THE PLOT THICKENS

Remember this post? I have updates.

THE PLOT THICKENS

A man parks his nondescript SUV along a curve on a residential street and crosses the street. He is Delivery Guy. He walks up to the house and rings the doorbell. No one answers the door. Delivery Guy sticks a small piece of paper on the door, crosses the street, gets in his SUV, and drives away.

A woman and a man are inside the house. They are Kristi and Callaghan. They watch Delivery Guy leave from their living-room window. Callaghan opens the door to get the piece of paper stuck to the door.

Callaghan brings the piece of paper to Kristi. They see that it’s a pre-printed form note that looks like it came from a quirky gag gift post-it pad one can buy at a hip independent bookstore. The note is printed with: DELIVERY NOTICE! Important Time & Date Sensitive Material

Kristi sees her name hand-written on the note. The note does not feature the names of either the sending company or the shipping company. The note is printed with: Please call within 24 hours to reschedule your delivery

CUT TO FIVE DAYS LATER

Kristi calls the number on the note. A funeral home voice mail recording picks up.

We see Kristi’s face. Her expression is wondering what Time & Date Sensitive Material a funeral home would need to deliver to someone’s door.

We see her face remembering that she received in the mail an invitation to purchase a cemetery plot.

We see her face realizing that it’s the same funeral home.

CUT TO THREE HOURS LATER

Callaghan walks into the house.

KRISTI

They REALLY want to sell me a cemetery plot. But why does their note say Time & Date Sensitive? Do they know something I don’t? Am I on their list of people who are going to die, like, tomorrow?

CALLAGHAN

It’s time and date sensitive for them. They have to grab you first, and before you die.

[/END SCRIPT]

(Sorry, I don’t know how else to show that I’m done writing in screenplay mode)

So here’s the punchline: I finally got the funeral home person on the phone and found out that the delivery guy was trying to deliver the funeral home’s “complimentary gift.” The one they said they’d include with any promotional info I’d request. Remember how I filled out their form just to see what they’d send as a complimentary gift?

“Please share your name and address to receive your complimentary gift and any information you requested.”

I asked the guy, “What’s the complimentary gift you were trying to deliver?”

He said, “The complimentary gift is a brochure.”

Er, right.

 

File this under “Things no one tells you about aging.” (Mortuary letter WTF.)

Have you ever received a survey asking whether you’ve made your final arrangements? If you’re 50+, you probably have, because evidently you’re ripe for the picking.

I’m turning 50 this year, and I’m now being solicited by mortuaries (in a letter sent by an umbrella mortuary corporation) whose promotional mailing wants to know all kinds of intimate details about my death plans.

My jaw dropped in disbelief and amusement last week when I opened the mail addressed to me (not to Callaghan, who’s 14 months younger) and read this letter and survey asking the following questions:

  • Have you already arranged for a funeral in advance? If no, would you like more information?
  • Are you aware that you can lock in your costs at today’s prices by arranging for a funeral in advance, no matter how many years it is between commitment and use?
  • In the event of your death, who is responsible for making your final arrangements?
  • Are your loved ones aware of your preference in funeral arrangements? If yes, have you provided detailed written instructions to them about your arrangements?
  • Have you already purchased a cemetery plot? If no, would you like more information?

I have a question for them: Really?

First of all, if you’re struggling with depression, it is – at the least – darkly hilarious to receive a mortuary corporation’s sales pitch. It’s not every day Callaghan walks into the kitchen and finds me laughing over a random piece of junk mail. 

At the worst, this sort of mail could be awful should it reach a person at the wrong time, during the wrong circumstances, depression or otherwise.

Secondly? Everything.

But it gets better. Beneath the survey, the letter says, “Please share your name and address to receive your complimentary gift and any information you requested.”

I’m tempted to send in the survey just for that, because I would LOVE to see what a “complimentary gift” from a mortuary would be. In fact, I think I will. Seriously.

We’re all on their list, my friends. THEY are waiting for us to reach their target demographic. They’ve decided that 50 (49.5!) puts you in the shadow of death’s door. These mortuary corporations have your birth dates, names, and addresses, and they’re waiting.  

