Growing up I wouldn’t consider myself a slob, I cared about what I looked like to a point, but I wouldn’t say I was overly obsessed with it. I showered, tried not to smell, and kept my hair in a good place without having massive boogers in my nose. Some women found me attractive so I felt like I was doing the basics of what I needed to do to get by in life.
As I have gotten older though there has been a creeping sense of vanity setting in. I care a little bit more about my overall health, there has been internal debate if I should dye my hair, I have purchased skin care products for the first time ever, and spend a little bit more time in the bathroom. To be fair some of that time is taking care of the random hairs that sprout up on my nose, on my ears, and other places where I have never had to worry about hair growth. Meanwhile in places I want to have hair I am fighting a war of attrition. (I’ve decided to forgo trimming my pubic hair for about five years now just in case I need to get it transplanted onto my head. It’s called planning.)
At first I wasn’t sure where this had come from. I didn’t hit rock bottom at any point with the feeling that I needed to get my shit together in order to impress the fairer sex. There was no “I haven’t been near a vagina in four years, I need to really get my shit together or I will die alone, undiscovered for weeks, and will only have some worthless baseball cards and a massive porn collection to leave behind” moment.
It wasn’t a feeling of making up for missed time like I had mistreated my body for years and needed to make up for lost time, “I’ve eaten McDonald’s four days a week for the last fifteen years. Maybe I should do some futile sit-ups to counteract that poor life choice.”
I realized it was about looking in the mirror and seeing my youth slip away. It was like being a 32-year-old actress in Hollywood and fearing that I was about to be cast as the role of bitchy spinster aunt or grandmother. (Obviously at 32 they have about four good years left before they get sent to the actress farm to live out their days or shot.) It’s the sinking feeling that I am creeping more towards middle age than being my bulletproof youthful self, it’s a sinking feeling that kind of sucks.
I’m going to fight the good fight, eat healthy, workout, use various snake oil products, debate if sperm really keeps the skin taught, use sunscreen, consider stealing placenta pills from new moms, avoid tobacco, and keep that pubic hair farm growing… You know, just in case.
Do you have aging onset vanity?