I recently made the mistake of buying a 10x magnifying mirror. I ask you, what was I thinking? There’s no good reason to buy an item that only magnifies your imperfections while accentuating those you had no idea you even possessed. But did that stop me?Let’s face it – we live in a youth-oriented society. Wrinkles are not appreciated here like in Japan or the Philippines, where those with nooks and crannies are revered for the wisdom that comes with age (accompanied by great storytelling). Nursing homes? What are those?
There’s a definite catch-22 to aging. On the one hand, eyesight diminishes. This is bad. But if you don’t put on your glasses, you don’t notice all the pet hair adorning your home that the vacuum missed. This is good. Therefore, I tend to avoid wearing glasses when I clean house. What I can’t see me won’t bother me, right?
Look at all the creams, lotions and fancy potions that reap billions of dollars for those sly enough to fool us into believing it’s that easy to turn back time. I call it Hope in a Jar.
They sell us Rapid Wrinkle Repair as if applying that stuff will quickly reverse the signs of aging that began as soon as we were born. Just dab on that cream and it will almost instantly take away those dreaded crow’s feet. Really? Are we that gullible? More importantly, are we that desperate to look young again?There are any numbers of “solutions” out there that prey on people’s desire to appear youthful. Something called Age Defying Ultra Firm and Lift Cream is supposed to make our 50+ skin look 25 again. (Yeah, right.) We’re told if we had been paying attention to the demise of our skin, we would have applied Retin-A a long time ago so our wrinkles and brown spots would hibernate a little longer.
I’m not sure about that, but this I know: going to the gym wards off premature sagging somewhat, and religiously putting on sunscreen definitely helps protect the skin. But try as we might, there comes a time when nothing we do makes a perceptible difference in our attempt to hold on to our youth. And I’ve got a newsflash for you: we aren’t meant to hold on to it.
No 60-year-old is fooling anyone into thinking she’s 30 from a facelift that pulls her excess skin like a taut rubber band, but still leaves her neck looking like a Shar Pei. How do you disguise a body with the muscle tone and skin of a soon-to-be-collecting-Social-Security elder? The answer: you don’t.
Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not thrilled with watching my body slowly degrade like a decaying banana. If you’re over 50, you know what I mean. First you get a little soft and then the brown spots appear one day out of nowhere and proceed to take on a life of their own until these “freckles” cover what was once a blemish-free canvas.And what about those little red dots you never had before?
They seem to crop up willy-nilly. What’s that all about? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you aren’t old enough yet. Your time will come.Anyway, why we so steadfastly resist a natural process in life is dumbfounding to me. If we’re lucky enough, we’ll all get old. And although wrinkles and sagging bodies are definitely not as attractive as skin that still has youthful collagen, we earn every last fold and crevice, so why not wear them proudly?
There’s a quote that says, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” Well that’s my motto and I’m sticking to it. (No matter how cruel Father Time treats me.) Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I love my nooks and crannies. No way. But like old friends, they do help define me. So I guess you could say I’m getting comfortable with my imperfections even though sometimes I wish I couldn’t see them.
But, luckily, I have a solution for that: I simply take off my glasses.
Originally posted in 2013