So here we are with my minor gripe: AARP forgot all about me, but the mortuary people did not… and they’ve wasted no time in attempting to sell me their wares.

I want DISCOUNTS, not a cemetery plot.

Possible mid-life crisis sighting: new glasses?! (+ 1st cardio class on new meds!)

I stepped on my glasses yesterday. They were laying on the ground, on the brick pavement part of our back patio, because I’m a brilliant genius. That’s right. Not just any kind of genius. A brilliant genius. Luckily, I was wearing cloth house slippers. The damage could’ve been worse. My expensive progressive lens sat perfectly unharmed – not even scratched – within frames that were bent like a flimsy wire hanger from the dry cleaner’s.

A few hours later, I headed to my optometrist with hopes that the frames could be fixed. While I was there, I did what people naturally do when they’re in a room surrounded by glasses frames: I checked out the glasses frames.

To my dismay, I found a pair that I really, really liked. The entire room, I lamented to Callaghan, is like the cash register lane where they stock things they know you’ll consider buying just because you’re stuck in line with nothing to do but look at them.

I do not need an additional pair of glasses. I just felt like I needed them. My replacement frames were on order (100% covered by the warranty), and I was still sitting there staring wistfully at the unnecessary glasses frames. Callaghan coaxed me away so we could leave. “Allez, allez! On y va!” He said as he walked away from me, leaving me no choice but to follow him. (Classic French husband move.)

So here’s what I’m thinking: I’ve been waiting for and wondering about and anticipating my well-earned mid-life crisis so much that now, every time I get a wild hair up my ass, I think, could this be it?

Maybe this glasses thing is my mid-life crisis, since it fits the cliché: I have this sudden, strong desire to blow a stupid amount of money on something I don’t need. (“Stupid amount of money on something I don’t need ” converted to U.S. currency = anything more than $25.00, maybe $30.00 if you include shipping and tax.)

If this is it, I’m disappointed. The object of my irrational desire should be something more mid-life-crisis-ish. If this isn’t it, then what will it be, and when? Will I reach the end of my natural lifespan and finally realize that I need a Maybach? I do tend to be a late bloomer.

Totally unrelated because I wanted to post a pic and didn’t know what and I wanted to share this small victory with you, anyway: I have a selfie I took yesterday evening when I came back from Body Combat, significant because it marks the first cardio I’ve done in while.

I mean, okay, it’d only been two weeks since my last Combat class, but it seemed longer. Yesterday was the first time in a long time I could get through class without feeling like it was an exercise in dragging myself through wet cement.

Probably not coincidentally, it was my first cardio workout since starting my new medication. It seems that my new treatment plan is working! Despite side effects, I felt much better in class yesterday, and not just because I held back a little on the hardcore. Before the new medication, each Combat class felt successively more impossible; the last one was a disaster.

 

(02 May 2018 – commemorating my first cardio class since the addition of my new medication! It seems to be working.)

 

This wraps up my eventful day yesterday. Here’s to a year with improved physical condition… and only one pair of glasses.

Birthday post! (On aging.)

Not to sound like a disgruntled middle-aged person, but somehow, I’ve been dropped from AARP’s mailing list since they began their early-harassment campaign a few years ago. They were all over me when I turned – what was it, 46? – and now I’m on the eve of 49, and nothing from them. It’s FOMO more than wanting to actually sign up, I suppose.

Tomorrow is my birthday; I’ll begin my last year in my 40’s. I’ve felt sort of obligated to come up with a birthday reflection post, so I’ve been, well, reflecting.

I’m fine with aging, in general. Having to look at a downside, though, I came up with this: aging’s not fun in a typical way that aging’s not fun.

Common aging-related laments would include health complaints associated with age, “looking old” and gaining weight, failure to achieve life goals, becoming more forgetful, being broke later in life.

My only aging-related lament so far: loss.

We’re not as prepared for aging-related loss. We’re bombarded with advertisements for anti-aging products, money management firms, weight-loss programs, adult re-education programs, retirement homes. There’s a sizable market of services and shit to sell to oldsters. But there are no advertisements to help with the fact that the older we get, the more people we lose, the more beloved furbabies we bury. Maybe we get crankier and more melancholic with age because of this accumulation of loss, the general sadness that comes with watching our loved ones pass away.

