On nose hair and unsightly bulges
Lucy wanted to open the box right away, but I made her wait for Adam to get home.
“After all, Lucy, it’s Daddy’s nose hair trimmer. He should be the one to open it.”
Daddy’s nose hair trimmer.
While this doesn’t have the same resonance as baby’s first pair of shoes, it’s an equally significant physical milestone.
It means he’s entered a whole new phase of life, one where hairs appear where there were no hairs before. And it’s not just inside his nose, which he seems to have discovered all on his own.
What prompted the purchase, really, were the ear hairs I’d pointed out while we were stuck in traffic and I was afforded plenty of time to look at his profile.
“Eww. Ear hair,” I said.
I don’t think he was pleased with my report.
But eventually, he came around, and when I was ordering diapers online for Alice, he asked me to toss in a nose hair trimmer for him.
There were several choices and some cost four times as much as others. Having no experience with either nose or ear hair, I studied the user reviews and determined I would avoid the models deemed “noisy” and “pokey.” Instead, I bought a mid-priced little number that arrived a few days later.
It’s still sitting unused on the bathroom shelf. Adam doesn’t want to use it enough to go down to the fridge for the AA batteries it needs. Which is another way of saying he doesn’t want to be one of those old guys with ear hair.
I totally understand. Right after I had Lucy, I got a catalog full of products for “the menopausal woman” in the mail. And I laughed at it until I happened to catch a glimpse at my back in the mirror. Fat arms, bulgy backside. Aaaah!
Poor Adam. Poor me. We’re getting hair in new places and growing bulges that cause confusion and alarm when we look in the mirror. It’s like puberty all over again, only this time, no good can possibly come of it.
I guess you can call this early middle age, made only more official with milestone college reunions like the one I last attended. Thankfully, I got a good tip from a friend who still looks fabulous.
“My secret,” she said, “is Power Panties.”
Power Panties. I’d heard of power ties and power suits, neither of which has ever appealed to me. But panties? What did they do, light up? Vibrate?
But they can be relied on to hold in the stomach and eliminate visible panty lines without requiring one to wear a thong. I don’t do thongs. They’re like corn in the teeth, only it’s not corn, and it’s not your teeth.
But I do want a flat stomach and a presentable backside. These are things I once had and took for granted before I had children.
So it doesn’t surprise me that I have become a Power Panties convert when life requires for a certain type of clothing.
I recently found myself raving about my panties to an aunt who isn’t all that much older than I am, thinking she’d appreciate the insight into the fabulous textile technology of the twenty-first century.
“Oh, you mean a girdle,” she said.
“Yeah,” I said. And then I excused myself to go cry (but not so hard that I might pee a little – incontinence starts to happen when you get old like me, I’ve been told).
My Power Panties were no longer cool. Instead, they felt just like those weird rubber underwear my mom used to wear, the kind I swore I would never put on myself, unless I was wearing them as a hat and pretending I was an alien from outer space.
And then I remembered: I’ve been slowly turning into my mother for years. I too, get overly excited about good vacuum cleaners. So what if I’m now in Mom’s girdle club? If it means I can look good in clingy skirts, it’s a small sacrifice.
Since then, I have embraced the power of the girdle, as well as a little something for the fat on my back that likes to puff up around my bra straps. With my Powerpanties and my Sassybax, I’m as smooth as a piece of only slightly lumpy marble.
And I’ll take that, along with my daughters and my increasingly hairy husband.
The body may be getting worse, but the life — and the underwear — keep getting better.