Tag Archives: Peculiar Beauty

Oh, Baby

That was some trip, your mother oiling you and patting you all over with scented oil.  The comforting sensation is still with you, isn’t it?  Get acquainted with it again; buy yourself a big bottle of baby oil and keep it on your bathroom shelf.” Stan Place, Stan Place’s Guide to Makeup (1981)

I (and my mother) swore by baby oil when I was growing up.  She bought the lavender-scented gel kind, and all my sisters used it.  In the last few years, I’ve sworn by vitamin E oil, which I buy at Family Dollar and mix with perfume oil for a nice scent.

But I found a bottle when I was cleaning out my father-in-law’s bathroom, and decided to give it a try.  The sensation of rubbing it on is nice, yes, but at the end of the day, while your skin isn’t itchy, it has a strange, papery feeling to it.  Smooth, but not silky or moisturized.

So unless you have some weird diaper fetish, you can do better that J&J.

The Underpants Debacle

“A French woman wears a fifty dollar dress and a fifteen dollar corset.  An American woman wears a two hundred dollar dress and a two dollar and a half corset”  Amy Ayer, Facts for Ladies (1908)

I haven’t worn particularly fancy underwear since high school, when my ex-fiance, Aaron, used to buy me lots of lingerie from Victoria’s Secret, because he was kind of uncreative (if it wasn’t underwear, it was chocolate).  But when I got out on my own and had no money, it was cotton panties from the Jr. section of Wal-Mart, the kind that comes in the six-pack.  My underpants had to be comfortable, as I was standing for about 10 hours a day, so no thongs, no sexy v-strings, no lace or nylon.  But rest assured, I didn’t have a $200 dress either.

I took this challenge as a way to buy new fancy panties.  (That, and my favorite pair got a hole in them.)   But it’s been so long since I’ve had to buy any kind of lingerie that I wasn’t even sure what Ian liked.  Would he want me to wear bejeweled thongs?  Lacy boyshorts that go so high up into my personal area that they ought to buy me dinner?

So I asked him.  He thought it over and said. “I want them to be cute.  And fun.”  His reasoning being that we were cute and fun, and my lingerie should be uncomplicated.  Lacy underpants, to him, scream high maintenance.

Victoria’s Secret at the Sangertown Square Mall had a 5 for $26 sale, so I sifted through the bins.  The whole place smells of too much perfume and sadness.  The sales girls all wear too much makeup and too-tight skirts.  The other customers look like they’re going to hang themselves with the leopard-print V-string if they don’t pick up some guy named Brad at tonight’s 50 Shades of Grey themed party.

It should be noted that I hate Victoria’s Secret.  I’ve never had a good experience there, and today, dspite my best intentions, was no exception.  I picked out my five pairs–striped, polka dots, bikinis and even a thong–and took them to the register.  The sales girl tells me that two of my panties don’t qualify, even though they were in the bin.  Maybe this isn’t a big deal, but it’s annoying to have to go back, sift through more underwear and stand in line again.  She doesn’t even offer me a VS credit card.

But I came out with five pairs of high-end panties, which will hopefully transform me magically into a sex goddess.


Ice Station Bathtub

“Most women complain they cannot take cold baths.  Not because of ill health, but because the shock of the cold water is too much for them.  I have a way of getting into my cold bath that overcomes the shock . . .I grasp the sides of the tub and lower my body into the water so that the base of my spine touches the water first.  Then I lower the upper parts of my body until the water touches the base of my brain, at the same time splashing my chest and throat.  Then I let my feet down and am wet all over”  Edna Hopper Wallace, “My Secret of Youth and Beauty” (1925)

I’ve been dreading this one all week.  My apartment doesn’t have a bathtub, so I had to wait until I was in a hotel to try this one out.  A hotel, I might add, in Maine.  In January.

When I was a kid, my sister Hilary, our friend Lando and I used to do Polar Bear Jumps at the Hidden Lake girl scout camp in the Adirondacks   We’d get up at 6 a.m, sing a Polar Bear song, then jump into a freezing cold mountain lake and swim until our lips turned blue. Maybe three summers worth of that explains why, as I edge up on 30, I still occasionally get carded for R-rated movies.

Matthew, my assistant/writing partner/BFF, helped fill my bathtub my hotel ice and cold water.  I followed Edna’s instructions carefully, and ten seconds later was screaming “TAKE THE PICTURE TAKE THE PICTURE TAKE THE PICTURE!!!!!”


The Blogger, Wet, Miserable and Possibly Insane

I have never been so cold in my entire life.  I don’t care what Edna said, easing my body–no matter what part first–into a bathtub filled with ice water cannot be not-shocking.  My core temperature immediately dropped to absolute zero.  I felt like my flesh was being scraped off with a vegetable peeler. I catapulted out of the tub, grabbed a towel and stood shivering in the elevator until I could get to the hot tub, where I shivered for a good two minutes until my body temperature rose back up to just above freezing.

On the plus side, Matthew did say I had a nice glow in my cheeks.  I thanked him through chattering teeth.