I’ll be pretty when I’m dead

When I was a wee sprout, I read this story about two princes who were both given fancy-shmancy jackets by the King (their Pops). Their one charge was to take care of the jackets. The two princes then encounter various catastrophes throughout their day.  They both see a man with his wagon stuck in the mud. One prince says, “sorry Charlie, getting you out of that mud would mess up my fly jacket.” But the other prince rolls up his sleeves and helps the stranded guy, and his jacket is flecked with mud. Later, there is a fire in the village. One prince says, “Not my prob,” but the other runs in a burning house and rescues people, and his jacket is burnt with holes. And more things like this happen, and one prince keeps his jacket clean while the other one almost completely destroys his. At the end of the day, the King is outraged that the one prince has really effed up his jacket, but then the townspeople come forward and explain all that he did to help them. The king learns that the jacket was destroyed not through carelessness or disrespect, but through care and respect for others. Then the king publicly honors the ruin’t jacket prince and shames the immaculate-jacket prince for his selfishness.*

 

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I always imagined that the princes were a tad older than this, but one must work with free stock images available to us 😀

 

The moral of the story, I think, was about value. Yes, the jackets were snazzy and deserved to be cared for. But one prince (rightly) saw that living a life worth living necessitated messing up his jacket.

This is a very long intro to something I’ve been thinking about lately, especially in my grisly old age.

TRYING TO BE BEAUTIFUL WHEN YOU’RE AN AGING WOMAN IS THE WORST.

Think about it – what’s valued in women, beauty wise? Wrinkle free and soft skin is sexy. Having no extra body fat anywhere (EXCEPT in the “right” places, of course) is sexy. Pretty nails are at least.. appreciated, even if they aren’t sexy per se. Grey hair is not really acceptable, much less valued, until you are at least 65. Etc. etc .etc.

What’s valued in men? Wrinkles are fine. Rough hands are sexy. Muscles are sexy. Pretty nails are *not* sexy, imo. Grey foxes are sexy. Etc. etc etc.

I’m not just trying to say “beauty standards for women are unfair!” Plenty o’ people have already said that. My point is that the more men live their lives and DO STUFF, the more sexy they become. But for women, the more we live active lives, the less sexy we become.

To achieve the perfect beauty regimen, women should do nothing but lounge around in a spa. They shouldn’t do anything with their hands so they’ll stay soft and our nails won’t get janky. We shouldn’t go outside in any weather that’s too cold, or our skin will dry out. Too windy, we’ll get wind-chapped. Too sunny, and we’ll get wrinkles. And to maintain our 900 calories/day to keep up our prepubescent figures, we should be practically comatose. Oh, and we probably shouldn’t do any real work so we don’t accidentally get real functional muscles.

Pffftttttt.

I would like to propose to women everywhere that we think about our looks like the prince did his jacket. Should we abuse it just to abuse it? No. There’s no honor in binge drinking or refusing to exercise. But… am I going to refuse to go hiking on a sunny day or do science lab work (it’s very rough on the hands, tbh) or do anything remotely stressful so that I can make sure my skin doesn’t wrinkle, my hands don’t get rough and calloused, and my hair doesn’t gray?

“Fooie patooie”   – C Galloswag

Naw. Let’s live our lives, ladies, and let the hands roughen, the wrinkles deepen, and the hairs grey. So what if the sleeping beauties are more beautiful than us? The Prince Charmings can have ’em. I’ll be fighting communism with Prince Janky-Jacket 😉

 

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How to be beautiful: lay around and do nothing, ever.

 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*I read this story over 20 years ago, so I’m basically making up all the details. But this was essentially what happened 😀

 

You Can Keep the Change

Remember when you were a kiddo, and you used to play make-believe? Wasn’t that jolly?? Okey, then! Let’s play make-believe for une minuto.

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A gross looking pot of soup, from pixabay images.
***
Connie is making a pot of soup for a large crowd of people. There was a general consensus after the early taste-test that the soup really needed salt. So, Connie starts adding one grain of salt at a time.
Then Libby storms the kitchen, shoves Connie away from the stove, and screeches, “This isn’t progressing like it should!” She proceeds to dump an entire cup of salt into the soup and serves it to the guests.
When asked to explain her brash actions, Libby snorts, “Connie wasn’t getting anything done. We needed that tasteless soup changed NOW!” But many guests grumble about the salty disaster they were served. When Libby hears them, she huffs, “You just love tasteless soup! Plus, I prefer over-salty to under-salty.”  Some of Connie’s closest friends snap back testily, “But we prefer under-salty to over-salty!”
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The point of this dynamo story, dear readers o’ mine, is that getting behind causes or movements that call for general “change” or “progress” is lamé. When you’re dissatisfied with a situation, don’t get on board the Generic General and chug toward Change, Otherwise Unspecified. Maybe the change suits your personal tastes, but that doesn’t mean that it will taste better for everyone. As the youths say, it’s still “extra.” It’s just extra in a different direction.
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Outstanding artistry of coins, also from pixabay images.
 So don’t be an Extra Eliza. And don’t advocate for change or progress solely because it’s different from now, even if now kind of sucks. Let’s get behind smart changes – with an actual end-goal in mind  – instead of simply, “anything but this!” That will be progress. Then we can all eat a tasty, nicely salted soup. Hmmm.. delicious.

Chronic smoker grateful for support of Alternative Health Community

ATLANTA- Local resident Hank Womack has been smoking for the past 29 years. At first, he was suffocated by a judgmental community of “health experts” and anti-health family members who constantly tried to shove their own views on air quality and lung function down his throat. “They could see how much I got a kick out of smoking, but still they wanted to take it away from me. Probably because they are scared and don’t really understand cigarettes or lung function,” Hank confided in me. “I mean, at first I tried to quit. But it was mighty hard to impossible. If quitting is that hard, then continuing has to be good for me… This is who I am- Hank the Smoker.”
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Hank continued to explain that he grew up in a family that was brainwashed by Western medicine, and were completely closed minded to alternative views on smoking. His family, in the name of health, would subject him to odious lectures on cigarette toxicity, even going so far as to suggest he end friendships with other habitual smokers. So when Hank was about 32 years old, he cut family ties and found an alternative health community that recognized inhaling tar in your lungs as a legitimate form of breathing. “They welcomed me with open arms.. made me feel comfortable,” Hank wheezed.
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This small but dedicated alternative health community reanalyzed and reinterpreted decades of research on smoking, and a panel of chronic smokers concluded that the findings of these studies were being inappropriately applied to smokers. One of their major conclusions is that most studies were done on the harmful effects of smoking Salem cigarettes in night clubs, whereas most smokers now enjoy Marlboros in parks with their families. “This is a radically different context than the context of these landmark studies. Therefore, we reject the general consensus of the medical community that cigarettes are harmful for health,” they issued in an official statement.
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Hank added his own logic, “I feel so good when I smoke.. how can anything that makes me feel this good not be good for me?” He paused for a brief fit of coughing, which ended with him hacking blood into a napkin. “Nothing would be more anti-health than taking these away from me,” he finally rasped. This is in line with his alternative health community’s tag line “Healthy is What Makes You Happy.”
Hank plans to dedicate the rest of life freeing other smokers from the dogma of the mainstream medical community.