At my age, gazing into the mirror is a dicey proposition. Don’t get me wrong. I’m okay with how I look, but dang if there isn’t always room for improvement.
Whatever fleeting objections I have to my imperfections, help is only steps away. Beverly Hills may boast more plastic surgeons, cosmetic dermatologists and beauticians than all of the states South of the Mason-Dixon Line combined. Bewitched by Botox, bikini wax, mani-pedis, eyebrow lifts, lipo, tummy tucks or Brazilian blow-outs? Then this is your town. We have more spas, salons and beauty doctors than you can shake a stick at.
Not that I have. With the exception of the time I needed to have my face stitched up after a horse wreck eight years back, I haven’t called upon a plastic surgeon. I wasn’t wearing a helmet, but I’ll get back to that.
For years I’ve been telling myself that as long as everything works, I can check my vanity at the door. Until now. The door’s busted down and there’s Vanity marching through, hands on hips, giving me a sadistic grin.
It all started from the top. Over the course of the past few years, my gray hair has sprouted faster than a genetically engineered corn crop. It dawns on me that my appointments with Cam, my expert hair colorist at John Peri Hair Salon in the Marina del Rey, have become as sacred to me as the Ten Commandments. Thou shalt not look any older than thou must. That’s Vanity barking orders.
And you know what? Vanity has a one-track mind. She doesn’t care whether or not I’m healthy as long as I look good. Apparently she doesn’t feel I look good in a riding helmet.
Vanity, thy name shall be Loud Mouth
More costly than a Stetson
When Mr. UnHollywood or our boys ski or ride bikes, they wear brain buckets. Wait a second, I wear bike and ski helmets, too. Why should a riding helmet be any different?
A cowboy hat is a symbol. Raylan Givens of the FX show Justified wears a Stetson. Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley wore them. Cowboy hats harken back to all that is cool about riding; rugged individualism, bonding with your horse, sexy riders roaming the range. Riding is not just getting on a horse and moving out.
It’s an attitude. If I climb onto a horse’s back, I sure as hell better be able to handle the animal.
It’s a statement. I’m confident. I wouldn’t plant my tukas up here if I thought I was going to hit the ground.
“If?” Mike Chipko, a horseman and trusted friend sent Vanity packing. “It’s not a matter of if you come off,” he chuckled. “It’s when!”
And then I think back to that horse wreck eight years ago when I wasn’t wearing a helmet. Friday I wore my GPA riding helmet for the first time, which says one thing about me:
In Denial No More.