Oh, I so remember spending the days at the pool in Midland, Texas in the 50's. The days were hot but the water was ice cold and the hamburger hut didn't care about trans fats. Hell, they didn't even know what ‘cholesterol' meant.
And basting ourselves with baby oil wasn't nearly enough. We put iodine in the baby oil so that our tans would turn a nice golden brown before the sun went down. Our skin was as smooth as dolphin hide, soft as a horse's muzzle and supple as a baby's buns. Now? Our skin looks like two-week-old zucchinis that got left in the sun and bleached. When we extend our arms to give directions the lower part of our upper arms hang down like elephant ears and our necks look like they are melting. Gee, I wonder why.
I just don't understand this because I still forget how old I am. I still get a jolt when I see a handsome thirty five-year-old man walking down the street. I do my yoga and feel like I'm thirty and then I see myself in the mirror and realize that I look like Lyle Lovitt in tights. When I wake up in the mornings I'm great until I find out I slept with the pillow over my face and now I have a wrinkle down my cheek that lasts till my 4PM appointment with a twenty-five-year old facialist who tells me that I've lost some elasticity in my skin ‘but don't' worry that's normal for someone your age'. I leave, depressed even though I've warned the little bitch that the mole on her neck will be cancerous some day and her lips make her look like a frog.
I walk out the door and see my reflection in the mirror. I have on no make-up and my hair is greased back from the oils that poor kid used around my hair line. I look like one of those flesh eaters in a zombie movie. Inevitably, it is at a time like this when a really nice looking fifty-eight-year-old Viet Nam vet walks by and tries not to make eye contact. That's okay because in that moment I want to crawl into the calking in the brick wall anyway.
Wrinkles and pouches and patches are just a reminder that our bodies are getting older with time because I swear our minds don't. My mind doesn't have wrinkles. It still thinks it's thirty five and can't figure out why the hands that do it's bidding now look like they are pleated at the wrists.
I do my best and slather my skin with daily lotion, put Retinol on my face and neck and soak in baths of Carnation instant milk. Remember Joan Crawford in ‘What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?' Or Betty Davis for that matter. I'm always afraid I'm on the road to that until I forget while I'm gardening or cooking or out with KK, all sparkling for the evening. I look at her and I see her soul. Once someone asked her what it felt like to see that her sister had aged and wrinkled with time. Her response? "Oh, did she? I hadn't noticed."