My Mom Is Pretty And Other Mantras

Although I wouldn’t say that I’m a worrier by nature, I do sometimes grab onto an idea or a situation and mentally wring it out for all it’s worth. My latest worry is the quality of my skin.

I know how it started. Two things:

1. I recently remembered for no reason whatsoever that I will turn forty-six years old this fall. I’ve never been one to freak out about aging and I’m still not, but the fact that starting in November I will be in my “upper forties” instead of my “mid-forties” gave me pause for a moment (and yes, technically I think forty-four to forty-six is probably still “mid-forties”, but that’s just not how my brain works).

2. A HUGE pimple showed up right in the middle of my cheek last week. It was so big that I told some friends I was sure it was an alien, trying to get out.

Thus began the obsessive thoughts about what I’ve done–or more importantly, what I’ve NOT done–for my skin lately.

Truly. What I’ve done? NOTHING.

Wait, I take that back. I have been drinking lots of water again as I’m currently in another “I’m going to mostly give up pop” phase. Except for rum/Coke and Jack/Coke because I’m not INSANE.

Other than the water? I’ve done nothing for my skin lately.

Oh wait, I forgot: I’ve been pretty good about wearing sunscreen when I spend time outside. Wow. Yay me! I guess I’m doing more for my skin than I thought!

I still feel like I should be doing more, though. Just about everyone I know has a “skin care regime”. This includes things like deep cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, serum and under-eye cream applications, and probably all kinds of other stuff that I have no knowledge of because I don’t do it.

I did try it for a while last year—The deep cleansing! The exfoliating! The moisturizing! The serums and creams! Oh my!–but frankly, I was exhausted from it all. Oh also? My Breathe-Right Strip didn’t stick to my nose after all that and snore-prevention is more important in this house than the softness and elasticity of my skin, currently.

Anyway, my skin isn’t terrible. I remember once, when I was working at the nail salon, that a dermatologist client grabbed me by the shoulders (maybe “grab” is too harsh. Actually, no, it’s not. She grabbed.) and pulled me into her personal space. “Your skin!” she exclaimed. “You have GREAT skin. Very little sun damage at all. Good girl! You stay out of the sun!”

I thanked her, excited by a true professional’s on-the-spot, unsolicited opinion…until I remembered that I DO have sun damage. About twelve years ago I looked into one of those special lighted mirrors that shows you all the sun spots you have just hovering under your skin and had nightmares for a week. I was one of the scariest things I had ever seen and I will NEVER! EVER! look into one of those mirrors again.

An aside: I am certain without a doubt that most of the sun damage I have on–err, just beneath the surface of–my face is from my family’s spring break trip to Florida when I was a senior in high school. I went out to the beach sans sunscreen and after only twenty minutes of exposure I ended up with sun poisoning that left me with blisters all over every inch of my body that had not been under my bathing suit. WEAR SUNSCREEN, KIDS! (Especially if you have fair skin and apparently live the life of a vampire.)

Still, nearly twenty years after that sun poisoning incident, it meant a lot to me for a dermatologist to admire my skin. As always, I credited my mom.

My mom is pretty.

Even though it’s totally obvious, my Dad makes a habit of pointing it out.

“Look at your mother,” he’ll say. “Isn’t she pretty?” (awwww!)

The answer is, of course, “yes!”

My mom is doing what advertisers love call “aging gracefully”.

My Mom Is Pretty

I mean COME ON.

She doesn’t look her age at all, and part of that is–guess what?–the quality of her skin!

It occurred to me a couple of days ago that I should probably ask my mom what she does for her skin, because I do take after her in a lot of ways and if she had some super-secret skin care regime, I needed to get in on that.

Then I told myself, “There’s no way she has a super-secret skin care regime. She doesn’t have time for that. She may be retired but she is busy. She’s going going going. Skin care regime? NO WAY.”

I still had to know. So when I spoke to her over the weekend, I asked her what she does for her skin. I felt completely relieved–AND validated–when she answered.

“Nothing really, honey! I really don’t do anything! In fact, one of our friends told me after our vow renewal a couple of weeks ago that I really don’t need to wear makeup…I mean, I got some stuff made by Dove and I use that, but that’s a new thing and that’s it.”

Another aside: She didn’t say “some stuff made by Dove”. I can’t remember if it was cleanser or just a bar of soap or what: THAT’S how relieved I was that she looks like she does without using serums and creams. THE POINT IS, her skin is low maintenance. (I listened, Mom! I just forgot!)

So maybe I don’t need to worry about my skin after all. It’s going to be fine. I’m just going to keep doing what all the celebrities claim to do (“Oh, I just drink lots of water! That’s it!”) and keep my fingers crossed that I look as pretty as my Mom does in about twenty five years.

I’m sure I’ll be ridiculously worried about something else very soon. In the meantime, I’m going to go purge my bathroom drawers of the products I’m not using.


  • Irving Witcoff

    Yes, your mother IS pretty, beautiful, gorgeous, and stunning! No special reason for this comment except to just say those things about her because they’re true. 🙂

    Speaking saying true things, you are pretty, beautiful, and stunning too! So is your sister! I love you both!

    Just sayin’!! 🙂

    Old Dad

  • Patty

    Your mom is beautiful indeed. This is a topic I worry about too but like you I am low maintenance in this area. I wash off my makeup, soap and water, and lotion. Nothing fancy. My mom does the same so I think if we follow our moms we will be ok. 🙂

  • Sylvia Joy

    Thanks honey—I have never worn make up except when I was much much younger and then it wasn’t much (now 70 and 1/2 years old. I am now using Dove shower bottle soap no lotions or other junk. Lipstick and maybe blush is my only thing that I may try and wear when we go out. I do drink a lot of water. (with lemon or lime if I have it.) But I think it has to be in the genes.

    Grandma W