“You were always feminine,” her brother remarked with a smirk while his sister insisted on a bit of primping before Hubby arrived home from work.

“I’m going to care about my appearance even with one toe in the grave,” she replied.

That conversation took place a long time ago, but that attitude remained constant in this lady’s life. She did her best to take care of her appearance. What were the motives behind her need to be presentable for her family and friends? Aside from a deep sense of self-respect, she saw the effects of folks, young and old alike, who did not care how they looked.

Back in the days of being a Tupperware Manager, this lady met far too many older women who spent their days in pajamas and a robe. Watching them, it seemed those ladies sat around doing nothing, waiting to die. It broke the Tupperware lady’s heart to see the women waste their time and lives. She vowed never to behave that way when she got older. Of course, if you are Peter Pan, you never get old. Right?

One of Hubby’s aunts took prissy one pearl strand too far. In her youth, she was an attractive woman. We suppose that is how she managed to snag three husbands.

Years ago, the family reunion took place in Lake Murray Park and later on the shores of Lake Murray.

As you would expect, holding a reunion in a park implies the presence of dirt and grass. Since those get-togethers were in July, as in hot as Hades weather, most folks dressed for comfort. Not Aunt Prissy. She still showed up in a dress, pearls, and earrings, as well as hose and high heeled shoes. Oh, we must not forget the color-coordinated purse on her arm.

When she arrived, people did a double-take until they realized it was Aunt Prissy. She may have been on the other side of long in the tooth, but all the same, she flirted with every male within reach. We assume she filled her ego goblet to the brim on those hot summer days.

Since many people work from home, several friends confessed they never wear makeup and dress in what some call Wal Mart casual. Even on rare occasions when they leave home to meet with friends, the formerly put-together look they wore to work is now rarely evident.

One of this writer’s friends met up with her in a Whole Foods parking lot to get farm-fresh eggs. After all, the chickens keep laying eggs no matter what craziness goes on in the world.

“I’m not wearing makeup,” the woman proclaimed. However, her hairdo looked like she recently visited her hairdresser.

If possible, women rarely miss hair appointments. That is a ritual that closely rivals a religious experience. Uplifting. This writer recalls a former boss who braved icy roads to get to her hair done. “I would rather have my hair look nice, even if the drive resulted in a fender bender,” the woman explained.

Our daughter cannot understand why her mother regularly goes to get her haircut. “What’s the point? You live in the country and rarely see anyone,” she states with incredulity.

“I care,” her mother replies. “And that is all that matters to me.”

Living on a farm takes work. The lady of the manor likes to keep her lawn mowed and the areas under the trees and next to the fences trimmed. Again, her daughter asks, “Why?”

“Because I like my yard tidy. I may live in the country, but I like to keep things orderly,” her mother explains with an exaggerated eye roll

The problem is, while one works in the yard, dressing in good clothes is not an option. The work is hot and sweaty. Therefore, on gardening or mowing days, the lady of the manor admits to wearing jeans and lathers on plenty of sunscreen.

We should care about our appearance. After all, you would not want to pass out from shock at your reflection, if you happen to glance in a mirror.

Self-respect is an essential part of life, like oxygen.

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