Oldsters’ loneliness comes, in part, from death. It’s good to keep this in mind, to be mindful of treating the elderly with respect and compassion. They’ve seen a lot, and they’ve suffered a lot of loss along the way. Aging-related loneliness is a profound loneliness. Give oldsters a break when they’re in a bad mood or just generally negative. They may act like they don’t want us or need us, but they do, in some way or another. Love and compassion are the most invaluable commodities.

All of that being said, I’ve also found definite upsides to aging, and many of these are typical: learning from mistakes, caring less about what others think, getting closer to age-qualification for senior discounts at various places. (I needed a bit of levity there.)

Most of all, the older I get, the more gratitude I feel. I’m thankful to be alive; every birthday is a victory. I’m thankful for the people I do have in my life. I’m grateful to feel good health-wise, despite chronic illness; grateful that my body works. I feel enormous gratitude that I’m able to do what I love, and gratitude that I live in the sunniest place possible – yes, lots of sunshine matters tremendously to me and my mental well-being.

On that note, I took some selfies outside on Friday (December 22). Here’s one:

 

The Friday before my birthday – wearing red for the troops (2017)

 

I have goosebumps because there was a chill in the air, but that sun!!

Honestly, I feel like I can’t begin to stop counting my blessings. I have that many.

A little levity, literally. (Height doesn’t work that way!)

If we’re friends on Facebook, you might already know that I went to the doctor recently and found out that I’d lost over an inch in height. Almost two inches, actually.

My whole worldview was shattered.

I’d gone to my mid-day appointment and stepped onto the height-measuring apparatus without thinking about it, because I had no reason to. There was no suspense. My height’s never changed: I’m 65 inches tall. That’s 5′,5″.

But the guy in the blue scrubs said, “Looks like you’re 5′,3″ and just about…” He looked closer at the number lines. “A quarter.”

I shook my head in surprise. “No, I’m 5′,5″.”

“Sorry. It says 5′,3” and a maybe a quarter.”

“There must be something wrong with it,” I said, referring to the apparatus. “I’ve always been 5′,5″.”

He chuckled. “Okay. Here… let’s try it one more time.”

I stepped onto the apparatus again (is there a name for that thing?) and stood as tall as I could.

“Five three and a quarter,” he said. “For sure.”

I thought, This is fake news. 

“Everyone loses height as they age, I’m afraid,” he said, still grinning and chuckling.

I stalked after him to the examination room. His cheerfulness was out of line. It could be that his height-measuring apparatus needed to be recalibrated, but he wasn’t questioning it!

I thought, how could I lose almost two inches?  I was measured at the V.A. – where I usually go – just weeks ago, and their result was the same as always: 65 inches. 5′,5″.

It wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it was wrong.

Later, a friend told me on Facebook that most people tend to measure, on average, half an inch shorter during the day, then spring back to their normal height overnight while they sleep. My appointment had been in the middle of the day, so I thought, that could be it. But still! Almost two inches?

I asked Callaghan to measure me first thing the morning. The result was exactly 65 inches, as it should be. Ha! Then he measured me again in the afternoon, and GUESS WHAT. Still 65 inches. Ha! Ha! Not only am I 65 inches tall, but I’m 65 inches tall all day. My driver’s license is still correct: 5′-05″.

 

65 inches.

 

“His apparatus does need to be recalibrated,” I said to Callaghan. I was annoyed. “The guy was totally condescending. He didn’t even consider that his equipment might be faulty. He probably just thought, ‘She’s old, so she’s shrinking, and I’m young, and I’m wearing blue scrubs, so I’m right, and I’m not going to listen to her, ha ha ha’.”

How would this be characterized in the parlance of our times? Did he mansplain my own height to me, or did he youngsplain it? (If he -splained anything by way of not questioning the apparatus.)

“It’s true, two inches is too big of a difference, especially all at once. It doesn’t matter anyway, though,” Callaghan said. “He’s going to die of a moltnoma!!”

“What’s a moltnoma?”

“I can’t believe you still don’t know what a moltnoma is. Over the last seven years you’ve asked me five times what is a moltnoma, and you never remember it when I say that someone will die of it.”

