I was born pretty.

(At least by my grandfather’s standards).


He told me so, every time I saw him, and I believed him.


My mother and father were beautiful. A beautiful couple.


They bred well.


My sister is a knock-out.


It’s the genes.


I never much thought I let it define me, but as I get older I wonder if I did, or if I’m letting it influence me now?


Here’s how simple it used to be: wash hair.


That’s it.


Wash my God Damn hair.


Everything else just fell into place.


I had good skin, large blue eyes, good brows, full lips, white teeth, good body proportion, blablahblah…


It ALL worked.


I didn’t own a scale, and I hardly looked in a mirror for more then the time it took to apply mascara.


I concentrated on other objectives, like getting smart, and making money, developing nations, and influencing World leaders.


So, please try to imagine my surprise, when several years ago, my asshole of a father laughed at me while saying,’Hey Cheryl. You’re looking old. That’s a riot.’


Am I you turd???


It was time to take a deep look and Oh My God, what the HELL?


When did this happen?


And, so it began- My journey with ‘Maintenance’.


And it ain’t pretty any more.



Here is my Vanity Truth:


  • I get my hair colored every 6 weeks. I get it glazed a few times a year. I am BFF’s with my hairdresser ’cause I pay his mortgage.

  • I bleach my teeth once, or twice a year. So does my daughter. She’s 26. If her teeth get any whiter they will be able to be seen from outer space- or generate global electricity.

  • I remove hair, daily, from places on my face that should not grow hair. Thank God it’s fascinating.

  • I am loosing my eyebrows. Seriously. Just two little puffs of hair near the bridge of my nose will be left. I blame this on over-zealous Vietnamese tweezing of which I have been a customer victim. I use a powder brow filler.

  • I am loosing my lips. They are getting thinner and dull. I have recently had them ‘plumped’ with filler and upped my lipstick game- sorta like what a clown does. I always loved the circus so what the hell.

  • I have had the ‘apostrophe’ marks on each side of the nose that fold down around your mouth- filled. I no longer look like I am going to kill someone.

  • I use Botox. I use it often. If I could just keep a snake in the tub and kiss him every day, I would.

  • I have gained 30 lbs. since newly married, and no matter how much I exercise, or eat appropriately, I can not seem to loose it DAMN WINE so I have just bought larger clothes. Thank God I have larger money too.

  • I have stupid youthful sun damage on my face and on my back. Retinal vitamin C serums are now part of my daily routine- like smoking, though I hear there’s a new study that says….

  • Of course, the boobs (and ass, and tummy) have dropped. Without surgery I don’t see a way around this, and I hate ‘down-time’ so this probably won’t happen, but I can totally imagine the gain if you have the patience for recovery, however, I am considering a breast reduction. I just have to convince my insurance carrier that my boobs, at optimum cup size C (the girls are currently D’ancing’- EeGads!), are a part of our national security policy.



So, where does this leave me? Let’s see…


I am 57 and I’m actually aging.


My mother did this too and I’m still having a hard time forgiving her.


For being mortal.


She was supposed to stay young forever. And she almost did.


‘Your genes aren’t working anymore Mom! WTH? You promised!


No, really. I’m okay with it- because I have to be, or I’ll just end up one of those invisible

people that walk around with their head down, or the woman down the street who looks like

she was ridden hard and put-up wet- KIND OF bad, or my great aunt Gert. (Dear God, not

Gert, I beg of you Jesus) who never met a day she didn’t HATE.


Nope. Not going there.


Instead, I will continue to rev-up the non-invasive cosmetic procedures sportscar, put the

top down, tunes up, and drive full-out in a 35mph school zone in front of a police station with

an ambulance on my tail, while I’m re-apllying lipstick and lighting up a cowboy.


Because being upset about aging will have to catch me first before I go away…

And I drive fast.




  • Natalie D - I can only hope to be as good looking at your age. Though really, I don’t think much about it. We all get old. A sense of humor goes a long way in the again process. 😉ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Not laughing will kill you. Ha!Thanks for stopping by Nat!ReplyCancel

  • MJM - Girl you are still as hot as ever, you got it going on like the funky cold medina.ReplyCancel

  • Roshni - I’m 40 and starting to get nervous!! LOL!! But, I will religiously follow your suggestions, because you look fabulous!!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Here’s the secret: Don’t dwell on it. Plus- look at you and all of your gorgeous skin. You’ll be a beauty forever. Damn you.ReplyCancel

  • Walker Thornton - That’s a nice light-hearted look at anti-aging! And, finally a chance to see behind the flowers and hat!!! Yeah…ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Light heart- Heavy backside Walker. Just another in a long list of ‘When the Hell did that happen?’ As for the ‘Hat’. I’ve actually been to blogging conferences and, until I put that damn thing on, no one knew who I was! I created a monster!ReplyCancel

