Yesterday I had an appointment with a realtor who I had only spoken with, but had not yet met in person. From our phone conversations, I deduced her to be a woman in her late fifties to early sixties. Close to the mark, an attractive woman of around that age greeted me in the lobby of the real estate office. It was an oddly subdued atmosphere for a real estate office. No phones were ringing, and, of the other two agents present, one appeared to be balancing her check book and the lone man in the group was enjoying an animated personal conversation on his cellphone. Not much movin’ and a shakin’ in the housing business these days I’m guessing.
Marilyn, for the sake of this blog, was there, as she put it, to make my house hunting experience as “seamless as possible”. I like words. Seamless is a nice one. Brings to mind a cake covered with a smooth layer of fondant or a garment where the fabric seems magically connected. Good job, Marilyn. As we talked, it became increasingly evident to me that Marilyn had had some work done, more like lots of work done. I do not mean to infer by saying this that she had recently remodeled her family room. Around her ears there was slight scarring, her eyelids were corrected so tightly she looked perpetually as if she was being goosed, and her lips reminded me of Mrs. Potato Head when I used to put her big pink plastic lips on upside down as a child. Why do women do this to themselves?
Night before last I was having an “out of sleep experience”, and found myself wide awake at 2:00 a.m. After tossing and turning, I finally got up to watch a little TV. TV, particularly late night TV, will usually knock me out faster than a baseball bat to the temple.
After being educated on how to make money on the Internet by one man looking to be about thirteen, I actually wondered that his parents allowed him to stay up so late, I watched two fast food ads in a row both pushing their new burger combos. Three ¼ lb. patties on a sesame seed bun, with a brick of melted cheddar cheese, ¼ cup mayonnaise, chili, two onion rings, and a corn dog on top, and, in a salute to the eater’s good health, a fresh tomato slice and a lettuce leaf for ruffage. Why bother eating it? To save time, slap some Krazy Glue on the bun and attach it directly to your thighs. It will show up there shortly anyhow. These ads, appropriately, led into a half hour program devoted exclusively to getting yourself fit, hosted , unless I’m mistaken, by Barbie and Ken. I kept looking for the Mattel label on the back of Ken’s shirt. In my best days my body never looked like that and no matter what Ken has to say about it, not that machine nor a competitor’s model is going to get it there at this point. You must trust me on this.
Women are directly targeted on all these programs. Lose weight, firm up, suck out cellulite, hike up drooping breasts, whiten your teeth, spray tan for that healthy glow, try this cream infused with calf’s urine to lift sagging jowls, or this one with ear hairs from twin yaks to add luster to dull hair. It is endless. Some of women I’ve seen on TV have had so much Botox they appear to have recently been plucked out of the Hudson River by a forensic team. It’s not pretty. It’s scary.
We’re all going to age. Unless somebody knows something I don’t. After all these years human beings have populated the earth, I can’t think of a documented case of one person reaching a ripe old age without, well, getting a little ripe along the way. Some of us do it more gracefully, others, due to heredity or life in general, less so, but whether you’re fifty and look seventy or fifty and look thirty, the date on your driver’s license is still going to read fifty.
A consequence of having four marriages, was having four sets of in-laws. Fortunately, mine, for the most part, were people I would have chosen to associate with even without the marriage. A definite bonus. All were his and hers except for my second marriage. His parents were divorced. My mother-in-law was a sixty-five year old woman, very attractive, extremely well situated financially, bright, and funny. However, the woman was totally addicted to plastic surgery. My husband used to say she was so tightly pulled if you put an arrow under her arm and shot it, the arrow would easily penetrate a lead wall. Consequently, her skin was starting to look like a small vinyl glove stretched over a large hand. Not good. In searching for the elusive Fountain of Youth, she spent a fortune getting spots removed from her hands, her eyelids lifted, and the fat deposits under her arms removed. Every time I saw her she was recovering from one surgery or another. The problem, as I see it, is not unlike laying new carpet in your house and then finding out that the new carpet makes your old furniture look shabby. One fix highlights the need for the next one down the line. Like Mrs. Winchester, it’s an endless project.
Men don’t seem to suffer as women do with this. My other half is totally nonplussed by age spots, and I’m sure should he succomb to sagging knee skin he would bravely press on. If his behind gets bigger, he goes to the store and buys bigger shorts, and happily goes about his business. Crow’s feet, in his mind, are those yellow things located just below the crow’s legs that keep them from falling over, and if he has any, they don’t seem to impact his day in any way.
I’m all for a nip and a tuck when needed, but more for embracing who we are as people and enjoying the life that we have. My thoughts for the day.
4 Tbsp. butter
1 slice of bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
5 cups chicken broth
1 28 oz. diced tomatoes with juice
2 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
Heat butter in large Dutch oven over med-high heat. Add bacon and cook. (Mixture will look murky.) Render most of the fat. Remove bacon using slotted spoon and retain for other uses. Lower heat to med. Add onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook, covered, stirring often until veggies are soft and fragrant, about 6 mins.
Whisk flour into mixture, stirring constantly, about 3 mins. Add broth and tomatoes and bring to boil whisking constantly. Add parsely, thyme and bay leaves to pot. Lower heat and simmer for 30 mins. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
When cool transfer to food processor and puree until smooth. Place a sieve over a large bowl and strain.
Return to pot and reheat over med. heat.
Whisk in heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over a spoonful of chunky salsa with sprinkling of chopped green onions on top. Yum.