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Emily Jones: The art of hiding imperfections

January 30, 2013

Deluded though I am, I fancy myself a master at concealing my imperfections to achieve the illusion that I’ve got my act together. Ha. Like people don’t know I draw on my eyebrows every morning before I go out to pick up the paper.
Sometimes my efforts at innocent subterfuge come back to bite me. I had a leak in my refrigerator which caused an angry dark stain on my hardwood floor about five inches long and two inches wide. I called Mr. Fixit guy and he came out and “fixed it.” To hide the stain I bought an attractive rug runner and placed it over the imperfection. Problem solved, sort of.
A week or two later I accidentally slipped on the rug which slid sideways revealing a monster stain with a second “baby” stain growing beside it. My innocent ruse hid a more serious problem and now I’ve got to recall Mr. Fixit along with a floor refinisher.
Meanwhile, the columns on my front porch have begun to rot. I was able to conceal the problem by placing plants around the base of the columns or objets d’art in front of them – an old shutter salvaged from a demolished home, a child’s Radio Flyer wagon I found at a garage sale – stuff like that. Suddenly my porch looks like a garage sale itself. I halfway expect people to start knocking on my door bright and early on Saturday morning.
And of course, the biggest ruse of all and one I’m seriously rethinking is my new wardrobe of wigs which became necessary when Chemotherapy stole my less than stellar locks. I now have five in all – a long black “Cher” wig I wear for fun or when I don’t want to be recognized; a platinum blond one that makes me look like a hooker; and three others I alternate according to my mood.
The other day I spotted ABC morning anchor Robin Roberts on national TV, bald as the day she was born. What courage, I thought. Am I being too vain? Dare I go out in public au naturale?
Frankly the wigs itch like crazy and I’m always adjusting them. I had a relative who liked to take a nip now and then, and you could always tell because her wig would be down over her forehead or sitting sideways.
When out in public I have to excuse myself to run to the restroom about every 30 minutes to check its position or jerk it off and scratch. I worry constantly about getting fleas when summer arrives. But, on the other hand, there is that ‘cone head” problem I was born with and I don’t want to scare young children.
There will always be something muddying the waters in the river of life, and when put in perspective my glitches are hardly earth shattering. It’s not the big things that kill us; it’s the little things that drive us crazy.
Like Scarlet, I can tell myself I will worry about them tomorrow. Or I can address them one by one. Today I will deal with the refrigerator issue and maybe that will make me feel so good I will call a carpenter to fix the columns. Probably not.
I’m pretty sure the hair thing will be the last problem to confront.

Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a blog for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement. She welcomes comments at www.deludeddiva.com.

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