“I don’t know why I can’t remember it. So what is a moltnoma?”

“It’s a county in Portland, Oregon.”

Typical Callaghan.

“…when I was working in California, we worked with this person who lived in Portland,” he explained. “And then I learned that the county was “moltnoma.” That’s where Portland is.”

I was already cracking up when he concluded, “So I was like, it sounds like a disease like “melanoma” so now I just say that someone will die of a moltnoma as a general cause of death.”

I looked it up. “Multnomah County.” Cool.

Anyway, I’m going back to that doctor on Wednesday, and I’m going to inform the guy in the blue scrubs that his machine is off. People probably do shrink a little over time as they age, but I’m not there yet, and I’m probably not going to lose almost two inches all at once, either. Ha.

It’s Callaghan’s Birthday!

My birthday two months ago happened to fall on a blog Friday, so I felt I should address it. I said that I was 48 and still not wearing granny panties. Today, two months later and also on a blog Friday, it’s Callaghan’s birthday, so it’s only fair to report that he’s 47 and not wearing granny panties yet, either.

“What would your birthday reflection be as you turn a year older?” I asked him at dinner last night. Because, you know. Deep thoughts about life.

He considered for a minute, then said, “I came to the United States because of my two wives.”

I’ve known him for almost eight years, so I didn’t blink an eye.

“The first time I came to live in the States, it was because I married Magali,” he went on, speaking of his first wife. “The second time, it was because I married you. If I never married you guys, I never would’ve come to the United States. I would still be in France.”

I said, “You were a Russian mail-order bride.”

– because I was thinking of one of my co-workers from 10 years ago. The guy who got himself fired because he spent work hours shopping for Russian brides on his work computer, right out in the open in a common room. He met the woman through the online catalog, brought her over, married her, and then convinced our boss to re-hire him. He came back to work and his bride went to sell fancy perfume at Dillard’s. As far as I know, they’re still happily-ever-after. No green-card marriage there!

That’s one of my favorite love stories.

But my very favorite love story is ours. And today is the day that Callaghan can stop telling people that he’s two years younger than me. He’s only 14 months younger, and now you can see that on paper.

I went to meet him at his workplace yesterday. Before we went to lunch, I took some pics of him with a couple of bikes he’d recently finished. Here’s one:

 

Callaghan at work (with the Triumph Trophy SE he recently finished)

Callaghan at work (with the Triumph Trophy SE he recently finished)

 

Then we went to dinner later and we took this selfie with unfortunate lighting, which is the best kind of selfie:

 

Callaghan's birthday commemoration selfie. That probably sounds more formal than it is.

Callaghan’s birthday commemoration selfie. That probably sounds more formal than it is.

 

Happy Birthday to this crazy, hilarious, unpredictable, dreamy guy!

What I do for skin care. (HINT: SUNSCREEN)

Today, I’m obliging another reader request: a few of you have asked about my skin care routine, so I’ll go into it. First, let me state that as far as products go, there’s no one product that works for everyone – except – and this is a HUGE except – SUNSCREEN.

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. I cannot emphasize the importance of sunscreen enough.

After my recent mole-mapping (skin cancer check), the dermatologist remarked that my skin “looks at least 20 years younger than it is, and it’s entirely because of your use of sunscreen.”

Contrary to popular belief, if my skin looks young, it’s not because I’m half-Asian. According to the dermatologist, I didn’t inherit Asian skin. I inherited English skin, which is from my biological father’s side. The key is SUNSCREEN, and also certain behaviors, which I’ll get into in a minute.

First, I’ll continue on about sunscreen, because I’m absolutely fanatical about it, and I believe that all of you should be fanatical about it, too.

(I know I’ve talked about this before. I’m happy to talk about it again. It’s really that important.)

Sunscreen (plus covering up in direct sunlight, but SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN) could save your life. I did “tan” and unwittingly sunburn myself on ski slopes and beaches when I was younger, so I’m already at high risk for skin cancer. There’s nothing I can do about that. It’s like quitting smoking… I quit when I was 23, but the fact is that I’m an ex-smoker, and that puts me at higher risk for lung cancer (than the general non-smoking population). Point being, the damage has been done.

