Unless you’ve been living under a rock, in a Buddhist Monastery, or grew up in the Amazon Rain Forest, surviving on just nuts, berries, and large insects, then chances are your eyes have gazed over a magazine cover or two. In fact, most women read an average of 2 magazines a month. Information comes to us in all sorts of ways these days, in fact it is almost hard to avoid! Do I really need to know how many pairs of shoes little Suri Cruise owns, or which actress has the worst cellulite in a bathing suit? Have reporters run out of ideas to report on? Can’t magazines come up with something new to write about or are we all destined to read recycled beauty tips for the next 100 years? This month’s headline reported that “Stress Can Be Damaging To Your Skin.” Seriously folks, are there really any earth dwellers who didn’t know this news already? In fact, stress is not good for anything! But can humans avoid it? Stress is like air…it’s everywhere!
While visiting my doctor the other day, I picked up one of my old favorite beauty magazines and huddled down on a vinyl and hard wood chair, for what has now become the normal wait time of 45 minutes before my name was called. Warning, the cover stated (In an all capital bold red font, as if it were yelling directly at me) “Stress, Doctor’s Now Report is the #1 Reason for Wrinkles and Signs of Early Aging!” I let out a little laugh, and thumbed through the articles to see if there might be something interesting to read, something I might learn from. When I finally heard “Jyl, were ready for you” I was handed a plastic cup with my name printed on the side (In bold red letters, no less) and escorted to the restroom. I was then deposited into a lovely examination room where the temperature had been set to a cozy 32 degrees.
I was asked to strip down to my birthday suit (which, BTW looks NOTHING like the original one I was given 53 years ago) and handed a paper napkin to wrap myself in. As I hopped up onto the table to wait for the doctor, the paper ripped in half, leaving me with two tiny torn pieces of paper in which to do my best with. The torture continued with a slightly anorexic nursing assistant who weighed me in on the Doctors newest, high tech digital scale (including a fun little gadget that can actually measure my body fat…yeah!) “That can’t be right,” I let out with a louder squeal then I intended. The nurse didn’t even bother to react (Unless you count rolling your eyes a proper reaction.)
When the Doctor came into my room he apologized for the long wait, explaining that he was in training for another marathon, and gesturing to the many framed photographs of himself crossing the finish line. “How inspiring” I said, not meaning a word of it and feeling a headache coming on. Then I went through my short list of complaints…restless sleep, frequent headaches, tight muscles in my neck and shoulders as he jotted it all down in my file. “Mmmmm”…was all he said for a few moments, then ended with “I see your weight is up?” Like a deer caught in the head lights, I just stared right back at him thinking, was this a question?
This lovely interlude ended by having my blood drawn by another nurse’s assistant, who’s chipped black nail polish and smudged black make-up, completely (NOT) put me at ease. I guess at one point, I turned paler then normal, because she suggested I lay down on the table and take a few deep breaths. As I looked up into her eyes, I tried to make the room stop spinning by distracting myself with a little guessing game called “How many days has this girl been wearing the same damn make-up?” She twisted her jet black and blue hair extensions, with one hand while feeling for my pulse with the other hand, then pronounced me ready to sit up. As she gathered up my samples of blood, she complained about not getting enough sleep because the “KISS Cover Band” she performed with, didn’t finish until 2:00 am and it was another 2 hour drive home, and then she had to drive around looking for a store that was open because her crackhead roommate forgot to pick up the cat food.
After my appointment, I left the Doctor’s office, got in my car and had to pay the parking valet $18.00 for the 69 minutes my car sat still in their parking lot (The first hour was $6.00 but since I went over the limit by 9 minutes the following time cost $12.00 more dollars!) I drove home, only to find that I had left my cell phone back at the Doctor’s office. I drove back to pick it up, begging the parking attendant not to charge me again for parking, and picked up my phone just in time for my twelve year old son to call from school to tell me he forgot his lunch at home, and was now slowly starving to death. I drove back at my house, picked up his lunch box then drove to his school. When I arrived, I immediately spotted him sitting at a table sharing a lunch with his friend Samson. When he looked up at me he shrugged his shoulders and said “I don’t need it anymore, Samson’s mom packs really great lunches! You should make me lunches more like his mom!”
A few days later my tests all came back normal. Diagnoses…STRESS!
Life is just stressful, and I have come to the conclusion that there is just no way to avoid it! Between work, cooking, shopping, cleaning, laundry, supervising homework assignments, (doing my kid’s summer book report projects) trying to turn up the volume on the T.V. with the TWO remote controls our “entertainment center” now requires (you need a PHD to use most remotes these days) and searching through all 400 stations only to find a rerun of Project Runway to watch, well even what was supposed to be relaxing has now become stressful!
I must be a glutton for punishment, because I drew myself a nice relaxing tub filled with Kneipp Lavender Bath, then picked up the same old magazine that had so thoroughly angered me just a few days earlier. I opened the pages and started to read an article entitled “5 Things I Must Have to Keep Myself Looking Young and Feeling Great.” They had interviewed supermodels Naomi Campbell, Christie Brinkley, Cindy Crawford and some other “Victoria Secrets” model. The story featured a picture of each of the women, when they were 20 years old, and a recent “photo shopped” portrait taken, no doubt by some celebrity photographer with a wind machine and perfect lighting.
Christie explained she drinks a healing tea of monk berries daily that defended her against free-radicals, along with her personal trainer “Chad” who demanded her to do 100 squats everyday. Then Naomi professed her fountain of youth to be a lemon juice and cayenne pepper cleansing fasts. Oh pleaseeeeeeeeeeee……….make it stop, I thought. These women have been supermodels, with pampered lives, live-in 24 hour help, in home visits with their Pilate’s instructors and private chefs. I haven’t even mentioned the fact that they were born with legs that started at my collar bone. No amount of tea, cream or squats is going to make me be able to walk the runway in my bra and panties. If I hadn’t stolen that magazine from the Doctor’s office, I would have marched right back to the newsstand, and demanded a refund!
So what is a real girl to do about stress? Some count to ten in a closet, others get a massage. I go directly to www.adiscountbeauty.com for supplies for the perfect relaxing bath! I love the Kneipp bath with lavender, a soothing candle from Seda and my Aromafloria Stress Less Inhalation Beads. But next time, I’m leaving the magazine where it belongs…in my doctors waiting room!