October 31, 2002

miles to go: 268.93 [YTD: 1,733.07]

Over the summer I discovered a new line of skincare products that I really love. They do great things for my schizophrenic middle-aged complexion. (Zits AND wrinkles: is there any more absurd a combination? I ask you?) The products smell nice, and they feel good on my skin. Plus they don't cost me an arm and a leg, which is especially important to me right now, since I am required by law to continue mailing body parts to my ex-husband every month until the year 2004. Every limb counts, basically.

There have been only two problems so far.

Problem #1: It's difficult to find my fabulous new skincare products in local stores. Trust me: I've looked. (And the stores that do carry the full product line are mostly the big fancy-pants department stores in downtown San Francisco, where you are required to run the gauntlet of Perfume Pimps and Makeover Madames before you ever reach the skincare section. My frail and crabby sinuses can't take the olfactory abuse.) So I've had to resort to ordering my semi-regular fix of retinol and glycolic acid online, every few weeks ... which in and of itself isn't a problem, since we all know that I'm a hopeless online-shopping-junkie who probably would have purchased her CHILDREN on the Internet, had that been an option in the early 80's (especially if it got me out of sex) ... but isn't nearly as cheap or convenient a solution as stopping at Walgreen's after work, whenever I sense impending facial collapse and I'm running a little low on miracle wrinkle-eradicating exfoliant lotion.

Problem #2: Every time I order something from the website, they send me another goddamn tube of FootSauce.

That's what David calls it: "FootSauce." Technically, it's Foot Exfoliation Creme with Antioxidants and Vitamin E Oil. The website has been pushing the stuff like crazy all year: they automatically toss a complimentary fullsize tube in with the rest of your order, with any purchase from their Groovy New Skincare Products Line. So far I've got five unopened tubes of FootSauce in my collection: I expect a sixth to land on my doorstep any day now. It wouldn't be so bad if they gave us a choice occasionally -- Yes please! More FootSauce! ... or, What do I look like -- a CENTIPEDE?!? Or else perhaps they could offer a complimentary tube of one of their other very fine skincare products once in a while, like the Peach Kernel & Walnut Exfoliating Mask, or the Feta Cheese & Sun-Dried Tomato Cellulite Body Scrub.

But they don't. They just keep sending me more FootSauce.

The funny thing is that David doesn't seem to mind the proliferation of FootSauce tubes, cluttering the headboard above our bed. Sometimes he gets a little squirmy when he feels he's being overrun by "girl stuff" -- more than two different brands of shampoo in the shower stall, for instance -- but oddly enough the FootSauce doesn't seem to bother him at all. Two or three nights a week, usually as we're laying in bed watching TV, he squirts a couple of big dollops of Sauce onto my tired, achey, middle-aged feet and gives me the foot massage to end all foot massages.

"What can we do?" he shrugs. "We've got to use it up."

The problem here is that at the rate we're going, it'll take us a year just to get through that first tube. And in the meantime, new tubes will continue rolling in. I figure that unless I do something to stem the tide of FootSauce, David is going to have to give me 43,897,621 foot massages -- or one foot massage every 20.4 minutes, every night between now and 2004 -- just to keep us from drowning in the stuff.

On second thought: maybe I should just shut up right now.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

I've been cruising right along, this entire month ... filled with energy, getting lots of Very Important Stuff accomplished, enjoying another gorgeous Alameda autumn. And then all of a sudden, just this past week, I fell down.

Or -- more accurately -- I fell back.

I don't remember a time change ever hitting me as hard as this one has. Ordinarily I love the switch from Daylight Savings Time back to Standard Time: for the first few days it actually feels like we're getting more sleep than usual. I know that it's just an illusion -- a trick of the clock and nature -- but it's always a nice temporary mood elevator, anyway. (As opposed to the springtime switch from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time, which traditionally leaves me feeling depressed and discombobulated and sleep-deprived for days afterward.) This year, for whatever reason, my internal clock has been seriously confused all week long, ever since we set our clocks back on Saturday night. I'm not sad, or even S.A.D, but I do feel unnaturally sluggish and cranky and carbohydrate-deprived and utterly incapable of dealing rationally with life's little stressors. (Like "Still Standing." Or like Armand spending the entire fudking day in the office yesterday.) All I've wanted to do this week is call in sick and curl up on the sofa and eat raw bread dough straight out of the package, all day long.

It's a crummy way to end my favorite month ... but at least I've got six months to get used to this time change before they hit me with the next one.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

The good news is that my Hallowe'en costume was absurdly easy to construct this year.

"I'm an Exhausted Middle-Aged Ass," I've been telling people all day. "See the trick-or-treat bags under my eyes?" This never fails to elicit a Big Laugh from the under-forties in the office -- Hahahaha, Secra! You're so funny! -- and a Knowing Look from the over-forties -- I hear you, Sister.

(The two over-fifties were sound asleep at their desks, all day, and weren't available for comment.)

I am indifferent to Hallowe'en. It was marginally fun when I was still drinking: put an eleven-pack of Rainier Beer into Young Dysfunctional Secra, unbutton the top four buttons of her Ellie Mae Clampett costume and watch her instantly become the life of the party. And I loved doing Hallowe'en-related stuff with The Tots when they were young: carving jack-o-lanterns, dressing up the house with construction paper and dime-store decorations,  convincing them that Cherry Mountain Bars were made out of ground-up leftover kittens. (So they should probably just give all of the Cherry Mountain Bars to MOM, right here and now, and allow her to dispose of them properly.) But now that I'm sober -- and now that The Tots are 99.9% grown-up and no longer as amusingly gullible as they used to be -- Hallowe'en has become yet another one of those non-holidays that I mostly ignore, once a year. I plan to go home tonight and spend my Hallowe'en sitting around in my Happy Pants, watching Jan or Shii Ann get kicked off of "Survivor: Thailand" ... 

... while eating raw bread dough right out of the package.

In the meantime, I'm wondering what we're going to do about trick-or-treaters tonight. We usually never get more than two or three small visitors to our door on Hallowe'en night -- last year we didn't get any at all, as I recall -- but I'm thinking we should probably have a treat ready for them, just in case. The question is: what sort of treat? Candy is too dangerous to leave laying around the Secra/Ю僱êrvØ¡ household. Fruit is a waste of money: it'll just end up on our windshield, anyway. Money is out of the question ... primarily because we don't have any, right now.

I wonder how they would feel about a tube of FootSauce?

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~ nil bastardum carborundum ~

oh come on.
i wouldn't have REALLY purchased you on the internet.
[i would have ordered you from a catalog, like everybody else does ...]