Letting Go of Maintenance

Laurie Levy
4 min readMar 22, 2020
What I tossed during a #stayhome day

One of my earliest memories is watching my mother apply her makeup. If I was lucky, she let me try some. She called it “putting on my face.” What a perfect description of what so many of us felt compelled to do every morning until the coronavirus crisis confined us to our homes. Now, my friends and I are having to forgo manicures, hair coloring, lip waxing, and many other forms of maintenance that were part of our routines. Yep, for women of a certain age, our true colors are shining through.

Having worked all my life with women (early childhood education attracts few men), one thing that always needed cleaning was the office phone. It wasn’t the germs we were removing. It was our makeup. After a certain age, women understand that they will never be a size 3 again (if they ever were). They accept many things that come with entering and even exiting middle age. But, like Nora Ephron in her hilarious book I Feel Bad About My Neck, I have spent too much time with my female colleagues and friends playing fantasy plastic surgery and talking about the latest beauty product to make us presentable to ourselves and others.

For me, it’s the dark circles under my eyes. I hate them. That’s all I can see in photos and I’m sick of people thinking I’m tired when I’m just getting old. Even though I’ve had them for most of my adult life, they have become more pronounced and harder to cover. As part of a grand clean up during these days of staying home to flatten the curve, I cleaned out my drawer of failed under-eye concealers:

I must confess I still have a few more

Up until now, my friends and I have supported a huge cosmetics industry. We were always searching for the next, best product to restore our youthful faces. I remember when almost the entire staff at my school ran out to buy StriVectin. Amazingly, we still looked the same.

With our confinement to our homes as part of the COVID-19 pandemic, those days are finally over. Each day of sheltering at home that passes means letting go of another layer of maintenance. Most of us have stopped wearing makeup, although I will confess to dabbing a bit of concealer under my eyes. In lieu of actually seeing people, there has been more FaceTime…

Laurie Levy

Boomer. Educator. Advocate. Eclectic topics: grandkids, special needs, values, aging, loss, & whatever. Author: Terribly Strange and Wonderfully Real.