Opinion: Winter look not so hot


As I waited for my dermatologist in nothing but a mauve paper gown and my undergarments, I realized I’d sunken to a new low in personal hygiene. Dirt under my fingernails, braid-able leg hair, sandpaper-like knee caps and remnants of two-month old coral polish on my toes screamed “I don’t give a schtick!” What was wrong with me? Sure it was a Saturday morning and I’d already completed several errands by the time I arrived, but even for a busy mom, this was a new low.

It’s not like I didn’t know I’d be practically naked in front of a veritable stranger; I was there for my annual ginger-skin check-up to make sure I hadn’t acquired “the cancer” during the last year of desperately trying to a achieve a tan while diligently wearing 30 SPF or higher sunscreen. As a red-head with green eyes and a family history of melanoma, I take skincare very seriously.  But I found it weird that I had totally ignored my “presentation,” as I normally spend at least a half-day primping prepping for my ob/gyn visit.

I was so embarrassed by my state of non-pulled-togetherness that the first thing I blurted out when she began her examination was an apology: “I’m so sorry you’re seeing me like this! At least I showered!” And to her credit, her reply was almost believable: “No worries. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest.”

Maybe not, but afterwards, still smarting from the shot of liquid nitrogen to the schnoz (she did find one small actinic keratosis, which can develop into cancer if not treated . . . curse you, daywalker skin!) I couldn’t help but consider my total lack of effort prior to this appointment. And then it hit me, sure as the eighteen-degree temperature had when I’d first walked outside earlier. It wasn’t that I’m self-confident enough to not care what she thinks, nor that I hadn’t had the time to “make amends.” It was simply this: Winter had arrived!

That’s why I hadn’t touched a razor since Halloween, why I am shedding skin faster than our anole, and most definitely why I’ve not paid close attention to my nails in months. If I’m wearing jeans and wool socks and boots twenty-four seven, there’s simply no need to keep things in summer shape. In fact, I find that a little extra hair on the leg acts much like the down feathers on a duck!

Still, cold weather is no excuse for letting my appearance go the way of my snow-birding in-laws.  [That’s south, people!] For the sake of my children, my husband, and my kind-hearted dermatologist, I must, at the very least, moisturize and shave. Peace out.

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