At that time, I had my yearly physical, in which my improved state of health was enthusiastically confirmed by my doctor. This good news so buoyed my spirits that I was finally convinced to go ahead and start feeling better as well.
In general, I seem now to be reverting to my pre-2012 state, which is only fitting, considering that in retrospect, early 2012 is when my Check Engine light came on. My energy, stamina, gait, balance and general joie de vivre are all returning to where they were in the early, busy days of this blog.
Nevertheless, it must be said that my heart remains a bit skeptical of all this good news, a situation that was entirely expected at this stage of my recovery. After all those years of having to pump so hard to keep things moving through my ever-narrowing aortic valve, I still have some mileage to accrue before that Check Engine light goes out.
Never fear: this will happen in due course. But in the meantime, a few temporary conditions have arisen. One of them is that my skin has become very dry, especially on my arms and legs. Wifey, ever attentive to my condition, noticed this, and so one day recently she sat me down and told me the sobering news that I would have to give some thought to moisturizing.
Now, let it be said that I do try to keep my male ego on its range, and I think I do a pretty good job of it most of the time. At this point in our marriage, I’m a pretty domesticated fellow.
Still, I do like to maintain a respectable level of manly manliness, and let’s face it: your average manly man hates fussing with himself. A shower, a shave and an occasional haircut is all the self-maintenance he wants to deal with on a regular basis.
The idea of having to slather myself with goo all the time is galling. Not only would the added maintenance be highly annoying, it would also be embarrassing. I mean, guys aren’t supposed to concern themselves with such matters. It just isn’t manly.
All this notwithstanding, still something had to be done, and so when Wifey kindly suggested the compromise of at least trying a moisturizing body wash, I swallowed my manly pride good and hard and agreed to it, on the condition that it did not leave me smelling like a bordello.
That very day, Wifey got for me a moisturizing body wash calculated to accommodate the most fragile male psyche. I approached it as if it were potentially radioactive. I opened the bottle and gave it a tentative sniff; it smelled vaguely like meat.
Intrigued, I took a heartier sniff. Indeed, it did smell like meat—specifically, creamed chipped beef. It even smelled vaguely salty.
Now utterly baffled, I squeezed some out on my hand to get a good look at it. It in fact looked like creamed chipped beef goo, a milky gray.
So instead of smelling like a bordello, I would be smelling like the kind of diner that sports a red neon sign reading, “EAT.” If they were going to make it smell like meat, I’d rather it have been a nice medium-rare char-broiled Porterhouse steak, not bad diner food. Sure, it would be weird, but at least it would be manly. Creamed chipped beef, not so much.
But I’d gone too far to turn back, so I grudgingly started to use it, and although I don’t find the residue it leaves particularly pleasant, I must admit that it has largely dispatched my dry-skin problem, thus allowing me to avoid the disagreeable step of using a <shudder> body lotion.
And Wifey swears it leaves no lingering fragrance. I’ll take her word for it, although I’ve noticed that all the pets have become noticeably more affectionate lately.
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|"Mmm . . . beefy!"|