Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Witch For All Seasons

A Witch For All Seasons

By Cappy Hall Rearick

"Eve nibbled on the apple because the serpent promised it would make her smart. If he had said, 'It will erase your fine wrinkles,' she would have buzzed through that Tree of Knowledge like a beaver."--Author Paula Wall

Father Time is my beauty consultant. He told me (and I believed him) that wrinkles are underdeveloped dimples. If one appears anywhere other than on both sides of my lips, I refuse to acknowledge it. My friend Betty, however, makes a habit of pointing out my imperfections. She scrutinizes my face as if she's on a mission from God. "I see you have not yet made an appointment with a cosmetic surgeon."

"No, Betty, I haven't. Plastic surgery, like marriage, should not be entered into unadvisedly or lightly."

She widens her eyes as far as the Botox will allow. Betty's baby blues get worked and reworked more often than she changes her shoes. "Girl, did you forget to pay your brain bill or what? Time is not your friend. You gotta do something about your roadmap face, or one more hour in the sun is gonna turn you into a Maxine cartoon."

I fish around looking for a mirror in my pocketbook. "I don't look that bad."

Miss South Georgia Big Hair tosses her teased, sprayed and over-processed blonde locks, and then grabs a wad of my own. "Pitiful," she says. "A woman's hair is her crowning glory, but yours needs to be attached to a Halloween mask."

Maybe my face does look like a map of Calcutta, and maybe it is past time for me to swap Babe's rusty dog clippers in for a professional haircut. But a gal has to draw the line somewhere. "Ouch! Stop pulling my hair, Betty, or I won't be the only one needing a surgeon."

Betty's snide Halloween remark brings up a memory I'd just as soon forget. A teenager dressed like that Gabrielle slut on Desperate Housewives came to my house Trick or Treating last year. Giving me a cursory glance, she wanted to know where I'd bought my costume. I wasn't wearing one.

She stopping texting on her cell phone long enough to exclaim, "Whoa! You are so Bree Van de Camp. So … like, so bland? Like that dreary wig is so UN-chung, so howling. Except like … you know, Bree is a redhead?"

I told the twit, "Wait right there," and then I raced though the house looking for something sharp and metal to bury inside a candy apple.

But, back to Betty Botox of the multi-lifts. Since her last treatment, she sports a permanent smile as if she just discovered the multiple orgasm. What with her eyebrows tattooed an inch below a silly looking transplanted widow's peak, even her grandkids have trouble recognizing her.

"Look," I say to my friend, "the truth is, Babe doesn't believe in plastic surgery."

That's a lie, but I know if I woke up grinning like Clarabelle the Clown the way Betty does, Babe would make me wear a burqa to bed. Besides, I'm not dumb enough to grin before he's quaffed down three mugs of Starbucks. Mama didn't raise stupid children.

With a grotesque grin permanently etched on her face, Betty's overworked eyes glare at me. "Please tell me you did not ask Babe's opinion on face lifts."

Her recently implanted red cheeks look like over-ripe tomatoes. Longing for Audrey Hepburn cheekbones, she took a little trip down to Implants-R-Us and wound up looking like Alvin the Chipmunk, not Hepburn. You get what you pay for.

"Betty, Babe says he loves me as I am. When he wakes up each morning, he wants to recognize the drooling woman in bed with him."

She snorts like a horse, shakes her mop of over-bleached hair till it nearly breaks loose from two pounds of gel and hairspray. "If that is true, then there's only one thing left for me to say." She sighs with more melodrama than Hepburn could ever have mustered even if her butt was on fire. "If you're not planning to get work done, then you best make friends with that Desperate Housewives wannabee before Halloween. Otherwise, she'll recognize you."

"So what if she does?"

"Duh!" Betty gives me a look. "Have you been sniffing Babe's aftershave again or what? Surely you remember the trauma you caused that po' child last Halloween."

Tossing my limp head of hair, I try to look offended. "Trauma? I did not put anything in that girl's apple. I only thought about it."

"Then why did she hotfoot it down the street yelling bloody murder as if the Prince of Darkness was after her? Word gets around."

I fluff what's left of my bedraggled, unconditioned hair, force a smile and hope that my unbleached teeth will make my vertical lip lines appear less noticeable. While I bat

my untightened eyes. my oversized, hot pink nose twitches like a bitch-kitty.

"That TV besotted bubblehead needs to mind her own business, and so do you, Betty. I intend to grow old gracefully."

Betty blows a bunch of air through her puffy lips, rolls her over-taut eyes and shakes her big platinum hair. "FYI, girlfriend. Aging gracefully became a No-No when Baby Boomers hit forty and invented computers, collagen and botox."

"Boomers invented computers?"

She sighs heavily. "Help me, Jesus. There is absolutely no way for me to fix you. We might as well drink."

I'm on it. When it comes to wrinkles, my philosophy is that a dry martini, if sipped very slowly, can make those undeveloped dimples completely disappear.