Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Facing Myself

I’m not young anymore. I haven’t acquired senior citizen status yet either. I’m kind of in that halfway place where my psyche feels like a kid, but my body feels like lying down and taking a nap. I am middle-aged. 

It’s not a bad place to be in the overall scheme of things. I’m in the best shape of my life. I have a successful career that I love. I have a pretty good family when I’m not tripping over all the crap they’ve left in the middle of the floor. It’s probably the best time I’ve known. 

Yet all is not well in the land of Happily-Ever-For-Now. For with every silver lining comes a little dark cloud. My particular blot on these sunny days appears in the mirror.  

Lines from movies appear in my memory much like the newly found lines on my reflection. Steel Magnolias: “Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it’s marchin’ across your face.” Freaky Friday: “I look like the Crypt Keeper!” Ah yes, the roadmap of my life is there on my skin...literally. In relief. With gullies.


Next milestone in life: eating yogurt to help me poop.

It probably doesn’t help that it’s a magnifying mirror I’m staring in horror at. I try to comfort myself with the knowledge that of course every line and crease is going to appear when one’s face is bigger by 2 1/2 times. “So look in a normal mirror, idiot,” you might say. I would, but my eyes are as old as my face these days. I can’t see anything closer than a football field away anymore. I have to have the magnifying mirror which tells me things I don’t want to know. Like my face is beginning to resemble the moon Europa.

I hate it when my foundation settles in the cracks like that.

I do everything they say will help one’s aging appearance. I don’t smoke. My diet is healthy. I don’t drink much. For all my great love of wine, I indulge in only a glass a week. Instead, I drink tons of water, which they say is supposed to plump up the skin. I’m not seeing it. Instead, my toilet is on speed-run from all the water I drink. If anyone needs to find me, that’s probably where I am.

I slather on enough moisturizer to allow me to slide my head through a sewing needle. I try anti-aging serums. I pull my hair back in a tight ponytail in order to make the skin taut. I look like the Joker from Batman with my face tugged back so far. And yet those telltale signs of me not getting any younger remain.

With dewy youth behind me, I’m having to get used to that new visage in the mirror. I smile at the woman before me with sympathy, and then I wipe the smile off because of the crow’s feet that appear. And not just one crow, either. A whole flock stomped over me, apparently. Yet the lack of smile brings out the lines at the corners of my mouth. I can’t win.

It’s official: I have only two options now. I can either age or suffer the alternative. I could go on and on about mourning this, but there’s no point in it, is there? Besides, the water is kicking in again. I have to go.

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