Last fall when I dragged my sagging hiney to the eye doctor, I fully expected to be prescribed a pair of reading glasses. Or, to put it another way, I entered the building and wailed, “My eyes are broke, my eyes are broke!” Instead, my contacts prescription moved a bit closer to the “oh my gods you are visually impaired!” and I missed out on getting a pair of glasses hanging around my neck on a beaded chain.
Now I know, I should be rejoicing in this last gasp of youthfulness that my still-unadorned neck gives me. But I can’t. Because I’d totally rock that “reading glasses as an accessory” look more than what I’ve got going on right now.
Because what I’ve got now are…wrinkles.
I don’t moan and groan over the laugh line wrinkles that seem to be multiplying like horny bunnies all around my delicate eye area. After all, who can argue with laugh lines? What I am groaning over are the crevasses currently camping out between my eyebrows, which I might add is already an area of malcontent due to the fact that I have a unibrow that is shrinking on the outside edges and sporting grey hairs. Why oh why does the god of body hair hate me so? I’m looking more and more like an aging Doberman with each passing day. With my luck, I’ll be the only octagenarian who is tweezing between Bingo spins.
I’ve worn spectacles since I was nine. NINE. And my mother sent me to the eye doctor’s for my first pair with my father. MY FATHER. It was the 70s people and it was my dad. I came home looking like an owl in green plastic frames. I kid you not.
You can imagine that if I’ve been near-sighted since I was nine (actually before that), that my prescription is pretty hefty by now. You’d be right. But, remember, I’m not ready for readers. (Go ahead and toss the confetti. Time to get this party started.)
So what this all means is that I squint every freaking time I need to read something. Oh, did I mention that I’m a writer? That I read daily and write daily and squint over my iPhone screen all the freaking day long?
I need Botox and badly. Except that Botox is…well, Botox. The last three letters tell us all we need to know about that. I mean, who on earth had the idea, “Let’s see. If we injected botulism into someone’s face, I bet that would help them look younger.” Is it just me or should the thought have been “look deader”?
Anyhoo, I have no problem at all with needles. If some dermatologist were to tell me he/she could inject something in my face that would make me look less crevassey, it wouldn’t be the needles that held me back. It would be the freaking poison the needle injected that would stop me. So between those two little details (the squinting and the poison, if I perhaps lost you along the way), I am getting a collection of ever-deepening wrinkles between my eyebrows.
I know, you’re wondering just how deep of a wrinkle I’m talking about. Picture somebody’s naked butt cheeks but the hair is on either side of the crack rather than running along it and you’ll get the idea. (This, of course, is true if I’ve tweezed in the last 20 minutes. If not, there’s plenty of hair in the crack as well.) I am talking the “deep wrinkles” type of crevasse much like the sort a young man might spend 127 hours trapped in, only to free himself through permanent maiming of his arm.
This is me every time you text me to tell me you’ll be home late. Hand me my student’s report card. Take me out to a swanky restaurant and have me order for myself off the menu. Squinting my way into a most unattractive look. Actually, it’s mostly an “old” look.
Remember being 18 and thinking about wrinkles? Yeah, me either.
But they happen. And the fact that my eyeballs are just as flabby as my gravity-afflicted butt and upper arms means I’m feeling old and wrinkly.
But absolutely not interested in injecting poison in my face.
So what’s a girl to do? I’m only 43. I’ve got years before wrinkles are just a part of the expected landscape. It’s bad enough I’ve got 80-year-old hair, now I’m working on 80-year-old skin.
I tried lifting my eyebrows in a permanently surprised, I Love Lucy, kind of way but the family put the kibosh on that. According to Biggest, it made me look like an idiot. Middlest was more gentle, “Uh Mom? No. Just no.” And Littlest laughed and ran away. Mister Soandso informed me that he preferred the cracks of death over the mask of horror so I put my eyebrows back down and pondered.
So I stood before my bathroom mirror with the attitude of a scientist. Well, a desperate scientist, but whatever. There has to actually be a way to make all the dermatologists frustrated without spending a fortune. All those Facebook ads wouldn’t be pure bunk, right?
I got my collection of tape out, even the variety of duct tapes, painting and masking tapes and the 19 rolls of clear packing tape I own because I can never find it when I mail rum balls to folks during the Christmas holidays.
Let me tell you what, regardless of any level of wrinkle control tape may or may not provide, it does one heck of a good job at exfoliating. Wow.
After trying several application styles and shapes of tape pieces, I think I came up with the winning combination. I also solved some of my tweezing needs for a day or so — boy is that pink duct tape’s adhesive strong! Which is good because even with a bright light and squinting, I have a heck of a time seeing those weird pigment-less hairs until I’m stuck at a traffic light and then Bam! they seem to wave at me in the sunlight. And there’s nothing I can do about until I get home — so I obsess over the dang thing for the entire trip. The same is true for any, ahem, facial hairs that may mysteriously appear.
If nothing else, the sensation of your hair being pulled out reminds you to stop squinting and just hand the dang thing you are trying to read to your five year old.
Who cares if the subject matter is completely inappropriate for him. Sacrifices must be made in the name of beauty. Right?
Actually, he disagreed. He told me I look fine just the way I am.
“Mama, I think you look beautiful just the way you are. You don’t need to put stuff on your face. Well, maybe a smile.”
So I worked on my laugh lines a little bit more and pulled the tape off and called it quits.
We’ve got wrinkles and Botox and Magic Tape. But mostly we’ve got the time to get wrinkly with the people we love. And that is the best magic of all.
*Please note: Some hyperbole or bald-face lies may have be utilized in the telling of this story. Or not. You can be the judge.