  • Lana - Perfect timing – just got back from getting my hair colored. I hate the time it takes but the alternative isn’t pretty….ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I considered ‘working with it’ and asked the fam. NO NO NO! was the definitive answer. So I soldier on and throw $$$ at my hairdresser. And lie to myself. HA!ReplyCancel

  • penpen - Been 57 and have moved on. It doesn’t get easier–but you know that. Worst part: I was visiting with my daughter via Skype [she lives a continent away] and she looked older too. OMG how did this happen to us? Well, i still have my smile and cheery outlook and that seems to surmount the deepening laugh lines, even the fading eyebrows. never thought I was vain but realize now that I am–and that’s a good thing. It keeps me from giving in or up.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I LOVE THAT! Vanity, just a little bit of it, just might keep us all from giving in or in! Brilliant! Why didn’t I just say THAT?ReplyCancel

  • Roz Warren, Writer - Fun post! ReplyCancel

  • Joy Christi - This is chock full o’awesome. I wouldn’t worry at all. I mean, do what you need to do but you’re beautiful inside and out and all those little Life details just add to your character.
    I love the libel about kissing a snake! We have a snake, do you think that would work? Hypothetically speaking.ReplyCancel

  • Terrye Toombs - LMAO! I was checking this all off as I went. I wanted to laugh AND cry at the same time. God aging SUCKS!ReplyCancel

  • Angela Schmoll - My mom still looks great at 72, so here’s hoping. Of course, she did fight the good fight with hair coloring and the latest skin treatments. Me, I’ve thrown up my hands and gone crunchy, which let me tell you drives a cosmetologist crazy (especially the one who happens to be my beautiful daughter’s mother-in-law, because my daughter is also being sucked in). I did see a hair stylist today, however. It was time for my quarterly trim. And I always did have chicken lips…I do, however, refuse to embrace unwanted hair. I swear, I may buy a home laser treatment machine for that because the tweezing gets old and I ain’t gonna shave! Loved it.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - So true. All of it. The unwanted hairs are a true WTF! You’d think with the birthing, the monthly periods, menopause, GOD would have given us a break with this. Probably a man.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Hill - Love it! I’m 57 too and How the HELL did this happen. I’m not fighting with the process, but it still pisses me off. I was pretty good looking and I didn’t know it. For that I will never forgive my mother. ReplyCancel

  • Cary Vaughn - Thankfully you are still fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - Quit worrying about it. I do have a stylist color my hair as I wanted grey or white hair. Instead, it turned dark brown,. That brought out every wrinkle in my face. I had no wrinkles until I hit sixty and everything went South. I’m not going worry about that or have my teeth bleached. Of course, they show the stains of all that coffee and wine. So what? Let’s not go into the facial hair thing. That is a bit of a battle, but it could be worse. The picture you see of me is no going on four years old, but if you go to my wall, you’ll see me in my office and that was taken this winter. It’s called good genes.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Taylor - This is so painfully true and hilarious and not hilarious because it’s happening to *me too*!!! I especially liked the bit about white teeth and the snake in the tub. Yeal especially the snake in the tub – too funny. Aging does suck. I’d rather been thin (no matter what I eat) and young than wise 🙁ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - Stop it, stop it, stop it!

    Just last night I was in the car with my husband. I had shorts on. I crossed my legs and ran my hand over the back/side of my crossed thigh and I said:

    “Sweet Jesus….I’m getting old lady skin!”

    Of course, HE didn’t know what I was talking about. Men keep that stupid tight skin right up to the end. But my leg, it felt not very young.

    Then I shrugged it off. I’ve worked 45 hard years for every dimple, wrinkle, and crows feet I’ve got.

    YOU on the other hand…are fabulous. =)ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Hahaaaaa. You are too cute. I love your comments! Yes- the dimples and flax muscle tone are another on the list of collateral damage inflicted by Father Time on Mother Nature. It’s true that the ‘men’ don’t seem to age in the same way, but, at least in my case, his eyes are shot- thank GOd.ReplyCancel

