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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :
Skin Care and Father Time
by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
I suppose there are just some tricks you cannot teach an old dog. Some weeks ago, my lovely bride went into the local pharmacy and came out with a load of skin care products for men. These are not cheap.

I have face wash, face scrub, face conditioner, pre shave lotion, after-shave lotion, shampoo, rinse, and conditioner and wrinkle stuff. Looks to me like some of the stuff is the same, just in a different bottle.

I even have a loofta? I guess thatís how you spell it. Looks like a dried up sponge thing you Ďexfoliateí yourself with.

Thatís sounds nasty doesnít it? ďIím going to exfoliate myself.Ē Might not want to answer the phone that way. Your pastor might not understand.

Anyway, this sort of thing is difficult for me to get used to doing on a daily basis. Iím kind of the old soap on the face; shaving cream and razor then shower and shampoo kind of a guy. On special occasions I use some after-shave, but a bottle might last me a year or so, it mainly evaporates.

I canít remember if I am to use the face wash or the face scrub, arenít they the same thing? Seems to me, they are. Whatís the difference between scrubbing and washing?

I didnít grow up on a farm so missed out on taking baths with lye soap as some folks have, or so Iíve been told. I didnít take baths only on Saturdays either, as some folks. In fact I canít remember a day when I didnít take a bath. I seem to stay pretty clean just doing what Iíve always done.

But, then taking a bath, shampooing what hair I have left, and shaving pretty well does it for me. I guess when you get to be my age; there isnít a whole lot that can be done to reverse what damage and birthdays have already done. It amuses me to see these magazine ads with all of these young people primping and buying millions of dollars worth of stuff each year in their vain efforts to defy time and gravity.

The same thing goes for vitamins and health food supplements. I bet I get a catalog a couple of times a week telling me what all I need to be taking to ward off the evil effects of bad joints, hair loss, dry skin and a multitude of other ills and ailments. First off, I canít afford all of this stuff and second who has time to sort it all out and keep track of what to take and why? You need an full time assistant to run around behind you telling you what to take and when to take it. I canít afford this.

Iím sure you can do something about prolonging the effects of Father Time, and from what Iíve seen of the super rich, I think itís money. In fact, Iím sure itís money. However some of those folks donít look much better than you and me once you scrape their paint off and put them under real lighting. I suppose airbrushing or whatever they call it helps out a lot as well. No, it seems we all suffer the ravages of age, if we manage to escape everything else.

My bathroom doesnít have room for all of that stuff and I donít think I have time to learn how to use it anyway, so Iíll just keep on doing what has been working for me for all oft these years. No one has complained so far. Or if they have, I didnít listen to them. Or maybe I didnít hear them, which might be another problem.

As Iíve often said, ĎIf Iíd known I was going to live this long, Iíd have taken better care of myself.í



© Peary Perry
Letters From North America - December 7 , 2005 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com


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