In preparation for our goddaughter's wedding, I have been affecting a tan with one of those products that makes one look like one hasn't crawled out from under a rock, but is not as convincing as the real deal.
Also, these lotions always work better on skin that is smooth and firm, and let's just say by now I could use reupholstering.
Is wrinkly the opposite of irony?
Also, after decades of spending weekends in a bikini (imagine), I have a surfeit of "age" spots on my face, chest, arms and legs. I'm OK with proof I've been around for a while - a life lived should say so - but these areas turn quite a lot darker with this tanning stuff, and I look more like a cheetah than someone who's been lolling on a beach.
I will not be wearing anything with a print to the wedding. Obviously, myself will be quite enough.
Today's project was to give Millicent Fenwick a bath. I don't ordinarily subject cats to baths because they do a pretty good job of keeping themselves clean on their own. Well. Until they reach the age of 16, and then hygiene takes a back seat to lunch and a nap - especially if your cat weighs 19 pounds.
Shampooing a cat is never a walk in the park, unless you're an anesthesiologist, so I was not looking forward to this. I have a wedding to go to. I already look like a cheetah; do I also need to look like I was mauled by one?
I decided to perform this trauma-waiting-to-happen in the kitchen sink, which is wide and not very deep and has one of those spray hoses mounted alongside the faucet. More control than if I was on my knees at the side of a bathtub, which I was dumb enough to try just one other time.
Slathered in shampoo, Ms. Fenwick shot up my arm and down my back, before departing the bathroom and diving under a bed.
That was an all-day event, what with trying to stop the bleeding and all.
Upright is better, and if she tries to jump down off the kitchen counter, she'll break all her ankles. I figure she's smart enough to figure that out.
I ran warm water that approximated her body temperature, hefted her into the sink, introduced her to the spray gadget and YEOWWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLL! A primordial scream from the bowels of the earth, channeled through a sopping wet cat, and thank God I'd had the sense to put our other two cats out before taking this on, or they'd never let me near them again.
It took a while, but we got through it. She sang a long, crude song about what she'd do to me while I was sleeping, and I soaped all her crannies and, you know, her patootie.
Finally, the water ran clear. I dried her off and plunked her down in front of her kibble bowl because nothing distracts Ms. Fenwick like a snack. After a minute or two, she made a beeline upstairs to her nest on a down-filled duvet.
I use the word "beeline" loosely. Nineteen-pound cats lumber. They slog. They drag. They plod. Never do they make a beeline.
She'll hate me for an hour or two, but she smells good, she's clean and fluffy, and I'm thinking she'll forgive me before the day is done.
Fearless Leader called, shortly thereafter.
"How was your day?"
"I shampooed a cat, so you tell me," I said.
"The only one who can't reach her rump."
"Uh-oh. How'd that go?" It's not like he hasn't witnessed this number before.
"Swimmingly," I decided, once I'd thought about it. "A one Band-Aid affair."
I'm getting better at this.
I'm also thinking I may be onto something here, because Millicent Fenwick is a nag. She plants herself next to my couch and wants to be scratched. I'm good for this, except that she requires a scratching every 11 minutes.
More baths equals less nagging, is my theory.
* Lynne Horner is a former Maui News features editor and writer who now lives in Springfield, Ore. Her "Second Thoughts" column appears every Tuesday. Send email to her at email@example.com.