Monday, August 2, 2010

Gimme some younger looking skin

Last week, I saw two different signs advertising products and services that captured my attention. This is not my usual reaction; normally, I’m very leery of anyone selling anything, but these signs raised my curiosity.

The first one was on a marquee that read: "Younger Looking Skin 70 Percent Off Sale."

Now, naturally, being in my late 50’s, younger looking anything is appealing. So, I called the number to find out about this so called "sale."

"Thank you for calling [bleep-bleep], how may I help you?"

"Hello, I saw your sign advertising 'Younger Looking Skin 70 Percent Off Sale' and was curious as to what that entails?" I inquired.

"Uh-h-h, can I put you on hold?"

"O.K." I replied, thinking this really is not O.K. because I really do not like being on hold. I waited for about a minute before someone else with a much deeper voice got on the line.

"Thank you for calling [bleep-bleep], how may I help you?"

Repeating myself, "I saw your sign that said 'Younger Looking Skin 70 Percent Off Sale' and I was just curious as to what that entails."

"Well, we have a really big deal going on now that includes a computerized facial skin analysis," the salesperson mumbled.

"A what?" I asked.

"A computerized facial skin analysis, a micro-derm." A micro-derm? Sounds like a made-up word to me.

She continued, "…a facial, and a chemical peel, all for only $167."

"Ah, I see," I said, reminded that the word "discount" doesn’t necessarily carry the same meaning it did in the 1970’s. Back then, you could buy a brand new Datsun 240Z for $2,400 and discount meant you could actually make purchases for under a dollar.

Another sign that grabbed my attention was handwritten and stuck in someone’s front yard. It read: "Rent-A-Friend. Mow lawns. Trim bushes. Haul stuff. Fix things."

"Rent-A-Friend." There’s something wonderfully shallow about the notion of renting a friend. Although, it kind of bothered me that I liked the ring of it so much.

The idea of renting a friend fits my approach to fix-it projects, which usually boils down to getting out the Duct Tape.

I like the convenience of calling a "Rent-A-Friend" guy or gal and asking them to fix the roof, unclog the drain, trim the hedge, walk the dogs, lift the dock, repair the fence, reach for things that are too high and maybe even run errands.

When I shared this idea with my husband, he said, "Why do you need to rent a friend when you already have "Rent-A-Husband?"

I replied, "But I don’t rent you. How do you explain that?"

"I can’t, it just goes along with your theme," he noted.

"Yeah, but you get so tired of fixing things on my 'Honey Do' list and 'Rent-A-Friend' would give you a break," I resolved.

"Yeah, I may get tired, but I still fix things anyway," he said back at me.

"But a rent-a-friend would fix things with a smile and wouldn’t whine about it," I remarked, not giving in.

"How do you know that? Besides, how much will that cost you?" he intoned with a it-will-cost-too-much ring to his voice.

He had me. Suspending the idea of a "Rent-A-Friend" for as long as possible and certain that the hourly rate would spoil it, I decided not to call.

"You're probably right," I conceded, while applying my Nivea age defying moisturizer with age diminishing creatine technology. I then put on my tool belt and got out my trusty Duct Tape.

2010 © Copyright Paula Damon. A resident of Southeast South Dakota, Paula Damon is a national and state award-winning columnist. Her columns have won first-place in National Federation of Press Women, South Dakota Press Women and Iowa Press Women Communications Contests. In the 2009 and 2010 South Dakota Press Women Communications Contest, Paula's columns took first-place awards statewide. To contact Paula, email, follow her blog at and find her on Facebook.

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