Tag Archives: wrinkles

I Am NOT Ready For My Close-up; I Am In Menopause

I have loved being in my fifties.  Sure, sometimes I look worse than ever before in my life.  Sometimes I feel worse.  But I became a mother again.  I have cared more about what’s in my head than on my face.  I’ve cheered women like Helen Mirren and Annette Bening who have had the chutzpah to keep their real faces throughout their fifties, thereby empowering us all.  But that was then.

Helen had a “lower face and neck lift.”  And now I want one.  I want one, actually, that starts from my ankles and pulls everything up.  Everything.  Up.  Several inches.

What happened?  I am interrupting our regularly scheduled programming (How I Met Your Other And Became A Menopausal Mother), to tell you.

Yesterday, I was happily working on a book when my husband said excitedly, “Will you take my head shot?  The light right now is PERFECT for a photo.  Right now.  We have to do it now!”

Head shots help him get work and that makes him happy, and I like it when he’s happy, because I like(d) him.   So I stepped away from my own work to help him.  Out of the goodness of my fifty-three-year-old giving heart. 

After snapping some lovely shots of him looking very debonair and James Brolin-ish in the allegedly PERFECT LIGHT, he offered, “Let me take a couple shots of you.”  How sweet.  I would post the results of those shots in THE PERFECT LIGHT here, but pride will not allow.

Have you ever made Flubber?  It’s really cool.  Flubber stretches and pulls, and you can poke your fingers in it.  It’s fun to play with.  IF IT’S NOT YOUR FACE.

Not only have my cheeks and jawline turned into Flubber, a network of lines–some of them actually intersecting–have crisscrossed what used to look like skin, but now resembles a U.S. Geological Survey map of earthquake faults.  In California.  Also, my left eye is nearly completely covered by what I assume is my left eyelid (although I didn’t know eyelids could stretch that far).

“AUUGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!  Is that what I look like?  Is that what you see?  Is it?  Is it?  IS IT???????” I screamed, pointing at the giant head displayed on the jumbo tron my spouse calls a computer.

“No, no, no!” he screamed back, obviously startled, but then he seemed confused.  “Well, yeah.  I mean…yeah.  Why?  You look good.  Honey, don’t you ever look in the mirror?”

The lines on my forehead must have reconfigured to spell the word D-I-V-O-R-C-E, because he quickly backpedaled.  “No, no, you have to remember that is a photograph.”

“So?”

“So your head’s really big up there.”

“Yeah?”

“And my camera picks up every li–.  Every detail.”

“Uh huh.  So in real life, you can’t see that many details on my face?”

“Noooo.”

“And I do still have an upper lip?  And a left eye?”

He hesitated a tad too long.

I started to sniffle.  “I’m aging badly.  When I’m sixty, our children will pretend they don’t know me.”

He put his arm around me for a snuggle. “Come on, they do that now.”

I smiled.  A little bit.

“Listen,” he said, “you grow as a wife and mother and woman every day.  You make menopause beautiful.”  I smiled a little more.  He draped an arm around my shoulders and walked with me back to my desk.

I nodded against him.  “It was just such a shock.”

“I know.”  He kissed my temple. ” I think the best thing to do is to make a list of all the reasons you always tell me you’re grateful for menopause and read it regularly. That will keep your mood calm.”

“That’s excellent advice.”

“Yes.  And whatever else you do,” he murmured, helping me into my chair, “please don’t ever, ever let anyone take a picture of you in full daylight again.”

Wendy…about to Google Sublative Rejuvenation.

 

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Cat Fight–The REAL Story

Here’s what really happened.  Four of us meet for breakfast to talk about a writer’s conference trip we are all taking to New York this summer to land agents and fabulous book and movie deals on our fascinating and hilarious lives as romance novelists/mothers/wives/slash/hacks/dog owners and, you know, a couple of other projects we’ve got stashed under the bed that we’re gonna take out and dust off and turn into gold. 

Wendy is late, as usual.  Don’t get me started.  Anyway, she comes skidding in to the restaurant, drops to into her chair, snaps her fingers for the ‘girl’ then goes off on her wrinkle jag, which we all know is a bid for attention.  The woman is adorable.  I don’t get the whole, “Oh, look at my teensy wrinkle and feel sorry for me,” deal.  But we have to humor her.  “Yeah, yeah, Wendy.  What are ya gonna do about the grand canyons on your face today?”  Furtive eye-rolling behind the menu.

In fact, while she was blathering on about the wrinkle thing, I snapped a pic of her with my phone, just to prove my point.

