|Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt|
Maintenance: n. care or upkeep administered to maintain a preferred state or condition. In the case of anyone over 30, said administration tends to take the form of monthly MOTs involving much in the way of time, money and/or pain.
“It never used to be like this,” I decried to my eldest sister while she systematically re-blackened my greying roots. “Now I can’t go two weeks without looking like a marauding badger.”
“That’s a bit harsh,” offered the Wise Elder. “Badgers don’t ‘maraud; so misunderstood.”
Tempted as I was to retort to the unsolicited sarcasm, I held back, aware of the totalitarian power she currently wielded over my locks.
“There was a stage when all of this was considered pampering,” I moaned, “now it’s just a chore.”
“Well that’s because you didn’t have to do it when you were younger; and when you did it was for a laugh. I should think the laughter has subsided by now, no?”
Ouch. She was right. As I sat there squinting in my prison-regulation tracksuit with the Exxon Valdez oil slick shoved in a plastic bag atop my head, I couldn’t help thinking this wasn’t a L’Oreal ad.
“Still,” I moaned, “if I hadn’t had to fork out so much each month on simply looking ‘put together’, I wouldn’t be forced to go the D.I.Y. route once in a while.”
Which reminded me: the last time I cut corners and purchased a Ped Egg, I broke it; traumatising its ‘revolutionary’ 135-precision micro files with months of neglect. As for sorting my own unruly eyebrows, let’s just say the rash has begun to heal nicely. That being said, the beauty bills continue to loom large despite my best efforts/worst results.
“You could always book into Celebrity Salon,” teased the Oracle from her perfectly-tinted perch. “I’d rather look like a Yeti than have than be waxed by someone from Big Brother,” I scoffed.
“How about letting Mother Nature do her thing?”
Silence. The prospect of growing old (dis)gracefully (with no access to airbrushing) left more scarring than my adolescent brush with an epilator. This was not an option. We all know what happened when Julia Roberts tried the au naturel route.
The Wise Elder had spoken. It was either put up and shut up; or make peace with my inner badger. I kept schtum...and a beady eye out for would-be weasels.