But it’s never too late. We can turn our behaviors around to prevent high-risk from becoming higher-risk and then hope for the best, right? Right.

Moving on to what I do:

Behaviors

  • Wear lots of sunscreen and avoid direct sunlight. I put on sunscreen even if it’s overcast outside, and even if I’m not leaving the house that day at all.
  • Drink a lot of water (for hydration).
  • Avoid alcohol (to prevent dehydration, which leads to loss of skin elasticity and subsequent formation of wrinkles and sagging).
  • Greatly limit consumption of sugar and other simple carbs such as white bread, white rice, white potatoes, and white pasta (simple sugars age your skin from the inside by breaking down skin elasticity and causing inflammation via insulin level spiking, which also breaks down skin elasticity).
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Take certain supplements (I list mine below).
  • I eat more processed food than I should, but I do try to balance my diet with fresh fruit and veggies (for veggies, I mostly prefer greens, cruciferous vegetable, and salads).

Supplements

I take supplements every day. These include the following, which are good for your skin:

  • Vitamin A (collagen production)
  • Collagen (I primarily take it for my joints, but it has the same positive effect on skin)
  • Flax seed oil capsules (omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Green tea capsules (antioxidants)

 

BioCell collagen supplement

BioCell collagen supplement

 

Now for topical skin-care. I like to layer products. As with most everything, you’ll see experts advising this, and you’ll also see experts advising against this. Do what works for you!

Here’s what I do, in order:

Morning

  • Exfoliate
  • Eye cream
  • Mist with water
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen

Night

  • Gentle cleanser
  • Vitamin E facial oil (with serum)
  • Eye cream
  • Mist with water
  • Night cream

(I mist my face with water before putting on moisturizer because moisturizer works by locking in moisture. If there’s no moisture on your skin to begin with, the moisturizer is out of a job, and you’re wasting time and money.)

Once a week: Facial mask

Notes

  • I never rub my face dry. Instead, I press the towel onto my skin in different places, just to absorb the water. Skin hates it when you rub it with a towel. Skin also hates to be bone-dry.
  • I never go to bed with make-up on.
  • I use those white, non-latex triangle sponges for make-up application. I’ll take one and run it under water and then lightly squeeze a tissue around it, so it’s a little damp. I never wash and re-use them… I use a fresh one every time.
  • In sunscreens, I look for a broad-spectrum formula with SPF 30 and the highest concentration of zinc oxide I can find. Every single day. Rain or shine. Going out or not.
  • Any “anti-aging” products I use are from the drugstore. I haven’t ventured into the realm of prescription anti-aging products yet. The drugstore has some good products that aren’t tested on animals, and they’re much more affordable than high-end products, of course. While I have tried some high-end products, I always go back to drugstore products.
  • I keep my face make-up very light; I don’t like to feel my skin suffocating beneath heavy foundation. (<– I’m not sure how valid this concern is, but it’s my feeling for myself.)

Things I should be doing

  • I should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night (still working on it).
  • I should eat less processed food (at least I get in some fresh foods every day, too, as mentioned above).

Now to return to SUNSCREEN.

Here’s the scary thing: I’ve seen people on YouTube sharing their skin care routines, and I’m shocked by how many of them – pretty much all of them – omit sunscreen completely. They go from moisturizer straight to make-up. So while it’s never too late to start using sunscreen daily, I’m especially looking at you, younger people: Start now with the sunscreen. It could SAVE YOUR LIFE, and you’ll preserve your skin in the process.

Have I used enough repetition, caps, and italics regarding sunscreen? Good. My work here is done!

On our loss of Prince. On Ethan 103’s release of “Punk Rock Fashion Police.”

At first, I was only going to write about a local punk rock band in celebration of their new song. Then Prince died, and I wanted to say a word about that… but I didn’t know where to begin. I don’t know where to begin. There is, in fact, nowhere to begin. Nothing I could say would be enough.

It’s unnecessary and not enough to remark that once again, we’re in mourning for an icon, dazed by the loss of another staggering talent. It’s only been three months since we mourned for David Bowie.

