Thursday, February 5, 2009
Youth is Wasted on the Unaware
Here's a picture of Zoe and I from last night. I hate to have my picture taken because of my rotundity. And to make matters worse, I'm wearing my No Make-Up Face. In other words, my Every Day Face.
I'm sharing this rare picture with you because yesterday was my birthday. My 43rd birthday. Yes, I'm getting on in years. Please, don't anybody send me another Sympathy card. I get it. Yep, I got it and I burned it.
To celebrate, and to be fair, I'm posting this picture so I can rip it apart. Hey, it's only fair that I do it to myself as well as the ones I love, and what better time than around my birthday, right?
For the past ten years or so, I've been noticing, usually several years after the fact, the subtle and not so subtle signs of my own aging. Since hindsight is 20/20, looking back I laugh at my naivete. That's because the aging process begins so slowly that you don't notice it from one day to the next.
For me, it's usually when I see a picture of myself that it hits me like a freight train on fire.
The first thing I discovered amiss was my chin, or rather, my jaw line. When I was 32ish, I was sitting in bumper-to-bumper Bay Area traffic in California, when I flipped down my vanity mirror and noticed that my jaw line at the chin was lumpy. What the Heckito?! I moved my face around for closer inspection, but it could only be detected from the one angle with my chin on my chest and looking up at the mirror. I dare you to try it the next time you're in your car.
I'll tell you this, I was not amused.
Looking back, I know it was the beginning effects of gravity on my face.
Then we moved to Idaho and I forgot all about my lumpy chin. Five blissful years later, when I was 37 and after getting our family pictures back from the studio, I looked at myself in the picture and I said "What's wrong with my eyes? I think my eyes are fat?!! Yes, they're all puffy and there's extra area above my lids. Dang, there's acreage. Well that's it, I have got to lose weight once and for all. For crying out loud, if my eyes are fat, then it's high time to do something about it."
Yeah, whatever. You can see I heeded that wake-up call.
Okay, I'm 37 and I've got a lumpy chin and fat eyes. What's next? Well, I'll tell you what's next.
Crow's feet. Don't even bother zooming in on my picture to check it out. I already erased them in PhotoShop. If I knew how to thin out my face without it looking like part of it had been amputated, then I would have done that too, believe me. But my skills as of yet are limited and clumsy, so I do what I can.
I also have parentheses surrounding my mouth, but they don't bug me like the fat eyes and the asymmetrical chin. The thing I'm really dreading is the whole turkey wattle neck that I know is just around the corner. When that happens, Peanut Head is going to have to just remove the poultry scissors from the house. It will be the last straw.
Yes, yes, I know this is all so superficial. I get that. I get it, but it doesn't change the way I feel. The saying that youth is wasted on the young really resonates with me at this point in my life. Really, if we could age backwards, we would appreciate youth so much more. Of course that's not the way it is, which I guess is one of those little ironies of life.
Throughout our lives, I think we have this image of our best self in our minds, and when we start aging, it forces us to realize that "Hey, you're never gonna be cuter than you are today, so get on with it."
For the most part, I still feel young, so I'm sometimes surprised when I look at myself in the mirror. Since I know it's out of my hands, I'm just going to try to not worry about it and see if I can age gracefully.
Oh please, that is such an oxymoron because everyone knows I'm a clutz. I think I'll just leave you with that little ironic tidbit.
SPECIAL NOTE: While I was composing this post, Zoe accidentally hit my mouse and published it before I was finished. I was left screaming "No, no, no! I wasn't ready for that! I have to get it back! I have to get it back!" It didn't work. When you hit the PUBLISH key, it's gone baby.