Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Maintenance



One of the things we have to deal with as women is the maintenance.  You know, the things you have to do just so you can walk out the door and not be worried about who you might run into.  It never fails that the one time you leave the house without eyeliner, you run into exactly the person you never want to see you without eyeliner.  Men, on the other hand, never have to worry about this. If their teeth are brushed and their clothes are clean (and if they are reasonably clean shaven), they’re good to go. 

But for women, there are a multitude of things we have to do daily, weekly or monthly just to stay more or less even, the things that keep us from looking like someone who no longer cares.  Here are a few categories of the kind of basic maintenance I'm talking about:

Hair

The amount of maintenance involving hair is pretty overwhelming -- washing, conditioning, blow drying, curling, styling, etc., etc.  And then there’s coloring, the most time-consuming thing of all.  But it is the most powerful weapon we have because it actually succeeds in stopping the clock (at least where your hair color is concerned).  


Nails

I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the way it became an absolute necessity to have a manicure if you wanted to be well-groomed. I can’t remember thinking that much about it years ago but all of a sudden a billion nail places appeared all over town and everybody was getting their nails done. If you weren’t getting your nails done, you felt positively ungroomed. And so it became necessary to add getting a manicure into your maintenance routine.

Which brings me to pedicures.  I actually LOVE getting pedicures because it forces me to sit and relax and read a book (because, of course, the pedicurist doesn’t speak enough English to hold a conversation with).  And I sometimes get little flowers painted on my big toe which looks adorable in sandals.  But pedicures are time-consuming and need to be repeated about once a month to stay looking good. So they add more time and more $$$ to my maintenance routine.

Skin

There is so much confusing information out there about skin maintenance that it is hard to know what to do. Remember when we were young and there was only Noxema?  Life was so simple. Now you have to decide between anti-aging, moisturizing, pore minimizing, wrinkle reducing, exfoliating, firming – and the list goes on.  You can stand for an hour in front of the face cream shelf and still not know what you should buy.  One thing I have learned is that most of them don’t do what they say, but we can always hope.


The other day I passed a homeless woman and as I watched this woman shuffle down the street I realized that I am only about eight hours a week away from looking exactly like her – with frizzy gray hair (which I would probably have if I stopped coloring mine); with a potbelly I would definitely develop if I ate just half of what I think about eating every day; with dirty nails and chapped lips and bushy eyebrows.  So I soldier on, trying to keep up with the maintenance.  I wonder, at what age you stop worrying about it and just relax and accept it for what it is? I kinda wish I were there.  I would have so much more free time on my unmanicured hands. 



What things do you find essential to your maintenance routine?  Please share your feelings on this subject and share a photo or two in the Flickr pool depicting part of your maintenance routine.  Come on, it will make us all feel better knowing we’re not alone!

Don’t forget to post your photos for this month’s theme, Attraction to Abstraction, as well.  Be sure to tag them with ATA to have them considered for an In Focus selection.

 



24 comments:

Carol said...

Hi Terri,
What a hysterical sign when it is paired with these thoughts! Perfect. I'd like to hang it in my bathroom!
Oh for the days of Yardley white lipstick that my grandmother said made me look dead! What always kills me about being this age is that it seems so random. Some days I look in the mirror and I think - ok -I'm keeping up, and other days the first look in the mirror convinces me that I look at least 90 years old. So my daughter teaches me about "the products," and I try to keep up to enhance the good days and cover the bad ones! It's a lot of work for this old tomboy who never planned to know this stuff! Oh well - onward and upward and keep your eye on the real prize - inner beauty!

Dotti said...

Love everything you've said here, Terri, and it's all so true. My husband can't understand why it takes me so much longer to get ready than it does him. And believe me, there are plenty of times when I wish I could get ready to face the world in 20 minutes!

As for the grey hair ... I gave up that battle when my daughter was expecting our granddaughter. I decided I was "of a certain age" and was a grandmother now, so I wasn't fooling anybody. Besides, I'd rather shoot pictures than color my hair. I do my own pedicures because I can't stand to have other people touch my feet. And my manicures ... well, let's not go there.

Deanna said...

As I grow older maintenance should be at the top of my list, but alas I falter. I stopped coloring my hair in the early 90's, I have only had one pedicure in my entire life, (I will admit that it was heaven), I don't have manicures because I have such thin ugly nails it isn't worth the time or the money, and I am not good at face creams, eye creams etc etc. I'll admit to buying, but somehow I fail to use them. Your post makes me realize just how much I don't take care of myself. I do take the time to put on make-up when I am going out, but with my new hairstyle it takes me minimum time to ready myself for out the door. I guess I have to depend upon my (giggle) inner beauty.

Jocelyne said...

So funny, you made me laugh ! I think, for me, it will never stop. My mother in law is 72 and she's still doing all that you've said. She even put a little makeup even if she stays at home ! I thought I would be able to not coloring my hair but I'm not. One thing I don't do is the manicures at a salon. Why would I pay for that when the next thing I'll do is gardening, and I can't stand to have my nails too long when I'm handling my camera with all these tiny buttons ! There's also the shaving...Arrrgh...it's a never ending pit !
All this maintenance takes too much of our precious time, but I don't think women will ever stop doing it !

heyjudephotography said...