What would be the point of writing anything more than, “Like everyone, I’m shocked and dismayed at the news of Prince’s sudden death. May he rest in peace.” What am I going to do, blog about my shock and dismay every time we lose a brilliant genius of a musical artist? At the rate it’s been going, I’d have to change the title of my blog to That Asian-Looking Chick Who Only Blogs About Pop Culture Icons’ Deaths. No one wants to read that.

Moreover, there are countless beautiful tributes and eulogies out there more poignant and well-said than anything I could write.

Michael Jackson is gone. Prince is gone. The last one standing out of that particular holy trinity of iconic artists (which owned the radio during my teen years in the 80’s) is Madonna. (Maybe I’ll never have to consider writing about her death, because maybe she’ll outlive us all.)

Prince has been everywhere. Sinéad O’Connor made the song “Nothing Compares 2 U” famous, but Prince wrote it. I never forgot that, because my appreciation for O’Connor started with that song, as I’m sure it did for many of us.

So it’s in the climate of our purple-hued sorrow that I want to highlight this fantastic local Arizona band, Ethan 103, in celebration of their new song, “Punk Rock Fashion Police” – right here in this same post. Because Prince would likely appreciate the correlation. I don’t think he’d want us to stop celebrating music that celebrates individualism, even for a minute. Prince was individualism. David Bowie and Prince were among the few whose art helped to make individualism acceptable, starting with their music.

Arizona Native punk rock band Ethan 103 released “Punk Rock Fashion Police” on Monday, an event that those of us who know these guys have been anticipating for months.

 

Caption from Facebook: "Newly recorded song from Ethan 103 titled "Punk Rock Fashion Police" to be played tonight on AZ 98 KUPD (97.9) FM on the Go Punk Yourself radio airwaves hosted by Craven Moorehead. Tune in 7pm-9pm. Www.ethan103.com as official music video releases tomorrow 4/18/2016."

Caption from Facebook: “Newly recorded song from Ethan 103 titled “Punk Rock Fashion Police” to be played tonight on AZ 98 KUPD (97.9) FM on the Go Punk Yourself radio airwaves hosted by Craven Moorehead. Tune in 7pm-9pm. Www.ethan103.com as official music video releases tomorrow 4/18/2016.”

 

Read the review (written by Yours Truly) and watch the video here:

Video – Punk Rock Fashion Police

“Ethan 103 Incinerates the Scene with new song ‘Punk Rock Fashion Police’.” Indeed, they do. And whether or not Prince was a fan of punk rock, I like to think that he would dig the spirit of this song.

On Keith Emerson, who hit all the high notes.

Honestly, I don’t feel my age, but just in case we older Gen-Xer’s need a reality check with which to pay our AARP memberships, our music icons have been biting the dust at a startling rate. In the last few months, we’ve lost Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie… and also Glenn Frey, who co-wrote one of my favorite ballads, “Desperado,” a song that’s all the more haunting now.

But Keith Emerson, who was to keyboards what Hendrix was to guitar, died last week, and I’ve been thinking about him since then. For those who may not be familiar with Emerson and his gifts, he was a preternaturally talented musician… a music composer, synthesizer artist, and inarguably one of the best keyboardists in the history of keyboards. Emerson’s was the death that resonated with me as a loss I felt on a personal level.

 

Keith Emerson (photo from likesuccessdotcom)

Keith Emerson (photo from likesuccessdotcom)

 

This is going to be redundant for you FaceBook friends who’ve already seen this post, this clumsy attempt at expressing myself in the moment, but I’m pasting it here rather than rewriting it, or writing something different:

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-OnKeithEmerson

 

 

 

Also, lest we forget the range of Emerson’s talent, here’s his Piano Concerto No. 1:

 

 

Rest In Peace, Keith Emerson.

BIFOCALS??!!!

Callaghan and I went to the optometrist on Saturday, about a year overdue for eye exams. On my part, I’d been procrastinating because I knew I could no longer get away without hearing the word “bifocals.” Because in the last year and a half, my reliance on reading glasses ruined it for my distance glasses. My distance vision is now better without my current prescription, and that shocking realization finally landed me in the optometrist’s chair of bifocal doom.

My exam was uneventful. Callaghan was in the room, as I’d been in the room for his exam, and the optometrist joyfully shared her findings with him as she scrutinized my eyeballs.

