Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mirror mirror on the wall

"You look in the mirror" writes sociologist and psychotherapist Lillian Rubin in "60 On Up: The Truth About Aging in America" (Beacon) and you think, "that can't be me." Boy do I ever know that feeling. I avoid the mirror like an enemy combatant. Waking up every morning means that fateful "dead woman walking" trip to the bathroom. I see myself in the mirror and actually wonder who's looking back. It's like a surprise party. Surprise you have frown lines between your eyebrows, it's time for Botox! Surprise your gray roots are showing! Surprise your lips are disappearing ! Surprise your naso labial folds are as deep as the Grand Canyon! Surprise the 30 year old you is gone. Surprise it's the 57 year old version! Ms. Rubin's right , this can't be me, BUT IT IS.

My mother fought the aging process tooth and nail and still does at 89. She's General MacArthur, Curtis LeMay, and Robert MacNamara, when it comes to the war against aging. I watched her at the front line... at the make-up counters of Saks, Bloomingdales, Lord and Taylor and Bonwit Teller . Estee Lauder, Channel, and Lancome sold promises of youth and she bought them. I can still sniff out Estee Lauder products at 100 feet. I thought she was crazy, who needed all that crap? Who needed to spend that much time on skin care? Who wanted red lips, nails, and even toes? Yuck. I was the natural type, no make-up for this gal. A hairdryer was my fountain of youth. I looked in the mirror fluffed up the hair a little and thought I was the fairest of them all. So long mom and your smelly skin cream.

Fast forward 30 years and her products have practically taken on religious significance to me. Ok, I'm vain, shallow, or crazy but I'm a convert. I've taken on the mirror just like mom. Now rouge isn't just a word I learned in high school French it's a life affirming coloring agent. Lipstick used to be a marker I used when there wasn't a pen around , now it's a magic wand that makes my mouth reappear. I have scrubs, masks, lotions, and potions so I don't seem moments from death. Do I look more like me now, or what I remember as me? Sorta. But I feel defiant and that is me.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wine Crisis Day 2

Day two and this drinking and breast cancer study is still on my mind. Is it really true? Or how true is it really? After wrting my initial reaction yesterday I decided to do a little of my own research, or more specifically, conduct a poll . This is serious shit Mr. Researcher and probably affects every woman in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd world. Today I open the paper hoping for more information, yet it seems the media has moved on to "Given Few Coupons to Clip, Bargain Hunters Snub Macy's." That's important. Whew,I feel better.

I brought the subject up with every friend I talked to yesterday. A few had no clue what I was talking about; I should have kept my mouth shut and let them drink anxiety free, BUT my poll begged polling. Sue laughed at me "Hell are you kidding? I'm going out drinking." My sister, was incredulous at the news but unlike me didn't fret "Whatever, I'm not going to think about it". Betsy tried to crunch the percentages with me. "Now who was the control group? Is it women who haven't been pregnant before 30 etc., etc." I forgot who posed, "That means every French woman would have breast cancer. " A rationale I liked.

I went into a bar last night, ok, I needed a drink to calm my news jangled nerves ,and to see if any women were there and IF they were drinking. Maybe the bartender wouldn't serve me in an attempt to save my life. Nope. Happily handed me a $10 glass of wine (another issue entirely). No medical researchers came over and ripped the glass from my hand or any of the other women who were drinking. They all looked happy, unconcerned, no statistics making their heads spin. Maybe I should just impose the "tomorrow is another day" rule so I can move on to today's news and "snub Macy's". I declare my poll over until further notice. I didn''t order another glass of wine but only because I'm too cheap.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The sky is falling, again!

Crap. Another announcement about my health; for the life of me I can't understand why every day something new is going to give me Cancer . Now it's alcohol that can raise the chance of my getting breast Cancer by 10% if I have one or more drinks a day. How did this happen? I no more put down an article about red wine being good for me and pour myself a glass , than I wake up and it's a toxic agent. Are the researchers drunk? Confused? Paid off by a revival group of the "Women's Temperance League?" Why tell me today? If they had told me last Tuesday maybe I wouldn't have bought a case of wine!!! Now what do I do? Give the wine away to men?

I love the cocktail hour! It's a way to mediate the hell I sometimes call my life. It seems so polite, so pleated skirt and cashmere sweater, so drawing room, Greenwich Connecticut, Noel Coward, Nick and Nora Charles, so not how I grew up. Jews don't drink, they just pretend on Passover and even then I never saw anyone actually finish a glass. I think it's the frivolity alcohol could provide. We Jews seem to reject frivolity and substitute the philosophy that it is far more realistic and safer to believe that something bad is going to happen. This begs being alert and ready. Drinking could dull your senses and you could be unprepared for pestilence, plague, or destruction. And just how was I supposed to survive this doomsday unbringing without a drink?

