I have this condition, a gross sort of thing that has me convinced I am in the early stages of withering. It is only a matter of time before I crumple up in one dusty heap and float off on the wind. It began when I moved to Georgia. I started itching all the time. I was convinced I was allergic to something, a plant or the water from our well, or polyurethane because we were building our cabin. For a while, I even thought it might be sawdust, and considering my husband is training to be a wood turner and comes home looking like a powdered donut everyday, this was a serious issue. The itching got steadily worse. I could swear I was getting scales. So, I went to the doctor. We began tests and I started the process of elimination regarding what could be causing me to itch. After a few months of seeking a cure, no answers and escalating medical bills, I gave up. Now, I just itch. Case closed.
I did figure out that I am not allergic to Georgia because I itched worse when I visited Florida, and it is a problem in Boston too. I take my itch with me, apparently. My doctor asked it could be nerves or stress. I laughed and told him it was doubtful. I left my business behind and with it, most of the frustration and aggravation I would associate to stress. For the first time in my entire life, we are not worried about finances. I’m healthy, and my donkey brings my blood pressure down every time I pet his nose. I can feel it. No – it can’t be stress.
In the end, I’ve decided that it must be hormonal – a coincidence that I moved to a new place and changed my lifestyle and everything about my existence at the same time that my body was merging silently into old age. I’m guessing the itching is a pre-menopausal thing. My doctor said that since I have no other signs of a biological life change (in fact, the idea of having another kid was actually tossed about for a while during our “gee, we are free and life is an adventure and what shall we do next?” phase. Of course, I felt too old to catch, so I let that ball fall flat at my feet. Moral – never marry a man younger than you are unless you want to constantly be reminded that the only spring chicken in your house is from Perdue.)
Anyway, I itch all the time, and as result, I am constantly slathering every kind of lotion on my body, taking baths laden with body oil, and drinking water. Helps a little. I’ve tried every sort of lotion on the market, from expensive medicated, dermatologist-recommended brands to homemade love-lotion from the farmer’s market. Honestly, I don’t think one is better than the other is. Some are oily and greasy, others are creamy and lay on your epidermis like a white body stocking. In time, your body drinks in whatever is there and your exterior returns to its normal flat sheen. But I often wonder about the invisible chemical reaction going on in my pores as result of applying this stuff. Does it really make a difference? If it worked, wouldn’t the world be free of crow’s feet? I, personally, love crows feet. Not on me, of course, but on others. I like them on women because it makes me look better by comparison (just kidding) I like them on men, because they are evidence of all the things I admire in males– good humor, wisdom, and often, an inclination to be outdoors. It brings attention to the eyes. Look at the most gorgeous men of all time, like Brad Pit or Gene Hackman (don’t you dare question my taste in men). They both look better with crow’s feet – gives them character. But then, I am weird. I am not put off by bald spots or gray hair. The “real-er” the boys come, the harder I fall.
I was talking about itching. Right. Pardon me when I go astray that way. Just picturing a handsome pair of crow’s feet can do that to a susceptible girl like me.
The thing is, I now put some kind of cream on the back of my neck about ten times a day. For some reason, that is one of the places where I am withering most. And when I flew home yesterday, I wasn’t allowed to tote any cream or lotions on the plane. It actually grew uncomfortable moving my head after about three hours without something to soothe the dry skin. So I went into the Body Shop to snag a squirt from a sample. The place was dead. I felt so badly for the business. Since people can’t bring anything liquid on board of planes, the store can’t make any sales, yet it remains open, further evidence of our new threat. On my way to Boston, I had visited this very same franchise and purchased a few items. Only five days earlier, I had to wait in line to pay. Now, it was as if the store was closed and I had snuck in under the gate. It is daunting how the terrorist threat filters into so many areas of our lives. Fear of travel is only the beginning. It affects our economy, our view of humanity, and our choices in a multitude of ways.
It’s enough to make a girl itch, ya know.