Sunday, December 5, 2010

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 58

#58– “Never pull the skin on your face.”
(My sisters left to right are Gloria Sidney, Dorothy Belle and Vienna Mae – all of whom are on the far side of 70 and the short side of 80! We may all need a neck job, but the skin on our faces looks dang good.)

Us Wade gals are genetically blessed when it comes to skin. I say this not in reference to my skin, but rather in reference to the skin of my mother (right up until the day she died at the age of 98) and my three older sisters, all of whom are still kicking and have complexions that look younger than their years. Or perhaps it is simply because of mom’s #58, “Never pull the skin on your face,” which she taught us a million times.

Mother knew that mean ole’ Mr. Gravity needed absolutely no help when it came to the pulling of skin. Honestly, you’d think that some genius would have solved this problem by now. Why we didn’t push our daughters into medical research seems ridiculously illogical at this point in my life!

I just got off the phone with a friend. We were contemplating the creation of a really low budget fat farm, like $10/day. A place that doesn’t mess around when it comes to “helping” you lose weight - sort of a “Super 8” of spas. Here’s how it would work. You sign an irrevocable contract stating how much weight you want to lose. Then you are locked in a bare-bones room with only water to drink, no food. Then, no matter how much you beg and cuss, they won’t let you out until you drop the weight. I honestly think there may be a market for this. I know that’s the only thing that would work for me anyway – affordable, effective, bada-boom. 

So back to #58 and our skin.  I brought up the affordable spa thing because our face, our weight, our hair, the way we dress – in a word, vanity, is such a dominant theme in most of our lives, and which also has some pretty scary religious implications! I looked up vanity and found a smorgasbord of reference, none of them good. Click on Read More Below...

According to Wiki, in conventional parlance (I love that word), vanity is the excessive belief in one's own abilities or attractiveness to others. Dang. I thought it was the attempt to triumph over the conviction that you’re not attractive to anyone! Wiki furthermore states that vanity is considered a form of self-idolatry. Holy cats, I’ve spent most of my life feeling just the opposite. How did I get so screwed up? And FYI, that was an academic question. I don’t really want to hear how you think I got so screwed up.

So mom would use Vaseline on her face, or as she called it “petroleum jelly,” which sounds more like an industrial solvent than a beauty product. She would show me how to “dab” it around my eyes and on my upper lip and on my neck, and then to spread it oh so gently, so as not to “stretch” the skin. I recall with vivid clarity standing there perplexed and frowning, my virginal, flawless skin glowing, and thinking, “I’ll never put that icky stuff on my face.”

“Stop frowning,” mom would say. “You’ll make wrinkles.”

There’s a saying that goes something like this, “If you want to live to 80, watch your diet and exercise regularly. If you want to live to 100, pick your parents.”

So Mom was right. “Never pull the skin on your face.” I would just add, if you want to have good skin at 80, pick your parents. 


  1. She was also naturally gorgeous--this from her look-alike granddaughter. LOL. At least I can't be accused of having any academic vanity. Jane

  2. I LOVE this picture of the four of you - it's one of my favorites!! You all look beautiful!!!!!
    Lynda Marie