Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Deferred Maintenance

I've been busy the last two weeks taking care of all those things I failed to do for the last ten years during which time I was only alone for three consecutive hours at a stretch. I suppose I could have been cleaning out closets, organizing papers, and scrubbing mildew off our screened porch all along, but when you only have a short amount of truly free time, you tend to not want to spend it doing something that is deadly boring or unpleasant, even if it is necessary. I think this applies to people with very time-consuming jobs, as well. When I was working 12-hour days as a lawyer, I really didn't want to spend my non-working hours doing housework or creating a filing system for my important papers. I wanted to watch The Bachelor and eat carbs.

The deferred maintenance doesn't just apply to our house. I, myself, had some deferred maintenance, as well. The first full week that the kids were at school, I managed to schedule a haircut and a pedicure. What I really need is a facial and some laser treatments on my freckles, but that seemed like a lot in one week, so instead I bought this thing:

It's called the Clarisonic Mia 2 and Sister recommended it when we were in Maine this summer. Apparently, all her fancy, beautiful friends use it, too. No one told me that this is what people who take care in their appearance use to wash their faces! (Aside: After my second year in law school our whole class had to take a class in trial techniques. We pretended to be real lawyer and delivered opening statements, questioned witnesses, and all that jazz. Our performances were video taped and we got to take our tapes to various actors employed to critique our performance. My tape was critiqued by Jo Ann Pflug who gave me some pointers on making eye-contact and then said, "you would be an attractive girl if you just took some care in your appearance." In retrospect she was 100% correct, but I was quite offended. Additionally, it's good that Wikipedia wasn't around back then because, at the time, all I knew was that Jo Ann Pflug was in M*A*S*H and Laugh In. Now I see that I was insulted by Chuck Woolery's ex-wife!)

I really like the Clarisonic. I'm not sure it makes a huge difference in the way my skin looks, but my skin definitely feels cleaner, which is probably more important. I bought mine at Nordstrom, because it was on sale and came in fun colors. Washing your face isn't that exciting, so you should probably enjoy some aspect of the process. It's also available on Amazon for about $20 less, but the Nordstrom one came with a bag, replacement brush head, and two kinds of cleanser. If you bought those extras separately, I think you'd end up spending about $20 and the Amazon one was in light pink instead of persimmon, which is obviously a superior color.

The best thing about the purchase was that when the Baby saw it, she whispered to me, "you can get one of those to remove the hair from your body." In case you are wondering how she became familiar with hair removal systems, I can only assume that it's because the children discovered Full House this summer. I knew that the advertising on that program skewed towards depressed drug-addicts (see below), but I guess that perhaps these people are depressed drug addicts because they are very hairy, because No! No! Hair also advertises:

 This does contradict my working theory which was that the people watching Full House are depressed and taking drugs because they are watching Full House.

Another perk of the kids watching Full House is that I got to overhear this conversation:

Boy: I guess Uncle Jesse is kind of like Uncle David.
Girl: Yeah. They are kind of the same.

That sound you hear is my sister-in-law spitting coffee all over her computer monitor in Michigan. Her husband (and the kids' Uncle David) is a nice Dutch Calvinist man who is most commonly mistaken for Jeff Daniels. So, he looks about as much like John Stamos as I look like Jennifer Lopez (i.e., we are technically of the same species). Uncle David is an editor for a company that publishes religious texts and Uncle Jesse drives a hot rod and is the lead singer of Jesse and the Rippers. I certainly hope that the children get more familiar with analogies before it's time to take the SATs.

Meanwhile, will someone please have an 80's party so that I have an excuse to spend $15.99 on this darling t-shirt from Cafe Press:

Who wouldn't look totally awesome in this??
In other deferred maintenance news, the house is basically falling apart around my ears. Along with the broken refrigerator, the toaster oven burns three out of four pieces of bread that it's supposed to be toasting, and our front porch railings are falling off. What sucks about being a responsible adult is foregoing the purchase a new living room couch because you need to spend money on broken refrigerators and possibly lawsuit-inducing railings.

So, it was probably the wrong time to spend a day at Scott's Antique Markets with Mom, but since it's only in Atlanta one weekend a month, I was able to justify the trip. I'm pretty sure that everyone in Atlanta is familiar with Scott's. But, if you're not from the area, I'll let you know that it's just the hugest antiques and collectibles market I've ever seen. (This is coming from someone who spent her childhood summers visiting every antique store and flea market in Maine from Freeport to Bar Harbor. As they say in New Jersey, "I know from antique markets."). I have been interested in buying a demijohn for no particular reason other than I think that they're cool looking and not too pricey.

Mom and I saw a dealer who had several different bottles that were pretty nice except that the top to one of the bottles was chipped and jagged. Now, if the bottles are old, they are made of blown glass and the glassmaker would have snipped off the top of the bottle to remove it from the blow pipe. That's not what I'm talking about. The top of this one bottle was just broken. Anyway, I asked the dealer for prices on the demijohns. I was surprised when she said that the broken one was $10 more than the other bottles.

Me: Really? I'm surprised since the top of this one is broken.
Lady: That's because it's old. They're called antiques.
Me: Yes, I know they're antiques.

Grrrr! I really wish I had come up with a better response. For example:

Me: You're kidding?! I thought I was in Pier 1 Imports. These are antiques????
Me: That explains your broken face. You're an antique.
Me: Shut the front door! Antiques! Well, I'll be! I just thought they were someone's old, broken shit.

Isn't is frustrating that the comebacks are so good when you have a week to ruminate on them?

She has given me an idea, though: The broken things in my house aren't really broken, they're just antiques. Can I interest you in a broken toaster oven? If new, it would cost $49.99, but it is an antique, thus I will charge you the bargain price of $69.99. This crack in our cracked pedestal sink basin:

it just adds to the gorgeous patina of this antique. Don't you agree? Yeah, me neither. It really is just someone's old, broken shit.


  1. You were smart to buy the csonic in person. I got mine on amazon a couple of months ago and chose "key lime" which looks pretty on the website - and I even verified on the csonic website - and it arrived and it is the most hideous bordering on Kermit green and it makes me so mad each time I use it. I should have just returned it but I really didn't want to wait to have amazing skin and the post office is far away. Regrets.

    1. I didn't buy it in person, so the persimmon is probably better described as Syracuse orange. It matches nothing but my orange purse, which also matches nothing. Suddenly I'm wondering why I keep buying orange things. Maybe I'm coming down with scurvy. I'm sorry the green wasn't as pictured. That is frustrating. Do you think it's made your skin amazing? I have yet to be stopped by a stranger and told that i'm glowing, but maybe it takes more than a couple of weeks.

  2. You are going to love your Clarisonic. People keep telling me that "the pregnancy must be agreeing with you - your skin looks great" - um, nope....it's the Clarisonic. My mother in law also got one and her friends have accused her of getting a facelift.

    1. Does it take a few weeks to see a difference? I guess I thought that I'd use it once and look in the mirror and see my 22 year old self, which didn't happen. I realize now that when I was pregnant my skin looked good because I was puffy from water retention and it smoothed out the wrinkles. Of course, the downsides to the good skin were cankles and an inability to wear a wedding ring. I'm going to keep using the Clarisonic, but make that dermatologist appointment for some more extensive assistance.