Do You Have Crepey Skin?

I recently heard of a person who is irate about the aches, pains, pace, and indignities of old age. She’s irate around the clock. “Why didn’t someone tell me this would happen?” It’s like old age snuck up and caught her unawares.

At times I too find myself disenchanted with the realities of growing old. Still, I find it hard to understand how anyone can be surprised by the challenges, whatever they are. Just pay attention to what’s going on around you. Also, remember that we get a birth certificate, not a warranty.

Last week a lady took her mother to check out a senior citizen living facility. They were given a complimentary lunch in the dining room, where they listened in as residents chatted at nearby tables.

A female employee says to one of the men, “Good noontime, blue eyes. What can I get ya?” He says, “Better bring me the fruit plate. I’m so constipated my eyes are turning color.”

A woman at a table says to another, “Did you see Murray’s comb-over? Do you think it’s because he has a thing with Alice?” The other lady gestures with her hand and says, “No, she’s with Charlie.”…“Oh, but didn’t you hear? Charlie fell and broke his hip. He’s at rehab for a couple more weeks.”

Three other women sit at a table waiting for their fourth tablemate, Harriet. “I bet Harriet’s lost her eye again. I keep telling her not to take it out.” Another says, “She needs to be more careful. If she keeps forgetting things, they’ll move her to the memory unit.”

The two visiting women notice another woman sitting by herself at a table. The daughter asks, “Are your tablemates late also?”… She answers, “The late Oliver Smith and the late Sally Freestone. Oliver died two weeks ago as was expected from cancer. Sally died several days ago unexpectedly from the flu. They’re wheeling ‘em out of here right and left.”

As it turned out, the mom visiting the facility with her daughter refused to move in. Imagine that. My point, though, is this: just pay attention to what’s going on with others and the aches, pains, pace, and indignities of old age won’t catch you off guard.

I will have to admit that in spite of my above good advice, crepey skin has snuck up on me. None of us remain eternally vigilant. In fact, I thought the people on TV were spokespersons for “crappy skin” or “creepy skin”, both of which are rather common as we age. My hearing isn’t what it used to be. But then an infomercial came on while I was watching an old movie, and “crepey skin” was clearly printed on the screen.  Since then I’ve been enthralled.

What a great name! Sometimes you need to be able to name it before you recognize you even have it. And since then I find that I have it in abundance.  I look at the inside of my upper arm or around my bent knee or on the back of my hands and say, “I did that? Cool!” It would take an artist or a woodcarver a long time to paint a picture or carve a statue of a person with crepey skin. It has to be valuable.

This is just me, of course. I can understand that women are less than pleased with it, actually incensed by it. But I remember dances and proms from high school, even junior high. We couldn’t have a dance without decorating with crepe paper. It was unheard of. And how could you have a 4th of July parade without kids riding bicycles with red, white, and blue crepe paper winding through the spokes? The word “crepe” connotes for me fun times and fancy pancakes.

In my mind’s eye, I envision waste-not-want-not cannibals decorating for their proms with crepey skin. Also Elmer Fudd saying to Bugs Bunny, “I’m gonna get you, you cwepey-skinned, wascally wabbit!” (Of course, Elmer is wrong. Rabbits don’t have crepey skin. They have oily hare.) I haven’t had so much fun focusing on my skin since I learned that heartbreak doesn’t necessarily accompany psoriasis.

What really amuses me about crepey skin, or any skin problem at all, are the compensated spokespersons. Jane Seymour, 66, is the spokesperson for Crepe Erase. She claims to use the product, which erases crepey skin like a #2 pencil erases a mistake, I suppose, and I’ll have to say that she does add a bit of authority to the sales pitch. After all, she used to be Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. But I’m not sure I find her credible. I’m not saying that she is, but she certainly could be, so full of botox that mosquitoes die when they bite her. That’s why many of these spokespersons for skin conditions look so good. Botox and having a plastic surgeon on retainer. It’s also why many spokespersons and celebrities look so bad.

So, saying that Crepe Erase will remove the crepe from your “Age-Giveaway Zones” – neck, cleavage, arms, knees, legs, face – is hard for me to believe. Warning: it could be a risk of $39.95 plus tax and shipping. But what’s a person to do?

I know what I’m going to do. I figure that I’m carrying the equivalent in crepey skin of at least a couple of rolls of crepe paper, so I’m going to help decorate the next dance at the senior citizen center with my presence.




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