No Sh*t

Any midlife woman raised by a Black mother remembers a childhood of having her whole face greased up with Vaseline before stepping foot outside on a cold winter day. True Vaseline – the brand name of petroleum jelly – was as essential as toilet paper in our house, rubbed onto every part of our bodies to prevent looking “ashy.” At nearly 62, I still swear by this greasy cure-all for everything, though since becoming a frugal retiree I’ve made do with the containers of generic Dollar Tree petroleum jelly, which I still refer to as “vaseline.”

Great Lake winter walk

With sustained 25+ mph winds and temperatures of -1 degree Celsius and lower, Great Lakes winter walking can require a slathering of vaseline. On freezing, windy days I smear my face and lips with this slick ointment before venturing out on my 3-4 mile walks to and along Lake Erie. My face glistens with grease. On especially windy days, mucus and tears glisten too. The wind makes my eyes water behind my prescription sunglasses, and my nose runs like a downhill brook. On these days, tissues are useless. They just spread the secreted mess to create a fantastic, glassy handlebar mustache. My numb skin often doesn’t even register the feeling of dripping slime and salty tears flowing down my face. Sometimes, thanks to frigid blasts of air, the liquid matter forms a sparkling relief motif down my shiny, vaselined face. The contrast of this freezing mixture of snot and tears on my brown and greasy skin is super-awesome and attractive.

I discovered the hard way that this can get really icky during a long walk.
I do not take selfies on windy days. I took this for Instagram on a cold but not too windy day, sans slippery mucus layer. Multiple tissue touch-ups were sufficient.

Anyway, yesterday was one of those too windy days. I was walking – glistening and secreting in high-contrast awesomeness — when a ways ahead I saw the “Honk if You Have to Poop” truck parked in front of its usual house along my route. To my delight, a guy I assume was the owner of the truck was there too, messing around with something in the back seat of the truck. I started laughing out loud. Then, for some reason I’ll attribute to freezing temperatures/blowing snow/lack of oxygen due to profuse mucus, I yelled out, “Hi there! Honk! Honk!”

At that very moment I thought I detected an ever-so-slight sensation of having to poop, but dismissed it. I was excited to be able to ask this man the story behind the poop-honk tag, and why he had it on his truck. He hadn’t looked up when I honked, so I yelled out again as I got a little closer. “Hey! Honk! Honk! Your poop tag cracks me up!” I chortled gleefully.

Again, the need-to-poop sensation, this time a bit stronger. “Oh shit,” I said to myself, which made me audibly snort-giggle. This time the guy looked in my direction but said nothing. I know he had to have heard me. Was he deliberately ignoring me? Well, nothing snaps a sphincter shut faster than indignation at perceived rude behavior, and the poop signal quickly disappeared. Undaunted and determined to engage this dude in conversation over his hilarious poop tag that I’d made famous to all my 14 readers, I took longer strides to close the gap between me and the man, waving vigorously at him in case he was in fact hard of hearing.

Three things happened as I got closer to the man and his truck:

1. I saw this was not the usual house where the truck with the poop tag always parked.

2. I made a mental note that I really needed to get new prescription sunglasses.

3. I realized this was not the truck with the poop tag.

This, of course, made me crack myself up even more. My laughter made my eyes tear even more, which made my nose run even more. Jeez. The guy eyed me warily as he got in the truck and drove away. I can only imagine the story he later told about the tall, shiny, slime-faced weirdo smeared with frozen snot and tears and grease, waving and laughing and honking at him while walking like she had to take a dump.

I wanted to unzip my parka pocket and get my phone to take a photo of the back of this no-poop-tag-truck as the man drove off, because I know a good story when I think I see one. But my disappearing indignation had relaxed my sphincter, and the sensation could no longer be ignored. I turned around and headed back home. This kind of stupid shit always happens to me.

Frozen lakeshore images from another walk
Weird is still my superpower.
I just crack myself up sometimes.

Wishing you all a shiny weekend!

All images are my own.

The Hot Goddess


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  1. Lol

    Seems weird or clumsy stuff isn’t restricted to awkward tweens… 😀

    We too were told to lather up before skiing in the Alps as kids. Can’t remember if it was Vaseline or something else, but it was greasy.

    Today I use Shea butter or coconut oil. At least it nourishes my skin when it absorbs. 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hot Goddess, this is the funniest story I’ve heard in a long time. I am a visual person, so as I was reading, my mind was playing out the visual story as well. Just hysterical and I love that you totally owned it!! Like you, in the wind/cold, my eyes and nose run like a faucet … I totally feel ya on that one. Also, I always put vaseline on my girls’ cheeks in the winter – that stuff is the miracle cure to prevent windburn! Finally, nothing like the over 50 sphincter to keep life interesting. Best Wishes and have a great weekend! Leigh Oh Yeah, may I share on my Living-50 FB page?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh…boy! I needed that laugh during my lunch break! I have a tendency to get myself into these awkward situations as well—luckily, I don’t have a problem laughing at myself. I’m an (generic Walmart brand) aveeno girl—right out of the shower and before! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I most definitely remember the Vaseline routine and being dressed like Ralphie’s little brother in A Christmas Story before being allowed outside on a cold winter day. Most folk have no clue about ashy. These days I’ve switched to Lubriderm.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a good read 👍🏾. My mum keeps telling me to use vaseline, my skin is so oily to begin with couldn’t imagine having that on top. Although looking at both you and my mum u should probably take the advice ha.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, my goodness! Absolutely hilarious about the truck driver… 😀 😀 As for “True” Vaseline, they don’t make it anymore. The one I use on my lips is some generic stuff that provides no protection against the harsh Finnish winter. But I still buy it because it reminds me of my childhood, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I bet the guy in the other truck had a story for days… like you will never believe what happened to me… and try to find a logical explanation for the incidence and likely fail badly and wonder if the invasion of the body snatchers has begun…. 🤣🤣🤣 ok or maybe I jus vrack myself up too


    PS I am in the twilight of my dirty thirties and the belief is firmly entrenched in me that no self-respecting household is complete without a jar of original vaseline…. one cant be looking classy but ashy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nivea! Sister to Vaseline in my house growing up. Now, at 62, I have jars coconut oil from Trader Joe’s, “Vaseline” from the dollar store, and bottle of Nivea from BJs. We ain’t playin’ with moisturization! 😅😂🤣 Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Somehow growing up moisturization was so emphasized as if it’s going to change how I look 🤪🤪🤪. I’m sure it contributed to having good skin but it didn’t change anything… How moms and aunts will say oil your hair, they will grow luscious jet black … no it remained thin fizzy and brown.
        My pleasure enjoyed reading it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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