I was getting ready this morning, putting my moisturizer on my face (you know, as if that’s going to slow the process down much anyhow – my sister took every bit of youthful collagen from my mother and left me with this skin that began to age when I was about 7. She is 11 years older than I, and people ALWAYS think that she is the younger of us – Bitch. Anyhow, I was putting on my moisturizer – call me old fashioned, stuck in a rut, ridiculously behind the times – or call my mother and my grandmother geniuses, before their time, progressives, etc. – I use the same moisturizer that both my mother and my grandmother used. Not that all three of us haven’t tried other products from time to time, but we just seem to keep going back to the old tried and true – not greasy, not sticky, not heavy, smells nice but not perfumey, etc. Oh and before you ask, that youthful bitch, my sister, uses much nicer products, often, washes her face religiously, hasn’t allowed the sun to touch her skin for the last 50 years (yeah she’s that old), does all the right stuff. I wash every morning, sometimes with just water cuz I’m too tired to drag my crap outta the shower to the sink – you know that 3.5 feet is a killer – and ONLY in the morning, almost never in the evening, unless I have on a full face of heavy evening make-up and I didn’t drink Manhattans and get too loaded / tired to care about all that make-up seeping into my pores for an additional 7 hours or getting all over my bedding – or if I’ve been out at a particularly nasty windy dusty ball game and I can actually feel the grains of sand burrowing into my pores - so let’s see, that means I wash my face in the evening about 4 times a year. I don’t even remember the moisturizer every day – if it’s one of those stay at home all day days, I probably will not even think of it until about 4 oclock, at which time I am already late for three things and actually finding the car keys is all I can be bothered with. I almost never do a mask, get a facial, or remember that I bought some of that super-duper this crap will unwrinkle Keith Richards face if you just remember to put it on – so I generally have to throw it out, because when I remember it, I open it – and well it smells sort of like I would imagine Keith Richards smells, then I buy more – use it once or twice and forget it again until that moment when I realize that I am beginning to look like Keith Richards and I really must do something about that. This is generally accompanied by my own rendition of ‘I see a mirror and I want to paint it black’. Well as usual, I have digressed – so I was putting on my moisturizer this morning, after having waved a wet washcloth in front of my wrinkled face, and I got a little too much, I was walking into the bedroom trying to force the skin on my neck and hands to absorb the excess when I swear my grandmother actually reached down from the heavens and moved my hands to my elbows – a move I saw her do EVERYTIME she put on hand cream or face moisturizer, and really her elbows did look pretty good. So, I said thank you to her.
This has me thinking about her, and I really must tell you about my grandmother. – and before she reaches down and slaps the shit outta me, I should probably stop referring to her as that ‘g’ word that she detested so much. You see she got kind of an early start on the old family business, and well my mom did too – but really that’s what they did back then, they got married and made babies – so she wasn’t the youngest ‘g’ word on the block, but she felt it. She was a musician, a wonderfully talented, fantastic Jazz pianist – and she was so freakin smart – you know scary smart – MENSA smart in fact. She hated to be referred to as anything even remotely close to the ‘g’ word, and so we called her booh – I dunno where that came from, I don’t know why it had an ‘h’ on the end – all I know is we didn’t dare call her anything even resembling the ‘g’ word. She had this wonderful sense of humor, very irreverent, and pretty high-brow, but she was funny. She taught me some racy limericks before most of my friends had even discovered there was any such thing as clever witty poetry, let alone dirty! She also loved to recite this funny little poem about the sphinx:
The sexual life of the camel
Is stranger than anyone thinks.
At the height of the mating season
It attempts to b****r the Sphinx,
But the Sphinx's posterior passage
Is blocked by the sands of the Nile,
Which accounts for the hump on the camel
And the Sphinx's inscrutable smile.
I suspect that until I actually understood the dang thing, the part I enjoyed most was using a word like ‘inscrutable’ – then of course one day I realized that it was about sex and had a whole new reason to enjoy the little ditty.
Anyhow, she knew hilarious poems, had radical opinions on politics, thought strange little bits and pieces of things were terribly funny, played the piano and organ as beautifully as anyone ever has (really, she was as good as any star you ever heard, and better than most of them – she did a lot of studio work in New York in the 50’s and did a lot of big band stuff here and there over the decades), she was an amazing cache of accurate data on dozens of subjects, did the most outstanding needlework/sewing you ever saw – heck her backsides of things were lovely enough to frame, and when she tailored a suit, it was perfect, she had a HAM radio license and assisted in the rescue efforts after the huge earthquake in Seward, Alaska in the 60’s from her little home in Nebraska, she traveled around the world, lived abroad, wrote an opera, was a potty mouth, and had very lovely elbows. I do miss her on occasion, and today is one of those occasions.