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wait… I got it here somewhere…

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Oh.  Yeah.  Here.  Now.  I ask you.  Is this a face or is this a face?  I just want to gobble her up.

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"Clinique has this AMAZING new product that they claim firms and tightens..."

 

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Over coffee (we’ve migrated to Starbucks by now) the four of us figure out all the details of our trip to the eastern seaboard and decide to ditch the writer’s meeting we’d planned on attending that morning in Portland and hit the mall instead. 

Wendy was still nattering about this miracle stuff she was going to spend waaaaaay too much money on and I wanted to find some pants that would make me look 40 lbs. lighter.

As I was off looking for “skinny jeans” (sheyeah, what a crock) Wendy gave us the slip.  We finally found her seated in the chair behind the Clinique counter getting her upper lip spackled.  Okay.  I get it now.  The whole wrinkle cream gig isn’t about fixing your wrinkles.  No.  Oprah, are you listening, because this is the real SECRET.  Wrinkle cream IS NOT about ‘fixing a problem’.  It’s about ‘confusing the eye’.  It’s about slathering a whole bunch of gummy stuff on your lip and telling you that your wrinkles are gone and then charging you $174 + tax. 

Wendy, I’m only gonna say this once.  “The emperor has no clothes!  B-U-C-K Naked!

Of course your friends are going to tell you that the flaky, chalky, goofy crud on your upper lip looks great because we love you. 

"I can't nove ny lits cuz this stuff is sooter hard!"

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Truth be told, we simply had no where else to look.  We had to avert our eyes.  That’s why no one noticed wrinkles.  A person can’t see when they’re all squinty-eyed and cringing. 

Carolyn

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Filed under aging, BOTOX, Children, Cooking, Death, Dogs, Fifteen Minutes of Fame, friendship, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Weight gain, Weight Loss, wrinkle erasers, wrinkles

Everything old is new again

Like any seven-year-old, my daughter cannot wait to be a teenager.  Her target age:  nineteen.

“Mom, does this headband make me look nineteen?”  Absolutely.  And you could add another year if you detached the Minnie Mouse ears.

“Mom, look at my ballet slippers.”  (Extending her foot with a lovely pointed toe.)  “Do my legs look nineteen?”

“Listen, Mom, listen.  Does this song make me sound–”  Yes, sweetheart, yes, singing “We Are The Dinosaurs” at the top of your lungs absolutely makes you sound nineteen.

I’m not sure why she targeted that particular age.  Nineteen was certainly not my best year.  I was in my third year of college, a good forty pounds overweight, struggling to know more, do more and be more than I was comfortable with.

Nineteen was almost thirty years ago.  Now I’m trying to look younger, feel younger and still trying to do more than I am comfortable with.  Not that I  want to be nineteen again.  Noooo thank you.  But forty-two…yeah, that was a great year.

“Hey, world, if I wear this makeup, do I look 42 again?”

“If I lose ten pounds, will I look 42?  Will you like me better?  Take me more seriously?  Hire me?”

Recently, I was with the twenty-five-year-old niece of a dear friend.  When I say the girl is stunningly beautiful, I am issuing a gross understatement.  And yet she felt it necessary to have her first BOTOX injection at 24.  Apparently that is no longer uncommon; you get a head start on wrinkle prevention that way.

Annette Bening was my acting teacher twenty-six years ago.  She was, by far, the most confident woman I had ever met.  Today, she is one of the few actresses of her generation with the guts to age gracefully.   She is, by all accounts, the very hands-on mother to four young people.  Google her, and you will find that she spends a great deal of her time giving back to her community in addition to conducting what has amounted to a thoughtful, intelligent and wildly successful career.

Check the imdb boards, and you will discover that she is being slammed–rudely–for daring to age naturally.  One poster wrote that Warren Beatty is now “too good for her.”  Another brain trust labeled her “a hag.”

Great.  These are probably people who get tattoos and piercings so they can be unique.  I’m not knocking that, but guess what?  Aging naturally in Hollywood is probably as unique anyone is going to get.

I wonder if a woman posted the crack about Warren Beatty or the uber-intelligent hag comment?  Lord, I hope not.

Annette:  You glow, woman.  And may I say, “Thank you” for living the wisdom of taking yourself seriously…but not too seriously.  And for spending more time working to improve the world instead of your own skin.

Libbi, my darling daughter:  Slow down, baby.  There’s plenty of time.  Live the moment, because the time that yawns endlessly now will someday seem achingly brief.  And you don’t want to miss a second by trying to be someone else.  (Or even an older–or younger–version of yourself.

Note to me:  Ditto.

Wendy

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Filed under Annette Bening, Children, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Writing