A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Scales in doctors' offices and other stuff

I had my annual physical the other day which started with the dreaded weigh-in. I hate those scales with the little metal bar that they keep moving further and further down the line waiting for the final count. It's humiliating, I tell you! And then they measure my height by placing the white bar on my hair. Interesting how when you get older the weight number goes up, and the height number goes down. Pretty soon I'll look like Sponge Bob Square Pants, but won't be as popular.

My mother loved Erma Bombeck and one of her favorite columns was when Erma described a day when she was getting into the shower and had dropped all her clothes on the bathroom scale, including the shoes. She happened to look the weight and it was 3 pounds. What a shock! All her life she had been weighing herself fully dressed and deducted 10-15 pounds for the clothes and shoes!

I've discovered over the past few years that my body is morphing into my mom's shape - including her butt. Not that I didn't love her a lot, or that I didn't think she was a beautiful woman, but I really don't want her backside! Alas, it appears to want me.

When I get ready in the morning and put on my makeup, I often remember my mother's ritual. She never left the house without makeup and was always very conscious of how she looked. When I was little, I would sit close to her watching her use all those pencils, puffs, brushes. And even though she did this every day of her life, I would often ask her "Where you going, Mommy?" "No where, dear. I just want to look nice for my family." It was only when I became an adult that she told me how she got to the point where she wanted to scream every time I asked her that question! And here I thought I was such a little angel.

My grandmother didn't wear a lot of makup, but she was such a pretty woman and always looked nice. Being Italian, she had some interesting beauty tips:

  • Never lean your face on your hands because you'll stretch your cheeks and neck out of shape.
  • When you peel an orange, rub the white stuff on the skin across your teeth to get them shiny and white (although the citrus will probably makes holes in your teeth)
  • Dont' walk too fast - it might give you unsightly muscles in your legs (Mom always thought I walked too fast and not like a lady)

  • Don't show your anger because it will contort your face and it may stay that way (I think this one went along with the "don't stick your tongue out at your mother or it might turn to stone" ploy)
  • Baking soda works just fine as a deodorant (NO, grandma, it doesn't)
  • Don't use straws - they'll make permanent pucker marks around your mouth
  • A necklace of garlic will prevent worms (for some reason, "getting worms" was always a big worry when I was a kid. My mother, however, was sent home from school while wearing the garlic necklace because of the smell. So this one never got too much traction)

  • Try to keep you hands up (ala Scarlett O'Hara) so the veins won't pop out and make your hands look old. I'm not sure which would be worse, old looking hands with visible veins, or walking around with your hands always at shoulder height.
I didn't pass these beauty tips down to my daughter. Although I'm sure I did pass things on to her that she feels are strange (at best). We mothers do that.


Desert Diva said...

The tip regarding the straws is actually true. I never smoked, but I have those lines around my mouth. The nurse practitioner at the dermatologist office said, (as she was giving me Restylane injections) "I don't drink with a straw anymore - the repetitive motion does cause wrinkles."

Fleur de Lisa said...

No drinking through straws? What is next?

Walking too fast will give you unsightly muscles? I didn't know muscles were unsightly. ;)

judypatooote said...

Very funny post Sandi...my mom was always tiny, 100 the most she ever weighed was 140 and that's when she had me....but she did have the dreaded belly....which I did inherit...... it's fun to read about old home remedies....and I guess you call them old wifes tales... I know I heard my share.... LOL judy

ira said...

You look very pretty in the pic! :)
I got loads of advice from my granny too..Will tell ya some time fursat se(when I have time on my hands! :) )