  • Carollynn - You are so lucky that this is just NOW happening. While I have been ‘pretty’ most of my life, maintenance began at age 14, when my mother (a hair dresser) began to high light my hair. Then I went full on blonde, and the monthly tithing to the beauty gods began. Its been 30+ years that I have been paying may folk’s mortgage…At first it was just my roots that needed touched up, and a hair cut. Then in my 40’s it was hair straightening because my once curly hair started going gray AND could not decide whether to curl or be straight… the plumpers and fillers came next, along with dieting AND exercise – I’ve always been naturally thin. My metabolism change ended that quality of life. And let’s not start on the skin damage from growing up in Florida. Aging sucks and I will NOT go quietly into the night, my 50’s, 60’s or 70’s. Like you, I’m fighting it with every drop of energy and paycheck. And I must say, you still look marvelous! BTW – losing your eye brows or just getting fainter?ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Both- they are falling out and fading. Ya know the funny thing? Of all the people in my birth family (Mom, Dad, sister) I am the only one that still has the same head of hair I had at 13. BUT- the eyebrow hair is falling out. Weird. They are getting shorter and I barely need to pluck- those hairs. Have you found that because you started messing with your hair so young that it may have damaged it in the long term?ReplyCancel

      • Bev - Is your thyroid up to snuff? Whenever my thyroid is low, I lose eyebrow hair (the last third of the eyebrow is almost definitive of hypothyroid, they say) and gain weight!!ReplyCancel

        • Cheryl - Well, that’s an interesting question Bev. I have been hypo-thryriod for the past 20 years. I do have an appointment scheduled and will get it checked again. Thanks for reminding me- seriously.ReplyCancel

  • Diane Tolley - Cheryl, you crack me up! Great post. And I’m in the fast lane with you, honey!ReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - How does a person even GET their hair glazed? You are the epitome of all the things I do not understand at ALL about being girlie. But you rock at it, and you have a fabulous attitude, so it doesn’t matter that we’re different 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Gunmetal Geisha - I think I might love you. Also, this being the first post I’ve read by you, at first I thought you were 45 or 50. I enjoyed this quite a lot. I would direct you to my own piece about refusing to get upset about (getting upset about) aging, but it’s very long and not nearly as hilarious. (The title should give you an idea though: “From Hot to Antarctica”)ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Hahahaaaaaaa. From Hot to Antarctica! How about from Antarctica to Hell’s Heat? That’s my story. It’s been a blast… furnace. Jesus K Rist. So happy to see you here Geisha. Now I must swing by your way!ReplyCancel

      • Gunmetal Geisha - Haha, Hell’s Heat! Every time I get a random wave of heat, I think, uh oh, it’s HERE! But it’s possible I’ve been thinking this since I was 13…ReplyCancel

        • Cheryl - You understand how a microwave works, right? Put that inside of your body and hit ‘start’ for about 5 years. You’ll know the difference- I promise you. God must be a man.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Cook Bonifant - I’m guessing you have a personality and presence that is WAY more important to you than your appearance. I like that in a person.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Smoke and mirrors Susan. Keep ’em looking ‘here’ so they don’t look ‘there’. HahaaaaaReplyCancel

  • Melissa Senecal - Love this!! I decided several years ago that I refuse to grow up so if I don’t grow up, I can’t grow old!! And I can identify with the Hell’s Heat too!! It has nothing to do with aging or menopause, my thermostat’s just broke, that’s all!!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - My inner thermostat is finally back to normal. Took 5 years!!ReplyCancel

  • William Kendall - I remember that my grandfather didn’t go grey until the last decade of his life, and he went into his nineties.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - And YOU just refuse to show any! -wink-ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - I too have more hair on my upper lip than in my eyebrows. WTF? If I’d known then what I know I’d have spent a lot of my time naked, in public.ReplyCancel

  • Dana - Not sure how great my genes are, but I don’t mind helping Mother Nature a bit. Don’t have to color my hair just yet, but that just leaves more funds for taking care of those damn apostrophes…ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Speaking of hair coloring- I have an appointment tomorrow. They used to be every 6 weeks. Now it’s more like every four. At least I’m helping the economy!ReplyCancel

  • jaklumen - I guess I’m lucky… I am VERY boyish looking and people seem genuinely surprised when I tell them how old I actually am. An older friend of mine says I will love it when I approach my sixties (i.e. in another twenty years or so).

    My wife is luckier, I think– she’s very youthful looking and even fewer people believe that she’s 5 years older than me. To boot, I have some gray hairs, but she has NONE! She appears to have gotten her father’s genetics; he is easily older than my father, but he has few gray/white hairs while my father has… almost all white.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Let’s be honest- men do look better as they age. Most women need a bit of assistance. I don;t know why this is true- but it is. Lucky for both of you and thanks for stopping by Jake! Love a new reader!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jana - I’m fighting the same battle – it truly sucks when your body decides it’s time to get old when your mind does NOT agree.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I remember my grandfather telling me he still felt like a 20 year old in his mind when he was in his 70’s. I didn’t understand that then. Then.ReplyCancel

  • Aging In The Fast Lane - What The Flicka? - […] post was originally featured on Cheryl’s blog, A Pleasant House. Photo […]ReplyCancel

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