Learning to appreciate the cocktail hour wasn't easy; not given my genes . But when my nerves were jangling because my mortgage payment was nowhere in sight, my biggest client left for Mexico without paying his invoice, my skin was white and pastie from another Chicago winter, I discovered all my precious cashmere sweaters had tiny holes due to a silent but deadly moth infestation and I was seriously thinking of getting a GUN to hunt them down, I bought a bottle of red wine.

Ok, I admit it I loved it. Now what do I do? What happened to those good antioxidents? What about red wine being better for you than white? What about the cocktail hour? What about Noel Coward? I don't want a Dr.Pepper with dinner. Will one of those medical researchers come over here at the end of the day and talk me off the ledge!?!? Probably not, but maybe they'll have a glass of wine with me.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's the Viagra Stupid

I was unhappy to learn yesterday in the New York TImes how statistically unhappy I am. New research says women are now less happy than men. DUH!!! Of course they are. Let's think about it a bit differently than the research . It's not as they state, that women don't have enough time to dust and thus their dusty houses make them sad , it's really why men are now so DAMN happy. Men have little blue happy pills, and I'm not talking about Valium or Prozac. They have Viagra. No more roadblocks in their sex lives; for God's sake they can probably now have sex on their death bed. There may not be 28 virgins waiting for them in "heaven" but it will be one hell of a ride.

And what do I have? Hormone replacement therapy, which can give me Cancer or heart disease? Oh joy! How many men really end up in the emergency room with an erection that lasts 4 hours or more?!?!?!? I have male friends hoarding the pills, collecting prescriptions from multiple doctors. Are they ever happy! I'm reading the side of a "Replens" box hoping it takes the sandpaper effect out of my sex life. Am I smiling yet?

Although I do know what would put a smile on my face; a statistic changing event . It's not the day there's a technological break through in dusting. It's the day I read they've discovered in a well documented clinical trial that Viagra is injurious to your health. Raise your hand if you're happy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Catch Him If You Can

So what about this crazy on-line book "Catch Him and Keep Him". Who is this man trapping expert , Christian Carter? A girlfriend of mine turned me onto the book as something that we might need, now that it appears our man trapping skills are obsolete. Personally I'm 0-4 this year in the man department; which translates into 4 men I've gone on 15 or more dates with and 0 commitments to be monogomous. That sucks. And confuses me as it doesn't seem to be asking too much . Sara says Christian can help, so I sign onto his web-site , but decide to hold off on downloading over 100 pages of how to lure, cajole, date, and keep my man, as it requires way too much ink. Man? Ink? Ink.

I am suprised one day when an advice letter shows up from Christian. He's trying to "catch and keep" me it seems. I admit I'm intrigued and read it, as I'm home because I can't get a man. After a couple of letters on dating I can only come to one conclusion;
CHRISTIAN you aren't dating men over 60! The NOT SO GAY divorcees ; the bitter and broke. Dating these men requires a questionnaire , not a set of new flirting/trapping skills. How about "On a scale from 1 - 10 how bitter and broke are you?
#1 being, "Hardly think about my ex, and my bank account has fully recuperated" and #10; "My piece of shit ex-wife and her racketeering lawyers left me with nothing." On, second thought do I really want to "catch and keep" one of these guys??? I'd like Christian to go on a date with some of these men and report back to me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cranky Sex.

I just finished watching Sex and the City, now granted I've seen every episode at least 6 times, but I'm still dumbfounded, because I ask you who has that much sex in any city? Who can afford as many pairs of Manolo Blahniks as Carrie Bradshaw? Who ties men to the headboard as casually as Samantha Jones? Who is as sweet and beautiful as Charlotte York and also gets the Park Avenue apartment in a divorce? Who has a baby, a law partnership and a good guy like Miranda Hobbs? No one. SO WHY ARE THEY ALWAYS COMPLAINING?

Girls, stop whining. I can piss and moan with good reason. I'm 59 years old and have a constant nagging cranky feeling. According to studies about women my age I'm allowed. I'm supposed to feel snippy. The medical journals say I'm irritable for a reason. Huh?

I'm losing estrogen and as a result I'm losing my sex drive. Oh for God's sake who am I kidding I've lost my sex drive. And where the hell do I find a new one? My mind is M.I.A. I leave the car keys with the silverware. I make phone calls and can't remember who I dialed so I hang up. I'm losing skin tone, muscle mass and bone density; I'm almost a cadaver. I'm on the verge of a heart attack, or am I actually having a heart attack and need an ambulance? I'm having hot flashes and wringing out my blouse over the sink at the airport. I'm so tired. Still tired. Tired. I'm dying from hormone replacement therapy; I'm living better from hormone replacement. Hey medical profession which is it? I'm happy one minute, postal the next. It's my height, my hair color, my clothes, my make-up, the man in my life, no man in my life, my diet , lack of exercise, too much exercise, I'm frigid, I'm horny, it's my mother's fault, it's my jeans, it's my genes. OF COURSE I'M CRANKY! Please don't suggest watching Oprah or Dr. Phil.