20 July 2011

And as we wind on down the road

A few years ago, when I was packing for a trip, I realized with a certain sense of dread that somewhere, at some time, completely unsuspecting, I had become high maintenance.

I've always sort of prided myself on being low maintenance. I go easy on the makeup. My hair will generally fall into some semblance of a bob if I give it a good, or at least a swift, brush. I fail to accessorize. If need be, I can be out the door in five minutes flat. I wouldn't necessarily say five-minutes-out-the-door is a look I want to cultivate, but I'm generally clean and modestly dressed if not particularly color-coordinated.

It must have been one of my concert trips. If it involves an airplane--and they usually do--it's usually a carry-on only ordeal event, and so I have to suffer through the stuffing of my toiletries into a one-quart bag. So, assembled the necessities, and as I assembled, I saw that bottles were multiplying...like rabbits. There was special shampoo and conditioner for my special hair as well as two styling products to make it look the way it was supposed to with a third if there should be rain; two serums for my aging skin, along with eye cream and face cream and night cream and cleanser, and eye anti-puff stuff and a cunning little stick that contained a goo to make my wrinkles look less wrinkly. There was sunscreen and body lotion and hand cream and cuticle cream and deodorant. Makeup primer, foundation, eye liner, mascara, eye shadow, lipstick and a lovely sort of gel that was supposed to make me look as if I was blushing.

Eeeeeeeeew.

It made me wonder what sort of magnet I'd become for those insidious marketing campaigns. Look younger! Be your most beautiful!

What does all that mean except that even I don't believe that I'm good enough as I am?

And so, I did cut back on the routine and all the little bottles and serums and potions. I haven't noticed much difference except that I look a bit older, probably because I am. And still, when I buy something innocuous--moisturizer or cleanser--it invariably comes with a minefield of wonderful little samples of the next glorious cosmetic breakthrough.

And I find myself wondering if I should buy a bottle.

Go listen to some good music: "Stairway to Heaven" from the album Led Zeppelin IV by Led Zeppelin.

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