It’s conceited and pathetic, but as I approach the middle of my middle age, I realize I’m running out of anti-aging options of the non-surgical sort. As I scamper to Sephora to redirect the effects of time and three children upon my body, I believe I’m about to lose the battle and expire among the vast menagerie of creams, fillers and lacquers that I’ve felt compelled to sample lately.
During a recent Pilates class, I screamed that my body was falling apart like an old Buick. My Pilates friends helpfully pointed out that I dropped my transmission in the parking lot, I’d already lost my headlights to Dr. Krafchin’s skilled scalpel and my chassis, while holding a plank, was about to be recalled.
It’s all going to hell in a generic Louis Vuitton handbag.
Yesterday, I was bound and determined to fit into a dress I purchased in 2012. To accomplish this mission, I enlisted the help of a torturous device whimsically named “Spanx.” It looked like a girdle-meets-chastity belt.
I was able (while laying flat on the floor and spraying my torso with WD-40) to contort my body into that apparatus, and by God, it worked. It was impossible to exhale, chew or go to the bathroom all evening, but who cares? My belly was incognito and the dress zipped. I sucked it up (literally) and wore that damn thing even if it killed me.
And, it almost did.
I couldn’t squat for a week.
But it’s my face that is the most disloyal of all my parts. I’m the proud owner of a frown line between the eyes which rivals in size and depth the San Andreas Fault.
What more can I do?
I treat it to facials when it’s looking sad, moisturize until it resembles a pig rolled in lard, and painstakingly apply more makeup in a day than any self-respecting drag queen would wear in a week.
What else is there?
I’ll tell you what else. I should’ve taken better care of the only face I’ll ever have when I was younger. If I could tell my 16-year-old self this nugget and have me go back in time and really heed this advice, instead of the advice about not drinking so much Malt Duck, pre-prom: do not coat yourself from stem to stern in enough Bain du Soleil to cover a barn. Do not use your double album cover of ABBA, covered in aluminum foil, and hold it under your chin to catch only the most harmful ultra violet rays! Do not use Mercurochrome mixed with baby oil for extra reflecting powers! Stay. Out. Of. The. Sun.
You know what happened when Icarus flew too close to the sun, right? Down in flames, baby. That’s my face.
Torturing ourselves to aggressively turn back time is painful stuff. Can’t I embrace the changes? Become one with my wrinkles and sagging skin?
Hand me those Spanx and I’ll wriggle into them before the mustache depilatory, but after the Botox, glycolic acid peel, seaweed mask and a hearty shaker of Malt Duck. If you need me, I’ll be in the body shop.
Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at [email protected]