First it was the facials, then a change in the wardrobe, the hair care package, followed by the hair cut. The chanting came next. But it was not until yesterday, when I picked a pair of glittery white Skechers, that my husband, who was quiet through all these changes, came up with a name for it. Midlife crisis. I had heard of it, I had read about it and I knew it was for real. But the fact that I would be living the symptoms someday in my life, was what surprised me.
I have lived in hot tropical climates all through my life and have never needed any cream or similar facial products for my skin. I sweat plenty and drank plenty of water and my skin had their share of blemishes. The only major change I made when I turned 30 was switch to the ‘soap free face wash’ mode, when I remembered. It did become a habit after a lot of experimenting with the different brands that were available for the different skin types.
Never before in my life had I given even a hoot to hair care products. My bathroom accessories for hair care consisted a good brand of shampoo and conditioner. I had come a long way from my younger carefree days, where I would experiment with any shampoo that caught my eye to the one good brand mode. Conditioner after shampooing phase happened much later in life. It stayed that way until as recent as a year back.
Two things happened that changed my outlook to face and hair care :
A) I turned 40
B) We moved to Singapore
To be fair, turning 40 did not change my outlook of life vis a vis the quality of my skin or hair. Moving to Singapore did.
In Singapore, you have to be Indian to have bad skin. My eyes have scanned the length and breadth of malls, streets, kopitiams, theatres and the like and I have been unsuccessful in identifying skin with blemishes on the locals here. I remember a friendly chat with a cabbie that drove us to the airport when we first moved here. When we observed that it was so difficult to guess the age of an average localite, he assured us that we will look younger and fitter in a few years, if we decided to stay put in Singapore. He claimed that the air here was purer, at least less polluted and that alone contributed to the youthful looks of any Singaporean resident. I shone in the glory of what was in store for us in five years time if we continued to live here.
One other time, at a mall, I was stopped dead on my tracks by a young gentleman who could have modeled for a skin care ad himself, who accosted me with “ what do you use for your skin”. I realized that he was referring to the countless blemishes even before Akank, who was with me at that time, educated me with a “ the man is insulting you ma”. Before I could think up an appropriate answer to his quizzing eyes that was scanning my face more for blemishes than the reaction that question had had on me, I felt this overwhelming sympathy for the young man, who was trying to hard sell a skin care product to someone who he finally found after hours and hours of convincing blemish free locals. He saw a potential buyer in me. The fact that I did not pick his product is quite another story. But he had planted a seed in my unsuspecting mind.
It so happened that a major corporate do in the husbands company was scheduled around the same time the incident occurred. My husband was the host and he wanted the hostess, me, to look her best for the big corporate do. So he gave me a nod for a facial treatment. I went looking for a spa. It was then that I realized that ever third shop in any given mall was a spa that offered skin care treatments. The only place that was willing to take me in without an appointment, sold me a package for a 30- sessions facial. The lady at the spa was going to charge me a ransom for a single sitting and the 30- session’s package seemed like a better deal, so I signed up. While I was at it, I bumped into a kiosk at a mall that was set up to sell hair care packages. So I signed up for that too. Now I have a facial and a herbal hair care treatment every three weeks.
Around the same time is when that I realized that this new me also needed a wardrobe change. Since the occasion ( the corporate do) demanded it and my husband thought it was important that I had some decent clothes to wear, he agreed.
The hair cut and the chanting happened much later but in succession. Finally, two evenings back when I picked up the sparkly silvery pair of Skechers, which incidentally was the only colour that was available at that store, my husband nailed it as Midlife Crisis.
Maybe he is right.
If this is midlife crisis, I say bring it on. All my expenses now will be accounted for as that!