Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On Maintenance

There's nothing I can say about Nora Ephron that hasn't already been said. Either you've read her and you love her or you... haven't and/or don't. To my shame I didn't start reading her essays until quite recently - drawn in by the irresistible title I Feel Bad About My Neck, so I can't claim she's been a huge influence or that I know every word she's written intimately. She hasn't and I don't... which is sort of good news since it means there's still plenty out there for me to read for the first time.

All I do know is that she's clever and funny and very, very readable. Since this week marks the two year anniversary of her death I thought I'd post a link to just one of her very nice essays on, well, Maintenance. It starts like this:
You know what maintenance is, I'm sure. Maintenance is what they mean when they say, "After a certain point, it's just patch, patch, patch." Maintenance is what you have to do just so you can walk out the door knowing that if you go to the market and bump into a guy who once rejected you, you won't have to hide behind a stack of canned food. I don't mean to be too literal about this. There are a couple of old boyfriends whom I always worry about bumping into, but there's no chance—if I ever did—that I would recognize either of them. On top of which they live in other cities. But the point is that I still think about them every time I'm tempted to leave the house without eyeliner. 
There are two types of maintenance, of course. There's Status Quo Maintenance—the things you have to do daily or weekly, just to stay more or less even. And then there's the maintenance you have to do monthly or yearly or every couple of years or so—maintenance I think of as Pathetic Attempts to Turn Back the Clock. Into this category fall such things as facelifts, liposuction, Botox, major dental work, and the general area of Removal of Unsightly Things—of varicose veins, for instance, and skin tags, and those irritating little red spots that crop up on your torso after a certain age for no real reason. I'm not going to discuss such issues here—for now, I'm concentrating only on the routine, everyday things required just to keep you from looking like someone who no longer cares.
(You can and you should read the rest here)

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