Just One Pet Peeve

A Woman of Certain Age (Shhhh!)
by Kathy Coogan

I have a pet peeve. Well I actually I have a few pet peeves. One good thing about being a freelance writer is that you can vent on paper for your own amusement or education. And perhaps, if you get lucky and find a like-minded editor with a net balance in his checkbook, you can be paid for your rant. Unfortunately, that is not the case this time.

My peeve du jour is with the multi-billion dollar cosmetic industry and their use of practically pre-pubescent, barely twenty-something models to advertise their wrinkle removing moisturizers. Who do they think they’re fooling? Well, actually they are fooling me.

Since I attained a certain age, I have been drawn to cosmetics counters in department stores and browsed long promise-filled pharmacy aisles. The lady in CVS and I have become friends as we compared notes and coupons. I have googled “wrinkle reducers” and “Say goodbye to crow’s feet. “ (Though I prefer to attribute mine to sparrows rather than crows.)

I have dashed for a pencil to write down the promising (yes literally promising) name of a product that I have seen between The Office and 30 Rock. This I have done as I intellectually disparaged the smooth-skinned moisture-rich model younger than my daughter. I am like the cigarette smoker who uses her god-given brains to measure the tar and nicotine content in her “light” smokes while ignoring the surgeon general’s warning of imminent death. I’m hooked.

I have a trove of lovely sculpted jars and vials which taunt me every time I shovel out the cabinet under my bathroom sink. Each has a few dollops of scented product remaining, reminders of my foolish wishful thinking. The waste embarrasses me but Goodwill will not accept opened bottles (I checked) and who can blame them, though I assured them that I am a very clean person.

One company which I have done business with in the last decade has hired spokes-faces such as Diane Keaton and Ellen Degeneres to represent their product in magazines and on the tube but if you look closely through the filmy lens, it hasn’t worked so well for them, either. Even after the magic of photo-shop!

Look, I respect the women who say out loud with confidence, “I’m proud of my wrinkles. I’ve earned every one yada, yada, yada” but I’d like to check under their bathroom sinks. I think they’re just preemptively soothing their own hurt feelings for when the inevitable left-handed compliment comes. You know the one: “You look so good...(wait for it)...for your age.”

One more peeve

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