I agree with Carol. Some days it seems like so much effort, and then there are days that I think, "hey, I'm hanging in there!" :) It's work, but I think that as long as we don't go overboard and spend all of our time thinking about our looks, it's ok. I mean, I do think we need to take pride in how we look. For some that may be mani/pedi's and hair color. For others that may mean well groomed hands, a clean face, and beautiful shiny hair. Whatever works. I do think we need to feel good about ourselves and feel happy when we look in the mirror. But, boy, some days it seems like soo much work! Good post Terri!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

When I was little my legs seemed to kill me at night. (growing pains) and my father would hear me moaning in my sleep and he would quietly come in and rub my feet and legs till I feel deep asleep. To me, having a pedicure is heaven. It's the one luxury I never want to give up. Great post darlin

Hugs

terriporter said...

You're lucky to have a daughter to keep you up on what's going on. Having all men in my life, I don't think they'd notice if I started sporting the white Yardley lipstick! Yeah, inner beauty, gotta remember that!

terriporter said...

I have considered "going gray" but just can't bring myself to do it. Yes, I'm a grandmother too but I'd prefer people just think I had my children verrrrrry young (I didn't!) One of these days I'll cut it really short and let it go natural, but not yet!

terriporter said...

And that inner beauty of yours shines forth in those amazing blue eyes and that wonderful smile! My mother, at 85, still doesn't leave the house without her "face on" so I guess I come by it naturally (or, I guess, not so "naturally"!) So I have her to blame!

terriporter said...

You are so right, Jocelyne, that it's never ending. Some days out of habit I do my make-up and hair and then don't end up going anywhere, but at least I can stand myself when I walk past a mirror! I don't garden but I think if I did I would feel the same way you do about manicures. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Linda said...

I was a 70's girl-long straight hair, mascara only and it seems to have stayed with me! I do like having my hair done though! Not only does coloring away the gray hair make me feel younger, I love a good shampoo!

Since it is an oven here in the summer, full make-up is a waste of time and money as my face melts off as soon as I set foot out the door!

I had my first pedicure about 5 years ago and it's now a monthly ritual! Love to have my feet rubbed!


xo,
Linda

terriporter said...

Feeling good about ourselves . . . that's important, I agree. Just wish it didn't take so much work to get there! Thanks, Judy.

terriporter said...

Thanks, Claudia. Yes, sometimes it's not so much about the looks but about the pampering. Love the story about your father rubbing your legs. Sweet!

terriporter said...

Yes, I agree, the hair color is the best thing for making me feel younger too. You have more humidity where you are and that probably isn't the greatest for make-up. Here it's so dry that the heat really doesn't affect the make-up much. Yes, definitely, pedicures are a wonderful thing!

heyjudephotography said...

Terri, one of the many things I enjoyed when I visited Arizona a few years ago was all of the "good hair days" I had while there!!! No humidity means good hair for me. Worth moving there just for that reason!!!

Carol said...

Me too - such a sweet memory!

Peggy said...

I just had to laugh. Amen to that sister! I have that thin, fine hair that requires perms and coloring constantly...what a pain. I threaten to let it go flat and grey but my pride won't let me. LOL Peggy from PA

terriporter said...

Oh, I hear you, Peggy! I've got the same pride issue! So glad you stopped by.

kelly said...

i am embarrassed to admit this but i am total product junkie. LOL :) i was a total sun worshipper back in the day and now i am paying the price. but i also agree with the other ladies and believe it doesn't really matter what we do on the outside if it's falling apart on the inside. so i try to keep that in mind while staring at all the the anti-aging products at Target. :)

terriporter said...

Thanks for the smile, Kelly! Yes, why didn't they tell us to stay out of the sun when we were younger? But definitely it's the inside that counts the most. Won't keep me out of Target, however!

gina said...

Love this post! That sign just made me laugh! I had a pedicure today and enjoyed it so much, but never do manicures because my nails get ruined gardening. I stopped wearing makeup two years ago when my husband said he liked me better without it! I used to worry about what others thought of my appearance, but now I realize a genuine smile is the best makeup. :)

Joddo said...

I love that sign, Terri! It made me laugh. About 4 years ago I decided to just be me. I quit straightening my hair and just let it curl however it wanted. I paint my nails only for special occasions but I put my makeup on first thing in the morning. I use ground oatmeal and powdered milk to wash my face and vegetable glycerin with water as a moisturizer. I tell people I am really an angel, that is why my skin is white, and my hair isn't going gray, it is going blonde! This is how God made me so I should be proud of it. If I act young who will be able to argue with me? I would rather take care of the' inside me'.

terriporter said...

Oh, Jody, you are so right! I've always admired your curls! Thanks for the "recipes" for face wash and moisturizer. Probably works just as well as the expensive stuff! Definitely, taking care of the inside is lots more important and acting young has so much to do with how we feel about life. Love your attitude!

terriporter said...

And I never do gardening because it ruins my manicure! But you're right about that smile -- definitely the best makeup!

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