VIOLA - We decided only a month ago that we’d go to Isla Mujeres again this year. Dane had mentioned something about life being short, so we’d bought our tickets with not much time to prepare.
For me, prepping for this kind of trip means finding a new swimsuit, getting a pedicure, and making a commitment to use some kind of miracle cream on my face to make it look soft and wrinkle-free.
Only the pedicure has been easy. Finding a swimsuit in winter is about as simple as doing a Rubik’s cube blindfolded. Going to a store to pick out a useful face cream requires patience, reading glasses, and a major in chemistry, none of which I have.
Standing in front of shelves stacked with thousands of face creams winking at me, I realized I was in over my head. I had left my reading glasses at home, a face cream I used years ago and loved is no longer being sold, and I was clueless as to how to even begin. I knew I needed to protect my skin from heat and sun, but mostly I wanted to get rid of the giant crater between my eyebrows.
The creams vying for my attention boasted claims of all kinds, from being anti-ageing formulas (think Tuck Everlasting!) to wrinkle reducers and erasers, and all sorts of miraculous moisturizers.
Since I couldn't read any fine print I immediately eliminated half the products on the shelves. After some deliberation I choose a package with two tubes in it, clearly marked #1 and #2. Easy. I’d mark my first day of using my miracle cream on my calendar and count out 14 days. I’d finish my treatments two days before boarding the plane.
I called Dane and told him my plan. He wasn’t nearly as excited as I thought he’d be, but that was okay. My enthusiasm was unstoppable.
At bedtime that night, following the instructions—which were microscopic, even with my reading glasses on—I washed my face and smeared the cream in tube number one on it. Then I applied over that the thick greenish sludge in tube number two. While I slept, the miracle of new and improved wrinkle-free hydrated soft skin would begin.
In the morning I awoke looking like a wooly bear creature, my face covered with lint and fuzz. Sleeping on a flannel pillowcase with all that gunk on my face made a big mess.
Undaunted, I reviewed my plan: Every night for 14 nights, tube number one followed by tube number two.
Every morning, I’d wake up and study my face in the mirror. I wasn’t seeing changes fast enough. In fact, I wasn’t seeing changes at all. I decided the effects of this expensive cream must be cumulative, and one day...bam! I’d have Halle Berry skin. Flawless.
To my horror, the tubes were emptying quicker than I thought they should. At this rate I wasn’t going to make it to day 14 when the miracle was to take place. On the twelfth night, I squeezed both tubes from the bottom up and squished out all traces of the special cream that was left. With faith, I applied them according to the directions and went to bed.
At dawn I crept anxiously down the stairs and went into the bathroom, flipping the light switch on the way. I stood soldier still and looked…and looked, and fetched my reading glasses and looked some more.
I called Dane and told him I’d been robbed. The miracle face treatment was a bust. I didn't see any improvement. I still had the horrible gully of a wrinkle between my eyebrows and I certainly didn't have Halle Berry–looking skin. Not even close.
I had prepped nightly for nothing. There was no miracle. I consoled myself with the thought that my skin was well hydrated and ready for the sunshine and heat. Meanwhile, sitting creamless at the computer, I continued my othersearch for a miracle: finding the perfect swimsuit.
To be continued…