Life Changes


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


I looked up the etymology of this word, but I figured maybe you’ve all heard enough from me on the score lately.

It’s a beautiful word, really.  We talk a lot about aesthetics these days, and it’s almost always in relation to  an ambience, or perceived sense of beauty. It can be applied to decor, to bringing nature’s beauty inside, to making an already lovely woman even more appealing.

But I’ve never heard it applied to the great outdoors, and that’s because it is almost always connected with beauty that is created not by God, but by man.  It is art for art’s sake; it is making a lovely living room just because you can. It is choosing fabrics, colors, and shapes that enhance what already exists.

One of my sons gave me a gift certificate several years ago. It was for a local day spa near here, and there was a menu of things I could choose  from for the amount of the certificate. I chose to have a very thorough facial treatment, something I’ve never had done before.

It was wonderful. Soothing music plays, you’re in a room with just you and the lovely lady who performed this service. In the course of conversation, I learned that she had earned a certificate to do what she does, and that she is an aesthetician, not just  a cosmetologist.  She cleansed, masked, patted, freshened, and buffed my face for nearly an hour.


I learned, as she worked, that I have sensitive skin.  Say what?  Really?

I had pretty bad acne as a teen, and it followed me for years into adulthood. I had a big fat cyst on my chin on my wedding day.  Wonderful.  I had these things on my neck sometimes, making it painful to turn my head. Long hair was a blessing. Back in that time, we figured the only treatment was harsh, scrubbing soaps that were granular. We thought acne came from eating fatty foods or chocolate or spices, so I tried not to eat those things. Maybe that’s why I still crave them today.  My skin was extremely oily, so it got the harsh soap at least a couple of times each day.  And yes, it left my skin raw and burning, but it was the only weapon I knew of.  Added to the mix was my mom, who absolutely believed that washing my hair more than once a week would “wash the life right out of my hair.” I finally bargained her down to letting me wash it midweek as well as on Saturdays, and when I went off to college I washed it every day.  I don’t have to wash it so often these days.  and my hair is just fine.  I mean, I’m 69 and things are thinning up there while they thicken at the waistline, but that’s life, right?

So I described all this to my aesthetician, and she’d heard the same story countless times. She said all of us Boomer ladies tended to torture our skin into dryness to eliminate the pimples. We know now, of course, that acne is a bacterial condition that usually responds fairly well to antibiotics.Too late for me, but when one of my sons showed signs of inheriting my skin, we got him some effective treatment.

Of course, the irony of all this is that my skin is now quite dry and sometimes scaly. I grease it up morning and evening, and I use cosmetic products that promote moisture instead of desert-dry skin. Funny how things change.


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