Thursday, May 05, 2005

You want to what?

I'm progressive. I can handle new fads and styles. When my oldest son decided to pierce his ear, I didn't see a problem. When he designed and had his body tattooed with his designs I chose to look at his choice as art on a living canvas available to the masses, a sort of traveling art show. The fact that all the images were demonic didn't bother me; it was a phase he was going through. Granted, it was one that he would -- and did -- live to regret, but it's his body, his choice.

When my youngest son decided to shave his head and came to me to help him finish the job, I cringed inside silently and without saying anything as I lathered shaving cream on his scalp that looked like a mangy dog's hide and skived away the rest of his thick beautiful hair. (Some people really don't look good bald.) I didn't scream or yell or criticize his choice; it was his choice.

I have adapted to trends and fashions and the curve balls of life without complaining too much, but I think I have found the point where the rubber meets the road and it's really not a pleasant smell at 500 mph. More like the odor of burning rubber and baking road kill on a blazing August day in the center of Death Valley when you're staked to the smoking reek.

Anal bleaching.

I have been far too isolated from the rest of the world. I see movies where the actors are little more than advertisements for third world hunger campaigns, except they have much smoother abs. I cringe at news of people with nothing better to do injecting lethal bacteria into their faces to erase laugh and frown lines and the etched road maps of life just after, or often before, they have fat sucked from their buttocks and thighs and injected into their lips for that bee stung, got-my-lips-stuck-in-a-drain look that has become so popular since Angelina Jolie stopped wearing diapers. I have shook my head in restaurant restrooms at the noxious sounds emanating from the stall down the way where someone is disgorging their burger, fries, milk shake and death by chocolate cake while they calculate the cost of porcelain veneers for their stomach acid etched teeth on their cell phones while they check their email and surf the net with bile dripping from their plump bee stung lips and digitally record their surroundings for their friends.

But anal bleaching?

Having diapered a few bottoms in my day, it never occurred to me to check the natural anal color with paint chips from Home Depot and wonder what combination of bleach, peroxide and water in what quantities would be best to render their puckered orifices acceptable in fashionable society. It never occurred to me it would be necessary. Braces are one thing; bleaching your butthole is another, and they do not belong in the same ball park.

It's not enough to sanitize, deodorize, perfume and otherwise render our personal space -- and the space of anyone within 500 feet -- a nature-free zone, but now we're supposed to worry about the color of our nether sphincter. I guess it could become an issue now that butt floss is the accepted apparel for summer and bending over might give some unwary stranger a glimpse of the pink bits, but I really doubt that a proctological inspection would be in the offing -- unless of course a proctologist was the passing stranger. But really. Haven't people gone a bit too far?

Bathing and clothing I can see. I can even understand coloring your hair; I do it because nature has been unable to change my hair color from its normal brown to glistening silver overnight and leaves me in the in-between land of amorphous gray. I get the need for braces and glasses. I have even contemplated the possibility of having my birth and nursing ravaged breasts lifted into a more upward gazing prospect. I trim my nails weekly and brush my teeth. I wear contacts (no, not the kind that change my eye color, thank you very much. I rather like my own chameleon-like blue-grey eyes) and I scrub my skin with sea salt and oil weekly to remove dead skin cells and lavish hemp oil body lotion on my soft and supple, although stretch mark and surgery scarred, skin. But I have to draw the line somewhere.

I don't wax my pubic hair and I only shave my arm pits once in a while (I don't have much body hair). I don't shave my legs at all, but no one can tell because I have soft nearly invisible hair on my legs. I don't douse myself in perfume and suffocate friends and strangers who pass too closely in my wake, or eradicate all bacteria from my hands and body because I need them to keep my immune system strong and healthy. I don't do a lot of things that are considered essential to be fashionable and indistinguishable in the modern day world and some day I'll probably be seen as the strange old witch who didn't keep a stock of genetically engineered and cosmetically enhanced clones in storage, ready for the exchange, when botox, chemical peels, surgery and DNA cocktails will no longer work to twist my natural looks into acceptable youthful proportions.

And I will never bleach my anus.

More and more I understand why one friend aspires to be a hobo. I think I'm just about ready to join him.

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