Wednesday, January 7, 2015


10 days? Who has time for that?
There was a time in movies and TV when nothing was more worthy of ridicule than a woman's beauty routine. Actresses seemed to be contractually obliged to appear at least once with their faces smeared with cold cream while wearing a terrycloth robe. 

That didn't stop my wife, daughter, and I from having a family facial festival the other night. Facials, in case you've never experienced them, are quite a process, involving much washing, rinsing, plastering, scraping, moisturizing and more rinsing. If I didn't look so lovely afterwards, it would hardly seem worth it.

However, my wife no longer has an outfit
like that.

As I smeared on the facial mask, I was swept back in time. Suddenly, it was 1927, and I was Al Jolson in the Winter Garden dressing room, getting ready to sing "My Mammy" for an adoring audience who have would have lynched a real black man for being on the same stage. 

But as I gazed in the mirror, I looked not like a white Broadway actor pretending to be black, but a guy who just had a chihuahua evacuate on his face after it ate a particularly nasty burrito. Nobody ever said beauty was beautiful.

Take me to your masseuse.
Once we were suitably plastered, it was on to the next step in our passage to pulchritude.
For reasons that escape me, we spent the next the ten minutes prone with our feet up and eyes closed. Since our daughter was home for Christmas vacation, she was allowed the couch, with her feet resting on pillows atop the armrest. My wife and I were relegated to the hardwood floor with our feet on the leather chairs. If anyone had stumbled upon us at that moment, they would have taken us for a UFO cult waiting to be taken away on the mother-ship to the planet Zybisko. 

Shirley Eaton was also shinier
than me.
As the mask dried, I could feel it tightening -- no, strangling my face. While my wife got first dibs at the sink after the allotted 10 minutes, I looked at the hall mirror and studied the cakey, brown-green substance. I was, to be frank, a hideous sight, appearing to be the victim of Goldfinger -- or, in this case, Mudfinger. While a face smeared with cold cream was always good for a laugh on I Love Lucy, this would make a viewer scream in terror. 

Once it was my turn to wash this stuff off -- and not a moment too soon -- I neglected to fully close my mouth; subsequently, I felt as though I was chewing sand. "It is gritty," my wife agreed, sparking my brilliant retort, "There's a good name for a criminal: Gritty Facial." Neither she nor my daughter agreed.

What we could agree on was that our faces felt and looked a decade cleaner and younger. As for me, it was one of those rare moments where I could say, "Gee, I kinda look handsome," and mean it. But you should have seen what we had to go through to find our beautiful selves. And you could have, if they had let me post the group selfie of our mud-smeared faces. At least I'm not ashamed to admit that with beauty comes a heavy price. 

Let's do it again!


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