Vanity is genetic.

I’m convinced. My mother was vain, I am vain, my sister is vain, even my 7-year-old is vain. Yoni checks the mirror 20 times before going to the first grade. He  is insistent that I call him Yafyuf  (gorgeous) at least once a day. See ,it’s all in the genes.

Websters first entry for vanity is:

“excessive pride in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities,achievements, etc. character or quality of being vain; conceit”.  I take issue with Noah Webster. I think in this day and age it’s self-preservation, literally.

As 40 approaches (389 days) I am constantly on Wrinkle and Gray Hair patrol.  I spend 15 minutes a day working my face into different shapes to see if any new wrinkles have developed in the last 24 hours.  I have to say the best thing about totally chlorine damaged hair is that it hides the gray. Forever split-ends and forever blond, I can live with that.

My first grand expense after paying off Leumi Card  may be a nip and tuck. We will have none of this getting old gracefully stuff.  I don’t want to look like Joan Rivers,  but something between the two suits me well.

And while we’re talking in the mirror, I really wish my arms and stomach would get on the leg and ass program.  There are days I feel like the opening of Brighton Beach Memoirs, where Neil Simon describes the flab of his bubbie’s arm.  What are they called, bingo wings. Give me a break, sigh, call the plastic surgeon.

Secretly, I love looking at classmates that have not aged as well. Horrific I know. There is a certain pleasure that arises from seeing the same kid that in HS that called you fat ass with five chins and rotted teeth.  I almost feel like sending them a “Cookie of the Month” subscription. But even I am not that evil, yet.

My therapist says I shouldn’t obsess as much, that it isn’t healthy. Of course it’s not healthy, neither is too much wine, but I’ve done that on occasion as well.  I spent a lot of years not obsessing at all, and woe was my reflection in the mirror. We’re not doing that again.

Some people prefer to be proud of themselves (also good), but for me, I’ll take vanity.  Hands down, no questions asked.  If vanity helps me keep myself in check,  I’ll take it.

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