“Look! She has a scar on this iris, an old one, probably from a chemical burn,” she said to him, thus divulging my unfortunate run-in with some caustic liquid in the Army motor pool of my first permanent party post in Germany back in 1988. I don’t remember what the liquid was. I just remember being rushed to the infirmary to get my eye rinsed out.

Callaghan stepped over to view my chemical burn eye scar through the microscope thing eye optometrists use to peer into your soul plus all of your past lives.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “It looks like a slug.”

Great. My husband saw a slug permanently etched onto my eyeball. Is nothing sacred? Thanks, optometrist lady.

But really, we loved her. She was awesome and hilarious, though she did, indeed, say “bifocals” to me. To us. Callaghan needs them, too! Haha!

Then we had the whole discussion about our options.

Bifocals are visible glasses within glasses. “Bifocals” is a euphemism for THE WEARER IS OLD.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a wuss about aging. I have nothing against being old enough to need bifocals. That word, though. Bifocals.

We also had an option to get “progressives,” which is a euphemism for THE WEARER IS OLD AND IN DENIAL. It’s where the eyeglass lens is invisibly sectioned off, with each section differing according to where you look. Multiple prescriptions can merge to create one-stop-shopping lenses that look like regular glasses.

The optometrist explained that with progressives, you get vision correction for distance, mid-range, and near. So does that make them trifocals, then? (Let’s not answer that.)

I’d mostly heard about progressives from people whose attempts to wear them met with failure. The glasses caused a headache, the glasses made them dizzy, and the glasses never behaved according to their programming. The wearer basically couldn’t see and felt crappy because of them. So the wearer gives up and either settles on bifocals, or uses two different pairs of glasses, as we’ve been doing.

Granted, I probably know many people who wear progressives successfully. I just never hear about those, thanks to the human tendency to enjoy telling negative stories more than positive ones. It’s hard to get something sensational out of good news.

“MAN WHOSE PROGRESSIVE EYEGLASSES CAUSE DIZZINESS STUMBLES INTO MOUNTAIN LION LAIR, GETS EATEN”

Has a more enticing ring to it than:

“MAN WEARS PROGRESSIVE EYEGLASSES AND THEY WORK WELL, NOTHING BAD HAPPENS”

Our progressive glasses are on order, and we should be receiving them within two weeks. My beloved reading glasses are about to get much less use.

 

Reading glasses

Reading glasses

 

Now read this post again while listening to Queen’s “Bicycle Race.” When Freddie sings, “I want to ride my bicycle/I want to ride my bike,” hear it as “I want to wear my bifocals/I want to have six eyes.”

Have I “had anything done”?

A certain person found out that I’m going to be 47 in three months. Not being one to hold back, he blurted, “No way!! Have you had anything done?!”  Complete with dramatic interrobang at the end of the question.

It occurred to me that I’m getting to an age where people might wonder if I’ve “had something done” if they think I look younger than I should.

The guy’s question made an impact in my mind because not long ago, Callaghan and I somehow became ensnared in Botched, a reality T.V. series about plastic surgery that horrifies and depresses me as much as it fascinates me. I always anticipate the cases where the patients got botched during surgeries they had had for medical reasons (birth defects, disfigurement resulting from accidents, etc.), rather than for cosmetic ones. Those cases seem to be rarities, though.

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-Botched

 

I’ve never had anything “done,” and I don’t plan to ever get anything “done.” The idea of having non-medically-necessary surgeries is anything but appealing to me. I’d run from cosmetic procedures involving chemicals, lasers, needles, etc., too.

I have no problem getting shots and getting blood drawn. I’m fine with needles used for tattooing art on my body. I would not be fine with a needle injecting botulinum toxin into my face. I’m not judging those who do opt for such procedures – to each their own! – it’s just not something I can see myself doing. I wouldn’t get tattooed make-up, either; again, this is just my personal preference.

You could say, I guess, that I’m hyper-squicked at the idea of it all. I wouldn’t even get Lasik surgery! When it comes to surgery, words amounting to “medically necessary” have to be included in the documentation. If insurance won’t pay for it, I probably won’t get it.

