The Time My Mom and I starred in a Tampon Commercial

By Cristina Guccione

We’ve all seen the tampon commercials where the women look uncharacteristically happy, frolicking on the beach with their best friend as the wind ever so gently blows through their hair.  I can’t say that I know anyone, including myself, who was so elated by their tampon choice but I will tell you, those moments on the beach do very much exist.

This summer I spent many weekends at home with my mom in Laguna Beach. My immediate goal was to get tan.  Very, very tan.  Since I simply cannot lie still while my body fries, my mom and I took long walks on the beach to ensure a 360 glow.  The cliché date as many magazines suggest, are long walks on the beach, followed by a romantic candlelight dinner and flowing discussions of dreams, hopes and aspirations. Well, those magazines may have actually had a point.

However, it’s not about the location, the beach, or dinner.  It’s about the uninterrupted conversations that are had when we enjoy the present.  During a date we wouldn’t dare answer our phone or check our Facebook page. Instead, we focus on the person in front of us, ask questions, listen, think, dream. So, each day my mom and I would take our walks, we had one rule, no cell phones. We would be gone for hours at a time and during our walks, conversations ensued, trips were planned, life was discussed.  We would periodically walk into a beach bar, have a cocktail, and meet people from all over the world and learn about a different culture or place.

This summer I learned of my mom’s dating experience and how at 62, her goal is to find a man with an empty medicine cabinet and that most men lie about their height and bank accounts on Match.com. I learned that I don’t always have to be strong and when you open up and lean on your family, the strength you find can inspire you to keep going with a positive attitude. I learned that way too many shops on the beach sell chocolate covered bananas and I still think they should be eaten with a knife and fork. I learned that spending real time, not passing time, with a loved one can create a stronger, more fulfilling unbreakable bond.  I learned oh-so-much about life from my mom but she also dispensed some practical advice:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar:  Drink it, use it as a toner, rinse your hair after shampooing.
  • Sunscreen:  Slather your face, neck and back of your hands with sunscreen that has zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or avobenzone. Her favorite?  Eucerin.
  • Retin-A Micro – it’s a must for to diminish wrinkles and get rid of acne.
  • Fish Oils!  Every day
  • See a man you like and want to meet?  Give him the five second stare.  Guaranteed to work every time.
  • Last but not least, coconut oil. It has a natural 6 SPF, it’s great for conditioning hair, and you can eat it!

On the last day of my time with my mom this summer, on our last walk, she decided to bring her cell phone as she was waiting for an important email. The tide was high and we had to run around rocks to avoid being swept away by the waves.  During my mom’s attempt to beat a wave, the wave beat her and took her into the water as it retreated. My first reaction was not, “Mom are you okay?” It was “Mom your cell phone!” Needless to say, the lesson was learned, as if the Universe was giving us a dose of our own medicine. So, take the time to put away your phone, walk on the beach, listen to the birds, smell the seaweed, and smile at a stranger.

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