A humorous look at the little things in life

Aging lowers the bar for looking pretty. And it’s getting harder to slink under it. January 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 6:29 pm

Recommended wine for today’s entry: Lioco chardonnay, a true and faithful favorite wine ever! One of my friends brought this over for a girls’ night and it’s refreshing yet still creamy. According to the Sonoma winery’s Web site: The 2009 chardonnay offers an aroma of lemon curd, pear skin and wet stone; and flavors of verbena, green pear, talc. Now, I think verbena is what got Miley into trouble, but I’m guessing this is a much lower concentration … there were no creepy U-Tubes produced at our girls’ night. I did almost set the bathroom on fire with a new candle, but luckily Gina, the appointed fire marshal, was on the case.

Men have it soooooo easy.

I think many women my age can relate to this. It USED to be that when people said, “You look great!” we took that statement at face value, and accepted the comment graciously.

Now, on the rare occurance that someone says, “You look great,” we wait. Because it’s coming. Ah, there it is: “… for your age.”

Those three little words sell more product than all others combined. In case you’re not following my random rambling, I’m still talking about the BAD three little words.

For. Your. Age.

They sell products like Oil of Olay miracle eye cream and Botox and Victoria’s Secret push-up bras. (Well, at 50, they’re more like hoist-up bras, made with many of the same metal alloys as cranes used in high-rise construction.)

Here is a truth that I have found to be self-evident: As we realize that our bodies are never — no matter how much gym time we invest — never going to look like they did when we were 20, we move on to emphasize the things that can still be improved.

Much like changing our shopping focus from cute mini skirts to shoes and purses.

Now, when I want to feel better about myself, I focus on teeth, tan, and fingernails, and invest heavily in those products for special weekends.

Let’s start with whitening strips. Because I refuse to allow my teeth to retain the color God intended when he put the brown in the coffee bean or the ruby sparkle in a nice glass of Malbec — both necessary to propel those of us “for your age” folks through a given day — I persistently spend $40 a pack for strips that promise to put the twinkle back in my choppers. And they work, I can’t deny that.

It used to be horrible: the old ones tasted like bile and swam all around your mouth when you were wearing them. Once someone asked me why I was chewing Saran Wrap.

And when they slipped, they made me think about them and then I would gag and gag and gag. It doesn’t matter how white one’s teeth are, no one looks good while gagging.

So last weekend, during my mini-makeover, I was thrilled to find my whitening strips were New! and Improved! Undaunted by the fact that it took me about fifteen minutes and the point of a steak knife to pry the strip from its backing, I gamely applied the new strips. Whew – no chance of these babies moving around.

…Or EVER coming off. I got more frantic as the clock ticked and I tried to get my fingernail under an edge — any edge — to break the evil vacuum that had hermetically sealed my strips to my teeth. I pictured the teeth, shockingly, glaringly white, being bleached beyond recognition as we moved to 10 minutes beyond the specified time of removal.

Finally, 15 minutes late, I peeled them off. It felt like they were gonna take my front four teeth with them. Or at least the enamel.

They did pull a piece of Cheeto from somewhere in my mouth and I hadn’t eaten Cheetos in at least three weeks.

I’m pretty sure that if you have a tattoo you want removed, these suckers might be just the ticket. When I tried to drop them into the trash can, they took the fingerprints off my right hand.  But my teeth were white — and now, I noticed, so was my face. Next up: self-tanner. It told me “not for use around eyes or mouth.” Well, I am one to follow directions.

Now I look like an outlaw holding up the 7-11 in a ski mask.

It’s OK, I thought, I’ll draw attention to my NAILS.

If you’re a loyal reader, you know that I have an aversion — a SERIOUS aversion — to manicures and pedicures. ( ) And so I am forced to keep my own hands looking lovely. To do so, I keep an emery board in my car and shape my nails at stop lights or on long boring stretches of highway. I bite off any cuticle that rears its ugly head. And for special occasions (like I’m going somewhere after dark), I paint them with clear polish.

They had gotten to just that perfect length the other day and I decided I’d pamper myself a little bit and I bought a brand-new bottle of clear polish because my old one had gotten to the consistency of Mrs. Butterworths.

Except I was shaving my legs in the shower first and sliced two of the best nails clean off.

I KNOW! What if I hadn’t grown them out? I would have totally sliced the tips off of two of my fingers. Judging by how I squeal when the doctor pricks my finger for bloodwork, I’m thinking that cutting the whole end off would leave me in a sniveling heap on the floor of the shower. And the floor of the shower, no matter how many times I clean it, is still the place the cat with kidney failure chooses to pee. Not a pleasant thought.

So thank GOD I had grown my nails a little long.

So here’s what I looked like after my personal spa day last weekend: 50-year-old tan face with significant rings around eyes and mouth; overwhite teeth that hurt when touched by food or, for that matter, by the insides of my lips; and short, glossy fingernails that looked like a mechanic’s on his wedding day.

I didn’t even feel pretty for. my. age.


10 Responses to “Aging lowers the bar for looking pretty. And it’s getting harder to slink under it.”

  1. Stacie Bunning Says:

    I have sliced a fingernail or two while shaving in my day, and it never fails to make me shudder in horror and ultimately, gag at the thought of what COULD have happened. I feel ya.

  2. Kim Keeley Says:

    Anyone that knows me well, has heard me say numerous times, that I am just not mature enough to shave my legs. I end up with little pieces of toilet paper all over my legs, which I usually forget to take off. This can be embarrassing in the summer. Oh, I have definitely have taken off the tip of my nails. And those whitening strips….I know the brand, and they are boogers to get off. I have bottles of self tanning lotion that you may have. I’ve embarrassed myself applying this too. On a little more serious note, I have noticed a HUGE difference the last two years in the aging department. I had talked myself in to an S-lift last January, and then cancelled it. Wished I done it now, because even though it’s a simple procedure, and I do get it done free, it will take some time to mentally prepare myself again. I guess I better hurry because if I continue at the progression I have the past two years, I may not remember I need it done.

  3. Pennie Medley Says:

    My own husband is the worst offender of those three little words. I think F.Y.A. is probably grounds for a divorce. At the very least, it’s a good reason to skip shaving my legs for a month. I’ll show him!

  4. ashleyolsonrosen Says:

    To my lady friends with shaved nails and nicked or hairy legs: I find a LOT of solace in the fact that I’m not alone in my seemingly downward spiral. Since I think all of y’all* look great, maybe it’s just those mean people (my husband’s an offender too, Pennie – thinks he’s funny) who use the bad words!
    * I can’t speak for Jessica, since I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting her, but since her blog is called “becoming a bad ass,” I’m guessing she’s a little more physically fit and probably much younger than me — let us live vicariously though you, Jessica!

  5. hilarious! All about teeth n’ tan, at this point. Been workin’ on a post a long time about mani/pedis–can’t believe you don’t indulge! Hope you can at least enjoy a facial or two!

    • ashleyolsonrosen Says:

      Unfortunately, I have now become SO neurotic about the whole mani/pedi experience that NOW I’m nervous around people with good nails. I am sure there is a support group for people like me.

  6. […] Aging lowers the bar for looking pretty. And it’s getting harder … […]

  7. This post was too funny! I was directed here from reelingintheyears’ Stylish Blogger Award. And glad I found your site. “Chewing on Saran Wrap?” Hysterical. Love your sense of humor.

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