I had a facial once, about 10 years ago, and even that was a little invasive for my tastes. The facial was a component of a spa package that someone had given me as a gift, and while it wasn’t a bad experience, I didn’t enjoy it enough to want to do it again. The aesthetician was gentle and methodical, and I remember that she used a botanical line of products, which I appreciated, but I found the whole thing to be strange-bordering-on-gross. I think I just prefer my own fingers and hands working with the skin on my face.

I’m particular about how I handle my skin, as well. I once tried a motorized facial cleansing brush after years of hearing people rave about their Clarisonic facial cleansing brushes. It kind of spooked me, and I didn’t like the way my skin felt during or after using the device. I gave it to Callaghan, who also tried it once and never used it again.

Body work – therapeutic massage therapy – makes me swoon. I love scalp massages even more. I could have my feet massaged for hours, which is odd considering that I don’t like people looking at my feet. And if I could hire someone to do nothing but trace designs on my back with his or her fingertip all day, I would. That spa facial, though! It was just kind of uncomfortably weird lying there while someone cleansed my face for me.

 

I'm really not happy in this pic that was taken last night, but a fake smile is supposed to lift your spirits somehow, so this was the experiment.

I’m really not happy in this pic that was taken last night, but a fake smile is supposed to lift your spirits somehow, so this was the experiment.

 

Of course I’m flattered when people remark that I look younger than I am. I’m not immune to vanity, I’m not a humblebraggart, and my mother taught me well regarding taking care of myself, so in a sense, the compliments are a tribute to her. But as far as anti-aging efforts go, I do my own thing, and whatever happens, happens. Just because I have a skin care regimen and use some products that say “anti-aging” on the labels doesn’t mean that I’m actually anti-aging.

Currently, in the morning, I wash my face and use an eye cream and sunscreen under my make-up (I apply the latter to my face, neck and upper chest, as the appearance of your neck and décolletage can make a huge difference)… and that’s it. I stopped using daily moisturizer on my face months ago. The sunscreen I use seems to do a good enough job, so I leave it at that.

At night, I remove any make-up I might be wearing, wash my face, and put on the same eye cream before misting my face with water and adding a layer of night cream. I do a mask once a week, usually on Sundays. I also spend most of the weekend (if not all of it) make-up-free, to give my skin a rest.

As for my hair… when I go gray, I’ll continue to color my hair, with the purpose shifted from enhancement to coverage.

So I do my routine, I make sure I’m consuming the right nutrients, and I drink lots and lots of water. I try to get adequate sleep (ha!). I avoid direct sunlight on my face as much as possible, and I avoid things like refined sugars and alcohol in my diet. After that, though, I’m eager to see what I’ll look like at each stage as I mature.

Because aging is life, and life is good.

AARP Invite.

I got all giggly and amused the other day when we found an invitation to join AARP in our mailbox. There was no name on it. It was addressed to “Valued Member,” but I assumed that it was meant for me, since I’m the oldest person living at our address. Right? It was mine, all mine! I’d been joking about this impending day for a couple of years now.

 

"Got a letter in the mail..."

“Got a letter in the mail…”

 

 

"...go to war or go to..."

“…go to war or go to…”

 

 

...not jail. AARP, heheh!

…not jail. AARP, heheh!

 

The only problem? You have to be 50 to join AARP, so I knew I wasn’t technically eligible… I have four years to go… but still, I thought they were sending membership forms for people who are “almost 50” to join early, perhaps. I opened the envelope. The enclosed form looked pretty standard.

 

Nothing unusual here.

Nothing unusual here.

 

Then I flipped it over.

 

Then why send it??

Then why send it??

 

First of all, their membership offer expires on March 31, as in, this year. Secondly, according to their backside print, I won’t be eligible until December 27, 2018.  I did the math, which was never my strong suit, but still, I DID IT, and the AARP people are obviously messing with me and likely others who are within five years of the minimum age requirement. AARP is saying, “You have two months to accept this offer for which you won’t be eligible for another four years.” They’re dangling their discount-dripping carrots over our heads, and they’re probably laughing.

Seriously, AARP… consider saving some trees until eligible people are living at these addresses!

At least there’s recycling.

Oh, and here’s something random for we oldsters (and Tom Petty fans in general):

 

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(Thanks, Dennis.) =)

Have a great day, All!