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Are You Superficial?


/su pərˈfɪʃ əl/  [soo-per-fish-uh l]


1.  being at, on or near the surface: a superficial wound.

2.  of or pertaining to the surface: superficial measurement.

3.  external or outward: a superficial resemblance.

4.  concerned with or comprehending only what is on the surface or obvious: a superficial observer.

5.  shallow; not profound or thorough: a superficial writer.

6.  apparent rather than real 

7.  insubstantial or insignificant; superficial improvements 


Narcissus, by Michelangelo Caravaggio, ca. 1598.

Narcissus, by Michelangelo Caravaggio, ca. 1598.

I’m a tad shallow.  Superficial.  I’ll be the first to admit it.  My OCD goes into over drive when looking for the perfect red lipstick or when I see someone with really, really bad makeup.  But that’s not all I’m about.  If you could see me at this computer right now, I would belie all my claims to beauty guru status. I try to spend time each day in thought about my life — where I’ve been, where I am, where I am headed.  That’s why last week I began my “circumspect Sundays” blog posting with What Makes You Fierce? 

 Back to being shallow.  On Sunday’s my daughters and I  visit my dad.  He looks great.  Full head of hair, still has great weight.  He doesn’t at all look his 76 years.  But he doesn’t know who the heck I am.  Most of the time.  As a matter of fact he thinks he is 30 years old.  When I had to start changing his diapers, I realized that it was time to give him a better home.  My dad has Alzheimer’s disease.  His mother had Alzheimer’s disease.  I just attended the funeral of his sister who died from Alzheimer’s disease last month. So I know that gene is lurking in my DNA just waiting to reverse my journey in life, reducing me to the status of a dependent child. 

I’m shallow.  I don’t want to want to forget to wear my red lipstick, or comb my hair or refuse to dress appropriately for the occasion. Sure, I want to look cute in my vintage years, I’m not Narcissus.  I want my brain in tact.  Such as it is…

Facts about Alzheimer’s Disease:

1.  Alzheimer’s Disease destroys brain cells, which in turn causes memory problems, and causes a decline in problem-solving skills thereby affecting work and social life. 

2.  Latent affects of Alzhimer’s disease include an inability to use the limbs, to swallow and eventual death.  today Alzheimer’s Disease is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. 

3.  There is currently no cure for disease.

4.   Every 70 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease.

5.  By mid-century, someone will develop Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds. 

What this means for me and my fellow baby boomers is that unless a cure is found soon, we are facing a pathetic reality.  With healthcare costs and reform an issue in this country, the burden of a graying society with Alzheimer’s disease will be crippling.  (no pun intended)

Am I shallow?  Sure I love the smoke and mirrors of a photo shoot.  I love that I can transform Mary Sue from bland to bodacious with the flick of a makeup brush.  But I want to know my grandchildren.  I want them to know me as their Nana with the big hair, red lips teetering around on too-high heels.  Is that too much to ask?  Well, I’m prepared.  I have long term life insurance that covers my assisted living costs.  And when AD strikes, I have made my daughters swear to keep my wig on straight.


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