It wasn’t long ago that I recognized something about myself: I have no lips. That’s right, I’m lip-less. One would think I’d have noticed this a few years ago, but no. Apparently I don’t look in the mirror enough. In fact, I peek as little as possible.
That’s not to say I look hideous. I wouldn’t go THAT far. But when I do stop to look closely at myself, it’s sorta scary. Seems the older I get, the more my lips disappear, along with other pertinent stuff. Bette Davis had it right when she said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”
Anyway, when skin sags, it’s not a pretty sight. So why should I gaze in the mirror more than absolutely necessary? Besides, of course, to verify I’m not sporting any foreign objects hanging from my nose or harboring an errant chin hair or two.
Aging is kind of like the Boston Strangler; it sneaks up and squeezes the youth out of us. One particular joy of getting older is a lack of eyesight. Noticing things I might have in the past now becomes more difficult. This is, however, not all bad.
For instance, are you aware that after a certain age eyebrows are a vanishing commodity? That’s because one day they simply disappear. The last time I plucked, they refused to grow back. So these days whenever I try to be presentable, I’ve resorted to penciling in my eyebrows. It’s official. I’m now a certified old lady.
Back to my lips…I’ve realized that I have Irish lips. I’m sure you know what I mean. What Irish person do you know with full lips? I can’t think of one, can you? I’m one-quarter Irish so there you go. But I’m also one-half Portuguese so where are my Sara Sampaio lips?
I suppose the odds were against me. My parents were also lip-less. Looking at old family photos, there we all are, smiling with lips no fuller than a strand of spaghetti. Not even a fettuccine noodle, mind you. I’m talking angel hair pasta here. Do you know how difficult it is to put lipstick on pasta? Needless to say, I do.
So the other night I ate a mango. (How’s that for being discursive?) I love mangoes but they don’t return the sentiment. In fact, they make my lips swell. But that didn’t stop me. Two hours afterward, my lips became plump. AH HA! My new mantra was born: Eating a mango a day keeps thin lips away.
Now don’t get me wrong; I didn’t resemble Angelina Jolie or anything. With her lips on this face I’d look like a Rosy-Lipped Batfish, don’t you think? But I did get fuller lips. Then they turned red, cracked, and started itching.
Before that happened, however, I looked in the mirror. I smiled, I frowned, I puckered into a kiss. And ya know what? I felt like an impostor. Full lips, I discovered, do not suit me. They were as out of place as a snow blower in Death Valley. Or maybe a vegetarian in a steak house. I can’t decide.
What I discovered from my mango fiasco is that I’ll never have lip-plumping injections because who knows what or who I’d look like? You know what they say:
Sure, I wish I had lips. I’d also like to have a better memory and sharper eyesight. But we’re given what we’re given. And truth be told, although it can be a bit scary to look in the mirror these days, this devil has grown accustomed to her face.
My trick? Just don’t look too long or too hard. And keep the lights dim. That’s a biggie.