Thursday, July 22, 2010

Self Image

It was hot today, blazing hot! So what else is new? If you have been reading my blog for the last month and half, or if you live in close proximity to the East Coast of the US, then you already know that we have been enveloped in what seems to be a perpetual heat wave of hellish proportions. Blame it on a phenomenon known as the Azores, or Bermuda High. Forget makeup and wigs when the temperature is near the century mark, and heat indexes are beyond that. You just do whatever you have to do to stay comfortable. For me, and my denuded pate, that pretty much rules out anything but male mode.

Today was grocery shopping day. I had intended to go to the dump too, but as hot as it was, grocery shopping was all that I could handle, especially considering that I had to spend 10-15 minutes in the blazing hot grocery store parking lot, repacking and consolidating all of my groceries in a manner that actually made sense. You know........more than two items per shitty little plastic bag, frozen and cold stuff in with other frozen and cold stuff, soft stuff carefully segregated from hard stuff, etc., just a common ordinary sense way of packing groceries, that seems to have escaped so many grocery store clerks today.

Why is it so god damned hot?

Blame it on the Bermuda High, also known as the Azores High. It's a common Atlantic phenomenon. All I know, is that I wish it would go the hell away!

Now my dears, you may be wondering what all of this has to do with the title of this post. Well, not much.......directly. I didn't sleep last night. Yes, another night of insomnia. Not unusual when you get older. It happens about once or twice a week if no sleeping aids are used. I had been using one or two Benadryl; what I thought was a harmless antihistamine, but after reading the label a little closer, I found that it was not recommended, if you have glaucoma. Now before you go weeping, and gnashing your teeth, I have not been found to have glaucoma, but my father did have it, so there is a good possibility that I could develop it myself. So I said why take the chance? Especially since I felt a somewhat strange pressure in my left eye over the last few days. Once again, not to alarm anyone. I have chronic sinusitis, and sometimes that translates into a temporary pain in the eye above the associated sinus.

Last night, as I waited until 3:00 AM to go to sleep, once again I found my mind running, even as my body was trying to relax and fall asleep. Just as I would begin to drift off into a dream, my mind would jolt me awake, and play the sleep Nazi; "No sleep for you!"

So, after over two hours of lying there awake, I just said, "eff it", and got up, and just went about my day.

And now the self image part.

When I got back from the grocery store, and unloaded and put away all of my purchases, I felt exhausted. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the effort of repackaging all of those bags and hauling them inside, but more than likely, it was simply the lack of sleep the night before. Whatever it was, I had a emotional breakdown.

First, I looked at The Donna Blog, where Donna Rose linked pictures of her progression through female facial surgery. I was so impressed by the way that this beautiful woman totally reconstructed her face in a very complementary way. Many times we think if facial plastic surgery in terms of people going too far, like Michael Jackson, or Cher, but Donna took a manly face, and turned it into something truly feminine and beautiful. It just goes to show what the right doctor, can do with the right face.

Anyway.....shortly thereafter, I found myself in the bathroom after a pee, and I looked at my face; unshaven, and sans wig and makeup. My heart sank! Unlike the lovely, and naturally feminine looking face of Donna Rose, I looked like a man, and not just any man. I looked like my father! Now don't get me wrong. I loved my father dearly, and I cried for six months after he died. Hardly a day would go by that I wouldn't think of Dad, and his military officer's funeral in Arlington National Cemetery, with his horse drawn caisson, pulling his flag draped casket to his burial site, accompanied by muffled drums and a rifle squad of honor guard in their dress blues. The lone bugler blowing 'Taps" over his casket, the 21 gun salute, and his flag being taken up, and reverently folded into the traditional tri-corner configuration, before the officer in charge presented it to my mother. I have that flag today, preserved in a glass fronted oak framed case.......No Dad, I will never disrespect you, but I never wanted to be you.....I just wanted to be myself!

That was ten years ago, and as much as I love my dad, I never wanted to be him. Yet there I was, standing before the mirror, with my 61 year old hairless pate, five o:clock shadow, and facial features, that seem to strongly resemble my father, and I burst into tears! Maybe I was just in a weakened state, from the heat and exhaustion of staying up the night before, but there was a very significant emotional component to that reaction too. As Melissa, with my hair and make up done, I look so much more like my mother, and especially my older sister, but upon closer examination, I look even more like me, and that's what I really want!

Melissa XX


To the very sweet Caroline, and the absolutely adorable Veronica, thank you so much dear ones! I have taken your summer advice, have switched from Cabernet to a chilled Chardonnay! Yes! Much more summery!

Melissa XX


chrissie said...

Been there, honey....

Two Auntees said...

Every time I look in the mirror I see my father's side, which is prominent in 3 of my sister face, so I am not alone. These days I look more like my youngest sister than any of the others, I just have a few more faces to compare mine with. I must have a lot of my mothers genes as far as longevity and hair is concerned.

If I put makeup on I usually have to sit in front of a fan until I can get into my air-conditioned car. Usually I don't bother with makeup during the day.


Anonymous said...

Upon reading your blog, many comments came to my mind until I read your last sentence. Be proud of the beautiful job you are doing with your 'ME'. You don't need a 'right' doctor and... count your blessings while they last. There comes a time where our physical appearance ages by 5 years within one year. Ouch!
Oh yes, how many reminders did you get in respect of taking the camera to your meeting?
You look beautiful and you sound like a very kind person.

Stace said...

I know what you mean.
Thinking of you.


Veronica said...

Heat, humidity, exhaustion, and just the need to let it out from time to time. It's always a shock when we see that we're turning into either of our parents. I suppose I should get a better attitude about this, but getting old sucks!

Big hugs for you and hopes for a break in your heat wave, as well as better night's sleep.

LOL about the wine, sweetie. Salut!

Lucy Melford said...

I loved and respected my Dad, too, but like you, Melissa, I don't want to look like him in my old age! Nor do I especially want to look like my Mum, unless it is Mum when quite young, for she was very pretty then.

I have to say, Virginia sounds unbearable in the summer. I wonder how Sophie manages in her little motorhome? That can't be fun.


Anonymous said...

There are many parts that make us.
The physical side is just one.
As important or even more important is the emotional and psycological side of who we are.
I know that in all the time I have known you, all I see is a wonderful woman.
I know its hard sometimes and I want to send you lots of love.

Anonymous said...

We all seem to have those emotional days and events now and then. I had such a day, a couple of weeks ago. With me, it's the frustration of knowing I will never be who I really want to be. Thankfully I have a super-accepting, and understanding wife.

As for the sleepless nights, there may be something natural you can do about them. As we get older, there are lots of things our bodies begin to make less and less. One of those things is melatonin. I won't go into the importance of melatonin but suffice it to say, it is very important to good health and especially a good night of sleep.

I keep a bottle of melatonin in my medicine cabinet for those sleepless nights you described. Melatonin helps control your body clock and will put you to sleep need to worry about a drug dependence.

Melatonin can also help reset your body clock if you travel and suffer jet lag.

I hope you get to feeling better soon...come on cool fall weather!


Calie said...

Well, Melissa, you have just stated one reason why I absolutely cannot stand to look at myself in the mirror or in a picture....The other reason is below the waist...

Calie xxx