Friday, February 4, 2011

Coming of Age

While cleaning out the apartment of my 86 year old aunt, years ago when she moved into a nursing home, I was struck by the number of creams and lotions she had accumulated.  It was even more of a surprise because I had never thought of her as an overly feminine woman. She wore mainly trousers, before it became fashionable to do so. Her hair was parted on one side, and cut to chin level in a simple style. She never coloured it or fussed with it.  And I don't believe I ever saw her wear makeup of any kind. Perhaps with age, she felt her skin was dry and itchy and in need of some extra moisture. That might explain the creams and lotions, but certainly not the number of them.

Years later, I noticed my mother-in-law also seemed to have an over abundance of such products in her bedroom and bathroom too.  I think I even saw a bottle or tube in the kitchen and living room from time to time. I started to think of this as an old lady trait.  Since my mother-in-law was also in her eighties by then, I wondered if it wasn't so much a dryness thing as a possible memory problem.  Did they simply forget they already had the necessary creams and lotions at home?

Today the cosmetic companies keep coming up with some miraculous new cream or lotion.  I myself, being quite a fluffy female, find it hard to resist trying these marvelous new concoctions.  If a company offers free samples, I jump at the chance to try it.  If  they put products I already use and like on sale, I stock up.  If they introduce some new amazing idea I.....oh wait.....I tell myself, I have enough creams and lotion.  I don't need anymore right now.  I'm already confused as to which to use up first, with several varieties available in the bathroom, a couple more in the bedroom, not to mention the stacks of unopened samples contained neatly in a box or basket.

Perhaps this is an old lady trait after all, no matter what our justification is.  I have, after all, just been approved for both my Old Age and Canada Pensions.

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