting our derrières, more commonly known as ‘shaking our booties,’ courtesy of KC and his band. It was the ‘70s and we were doing ‘the Hustle.’ We never dreamed that one of us would show up in “Hustler,” reshaping our shared experiences to ‘make a better story.’

And that, my friends, is why friends don’t let friends forget where they came from. Because there will always be someone who ‘remembers you when.’ And if you grew up in Smalltown USA, then someone is sure to tell the rest of your story, especially if you don’t get all the facts straight, and even if they weren’t there to get all the facts straight themselves. And they will share it on the ‘party line.’ It’s called Facebook, Twitter, or linkedin these days. And trust me, they’ll share it. Just ask Anthony Weiner. That two-bit hustler…

…Blather on about Christmas in the Dog-days…

It’s early August, and the heat is on. Actually, the temps are refreshingly temperate this week — somehow luxurious in the unexpectedness of it, given the usual state of the state of Indiana in the summertime;  not to mention the muggy wonderfulness of the Florida coast last week. (Yes, I was on vacation, and yes, it was glorious, and no, I am not lamenting the return to real life, in spite of the small hills of laundry.) But anyway… AUGUST. Predictably following JULY. Summer, right? Backyard Bar-B-Qs, swimming pools, boating, suntans, corn on the cob and watermelon — Summer. This is not the time for singing “Jingle Bells” or “Deck the Halls” or “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” This is not the time for turtlenecks, woolen socks, and fuzzy stocking caps. This is not the season for fudge, or Scrooge, or twinkle lights. This is not, I repeat, NOT the time of year to open up Pinterest and find this:

A HUGE array of pins devoted to a Dickens classic looks great in mid-November. It warms the heart in early December, stirring nostalgia, ‘good will toward men’ and a taste for a Christmas goose. (Scratch that last one — I much prefer a Christmas turkey myself.) But in August, friends don’t let friends pine for Christmas (Ha! Get it?? PINE? Christmas? I know, I know — clever is as clever does…) when the tomatoes aren’t yet ripe on the vine. I don’t care if the pinner isn’t a real friend but only a sort of virtual one. She needs help. She needs a friend to keep her from missing out on the present because she’s pining and pinning in a virtual world. Listen up: friends don’t let friends blather on about the season that isn’t during the season that is! So get out there, slather on some sunscreen and head to your State fair, eat a popsicle, smell the Coppertone! It’s the dog days! Get out there and bark!