Many seasoned moms and dads cite sleep as the primary casualty of parenting. While it is true that most new baby owners quite vocally mourn the loss of a good night’s rest, I respectfully submit that something else falters first:
It starts in the delivery room when teams of doctors, nurses and students bear witness to events that the Motion Picture Association would rate NC-17. Yet pain, stress and exhaustion leave most moms oblivious to their own physical presentation. I look back at pictures of myself in the hospital after my first son was born and wonder, “Why the hell didn’t someone hand me a brush?”
Sadly, I embraced the disheveled and frumpy look for the better part of the next five years.
It wasn’t that I did not care how I looked, but rather that I was more concerned about not leaving my young children unattended for the time it took to shave both legs. How could I possibly dye my hair when burping a newborn would intersect the 45 minutes required for noxious chemicals to vaporize my grays?
No, I wasn’t pretty during this period. Thankfully, my husband didn’t seem to notice my failing looks and pitiful hygiene. He never said a single critical word.
I believe he is a much wiser man than originally thought.
As the years passed and life got easier, vanity was eventually restored but never to the same levels as it once existed.
My idea of looking good at school drop-offs requires putting on lipstick before I head out in my pajamas.
While shopping for a formal event, I spend more money on effective stomach-sucking undergarments than I do on the dress.
If my nails don’t have sand, Play-Doh or paint underneath them, I consider myself “well-manicured.”
Recently, I read an article about the miraculous anti-aging properties of red wine. Suddenly, my old narcissistic sensibilities took over. I immediately marched over to my husband with two poured glasses of merlot as he happily watched an episode of “Swamp People.”
“Here. Drink this,” I ordered and handed over his portion.
“I hate wine,” Joe grumbled as he futilely attempted to hand me back the glass.
“Doesn’t matter. This stuff makes us age backwards. Like Mork.”
“Why would we want to age backwards? Things are good as is.”
“But don’t you want to look younger, more attractive, and have the arteries of a 20 year old? What if this stuff really is the fountain of youth?” I questioned earnestly.
“No thanks, Ponce de Leon.”
“You don’t want to be Benjamin Button?”
“Nope. I don’t even want to be Brad Pitt.”
“What is wrong with you? You’re un-American. We are supposed to be vain and youth-obsessed.”
“Fine,” Joe muttered, “but can I at least put sugar in it? Wine is gross.”
“One last thing,” Joe paused dramatically as he lifted the sugar bowl high into the air for final consideration, “if I DO drink this, you are then not allowed to get mad when women start throwing themselves at your younger, hotter, age-defying fireman husband.”
That comment was met with a long, thoughtful pause by yours truly.
Then I handed him a beer.
Joe, like I said, is a much wiser man than originally thought.