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Beauty and the Brainblip

Today I opened a box that’s been in a bathroom drawer stashed under my hair dryer and curling irons (seldom used) since we moved into our condo four years ago. Prior to that, the box was under the sink in our upstairs bathroom.

The box contained a mix of sealed skincare products sold by a Hollywood Type. I used her moisturizer and cleansing cream for years and once mistakenly (in hindsight) signed up for auto-ship. PLUS I occasionally added a couple more specific products (you know, like eye moisturizer and a mask and …) as I’d rewatch the ads and think, OH! I NEED THAT TOO!

Then one day I stopped using her products because the Next Best Thing flew in front of my eyes and ears (SQUIRREL!) and I was all in with even more fabulous youthful dewiness. My leftover products from Hollywood Type #1 (well, historically probably #9) fit nicely into a box some of her products had shipped in, where it remained—until today.

Since items were sealed, I knew they were fine. I opened the first one, the moisturizer, and liberally slathered it onto, in and around every craggy surface of my 74-year-old face. Then I unsealed “the serum”. You all know “the serum” (pick a brand, any brand) that, so the ads go, erases everything but the glam-clad movie star lurking beneath your age spots and jowls. I patted “the serum” all around the fluffy orb of my face, especially around my eyes because, well, serum.

The first time I took note of the color of the product was when I went to screw the lid back on, which wasn’t exactly the same shade I recalled from days of yore. Eyebrow cocked, I took a whiff. One of my favorite things about the products used to be the fresh spa-like scent of each of them. Hmm. Not what I recalled either. In fact, the word FRESH would not have been anywhere near today’s description. I flipped it over and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a “use by” date on the bottom of the container stating June of 2006.

Well … After chastising myself I did go on to award myself three personal points for an excellent arc pitch into the waste basket across the room. Then I shored my bravado to sniff and read "the serum" bottle. Smelled okay. But the instructions said to avoid getting it near the eyes. Minus all three personal award points. Batting zero.

I did decide to keep "the serum" (have two bottles of it and I’m sure it was the most expensive thing in the box), to give it at least one more try tomorrow, making sure to avoid the eye area. That is if I don’t leave all the skin on my face on my pillow tonight.

You’ll be glad to know I tossed the eye pads (put one on each eye and relax and enjoy while the puffiness and under eye black clouds drift away) since even if the old serum hasn’t done some dirty work on my old face, fourteen years’ expired eye pads might blind me. I’m saving the mask and whatever else I left in the bathroom for another day when I shall brave staring and whiffing first. —although I did throw the box away so I am not tempted to put the beautifully packaged items back in their identifier for another decade. (I know, I’m now in the minus points column.)

There are probably twenty or more morals to this story like: don’t believe skin care advertisements; don’t buy more than you need; don’t sign up for auto ship; don’t act like a dog every time a new shiny make-you-young thing comes along (SQUIRREL!); read before use; don’t be a hoarder; and … You’ve probably already yelled a few of these at me while reading this. I receive and accept your chastisement.

But right this moment the two overriding pearls that stick to my smarting craw are: 1) use up what you have before trying something new; 2) don’t be a sucker. And that, Dear TwinkleGrammers is the best I’ve got for you after a day like today.


A Final Thought:

Our Dear Son Bret lost his beloved wife Jackie on May Day. We spent her last two months on this planet helping Bret care for her in home hospice. We are changed people.

Bret’s motto this year, which I've adopted: Steady as she goes. Moving forward, among other things I hope to be more steady at/about is my communications with you. I miss you sharing your doofusness with me after I share mine. (Please. Pretty please. Just push REPLY.) You are a wise and witty group and I never tire of your stories and ideas! That is the truth. Writing this feels good. Writing in general is starting to feel good again. (I hear Partonvillers whispering ...)

I feel like I’m finally returning to myself after a long span of crippling heartache. I'm sure many of you have walked this path. The loss will never leave, but we are all learning to live with it. That in itself is a victory.

Celebrate the small victories. They are stepping stones to your future. xo

Peace and grins,


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