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Aging Gracelessly

Previously published on the former Ignore The Mess blog on 5/1/13

From the moment we are born, we start to die. Everyone deals with the fact that you get older. As a friend was known for saying, “Getting old sucks, but it sure beats the alternative.” I would like to say that I am immune from the signs of aging, or even to say that I am impervious to their effects, but that would be a blatant lie.

It started when I turned 30. The simple act of having lived 30 years did not make me feel any older than I did when I was in my teens. I should say that it all started four days after my 30th birthday. I had gone to the eye doctor. He looked at my peepers for a few minutes and then asked, “Do you take your glasses off to read?” I answered in the affirmative and he said words that have haunted me since, “You need bifocals.” (Needless to say, I never went back to that eye doctor.) My NEW eye doctor has told me that I actually don’t need bifocals, yet my fate was sealed that day.

Every day I look in the mirror I find a new flaw, new proof of my demise. A few weeks ago, I was uncharacteristically applying makeup when I realized that the skin under my eyes has now obtained that “crepe paper” old lady skin feel and one of them has a deep wrinkle. I dragged my husband to the store where we perused the eye cream aisle for something, anything, that would remove the offending crevasse. “No, that one is too cheap, it might not work!” “What the hell is a free radical and why is it attacking me?” After much deliberation, I came to the conclusion that I knew NOTHING about what might undo the damage done to my face. So, I grabbed one with a brand name I recognized and headed for the door.

I took the gooey mess and applied it to the skin around my eyes before I went to bed, confident the chasm in my eye skin would be gone by morning. It was… only because the “hypo allergenic” crap I had bought caused my eye skin to turn red and swell so I looked like a weird panda species. On the plus side, the swollen skin had removed the wrinkle!

A glutton for punishment, I tried the wretched eye cream again when the swelling was gone a few days later. Plus: wrinkle gone. BIG MINUS: Face like panda.

Through my bleary eyes, I logged onto my computer and searched for an eye cream with good reviews while munching my bamboo. I found out something very important. There isn’t an eye cream in existence that will really remove wrinkles. However, most sites advocated the benefits of moisturizing. Moisturizing is a completely foreign concept to me, I have always been a soap and water while in the shower girl, however, after my online research I was devastated to learn  my wrinkle was my own doing! Oh no! If I had only known! Perhaps I could have prevented this tragic corrugation of my countenance!

Back to the store I went, protesting spouse in tow. “The last stuff didn’t work; why do you want to try something else? You look fine.” Oh, the ignorance of men and the silly things they say. Another marathon session of reading ingredients and trying to find a moisturizer that would prevent myself from doing further damage. I grabbed a moisturizer that I remembered my mother using. The familiar packaging reassured me I would be safe. That all was ok now. After all, my mother is over 60 and looks fabulous! I went home and slathered the new concoction all over my face and neck.

I woke up the next morning pleased I had done what I could to stave off the inevitable. Then I looked in the mirror. DISASTER! Now I did look younger, but only because my face had broken out like high school student! This was something I never had to deal with in high school, I always had a wonderful complexion, now to deal with this in my 30’s. How unfair!

The oh so supportive love of my life merely laughed while rolling his eyes at my panic. Uncaring lout! So, I called the one person I knew would comfort me. Mom would surely know what to do! I called my mother and spilled the whole sad story to her. Surely that wasn’t a snort of suppressed laughter I heard through the phone? My mom then told me I was getting older and I would have to get used to it. “Oh yeah, and your feet get bigger when you get older so you might not want to buy so many shoes.” Wow, twist the knife a little harder. So much for consolation from the maternal figure. Then, she really did laugh. I think she found my pain genuinely funny.

Having exhausted all options, I have decided soap and water are just fine. But, if that wrinkle gets any friends… Well, botulism in your face can’t be that bad for you right?


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