Saturday, March 26, 2011

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 68

#68 - Use petroleum jelly around your eyes.
 Eldest son Cuatro and his kids, Khloe (14 mos) and Quenten (8 1/2), (2 of our five beautiful, amazing grandchildren), playing in our hot tub.

What is it that makes me weirdly curious about mundane stuff, like petroleum jelly? Well, before I commence to bore you out of your undies with what I discovered about petroleum jelly, let me tell you about mom’s obsession with the stuff. Of course when I say petroleum jelly, I am referring to the generic name of Vaseline.  This isn’t the first time petroleum jelly has appeared in my blog because mom pretty much used it for everything. I’m absolutely not kidding:  burns, scrapes, creaky door hinges, bunions, face-and-body moisturizer, brow-line accent, lip gloss, rashes, a nostril germ blocker, cuticle softener, stain remover, diaper cream, rust preventer, makeup remover, hair conditioner, and anything that itched.

Me: “Mom, we’re out of Crisco.”
Mom: “Just use Vaseline.”

Me: “Mom, what if they launch the atomic missiles?”
Mom: “Grab the Vaseline.” 

At some point in our family’s near-history, my sister Dorothy (look up the word frugal and you’ll see her photo) decided she should concoct an improvement on mom’s Vaseline face moisturizer, so she came up with something that had a lot of glycerin in it. I never told her so, but for the 5 or so years she slathered herself with that stuff she looked like she’s been dipped in baby oil and she smelled like a chemical laboratory. The sun’s reflection off her was damn near blinding, and thankfully she’s already stopped smoking or I’m sure she would have combusted. I must admit though that to this day her face is as soft and wrinkle-free as a baby’s butt, and there’s plenty of science to support both mom and Dot’s greasy methodologies. 

Interestingly (to me anyway), petroleum jelly blocks the escape of body moisture, and glycerin attracts moisture. I should stop here with that affirming conclusion, but of course I won’t. Did you know that Vaseline dissolves condoms! Holy cats! This makes me wonder if the Catholic Church owns the Vaseline Company! Just think of all the babies born because no one ever bothered to mention this rather important detail! (No offense meant to my Catholic friends!) 
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Just a couple more interesting (relative) factoids – The Porsche owner’s manual recommends Vaseline for a variety of maintenance solutions. Prior to advances in technology, photographers and cinematographers smeared Vaseline on their camera lens to produce "soft, dream-like images" of women. Watch any old movie and notice the difference between male and female close-ups.

And if you have hemorrhoids or anal itch…well never mind.  Let’s just say that mom was right.  Use petroleum jelly around your eyes.  It holds in the moisture and gives you that soft, dream-like look!


  1. My grandmother used Vaseline for shining her patent leather and dad used to put it on my parents' bedroom doorknob to "keep the damn kids out."

  2. I'm sure this isn't news to you, but Preparation H works wonders on cold sores AND it's a good under eye cream - to tighten loose skin.
    Lynda Marie

  3. Damn, Girl, the posts just get more entertaining and informative as time goes on! What a delight! Kisses, Annie