Time seems to be moving along at a VERY fast clip lately. Riley (18!) has just returned from a solo trip to check out a potential college in central Washington, and Dylan (16!) not only just turned 16(!) but also nailed his driving test. Who are these tall-ass fully licensed adult-shaped humans ambling around my house leaving trails of Eggo crumbs?!

(Because waffles will always be a snack.)

While I’m complaining about the passing of time, let me expand that to include the ravages happening to the body as one creeps up on 50. I can’t believe I ever used to think that wrinkles were the biggest visible change when it comes to facial aging, when in fact it’s all the mysterious goings-on under the skin that make the real impact. I vaguely picture that all over my body there’s this layer of — what, collagen? Peanut butter? Fleshy goo? — that is actively degrading into what I once saw Anne Lammott refer to as “grandma pudding.”

A major topography change appears to be underway everywhere: my once-smooth cheeks have incipient sagging jowls now, I have crabby-looking marionette lines, my under-eye circles are both gloomy and cavernous, my chin just droops into my neck, and I recently noticed that the left side of my face is looking rounder/fuller than the right and I suspect it’s because I routinely sleep on my right side.

Tough stuff, to be honest. I know we’ve all got a whole plethora of shit to be dismayed about these days, but have you ever tried combining pure vanity about your appearance with multiple layers of existential despair? *kisses fingers, makes smacking sounds* Fucking nom nom IRRESISTABLE.

I do have a little trick for working through these feelings. Whenever I find myself getting too spun up about my aging face — as in going down the mental rabbithole of surgical/invasive treatments — I think of the horse I ride, Little Joe.

Little Joe is 18 years old, which makes him an older middle-aged/senior guy. One of the signs of aging with horses is that they lose fat and muscle tone around the eyes and experience bone resorption just like we do.

I think of his dear face and then I imagine the idea of his face not being good enough. I imagine needles of filler going into his eyesockets, or a surgical procedure that pulls his skin tight. Then I try to just let the batshit insanity of that feeling wash over to my side of the fence.


Perfection as is.

That might hold me over until my next Zoom call, anyway. They say aging isn’t for the weak, but the truth is it doesn’t matter if you’re graceful about it or a big old fat crybaby: it comes either way — assuming you’re one of the lucky ones.

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Swistle
3 months ago

Oh no I am crying about Little Joe’s perfect face

Jenine
Jenine
3 months ago

Damn, that is a good brain hack. Like advocating for a friend and then trying to advocate for yourself in the same way.
Waving from 56.75 and trying not to be bitter.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jenine
nic
nic
3 months ago

That is a great trick. Speaking of zoom calls, I find it essential to turn off “self view”. I don’t normally watch myself while in conversation with others, so why would I do so in an online meeting? Nope, I look in the mirror before I start (no food stuck between my teeth? No visible food rests on my face?) and after that I don’t want to see my own face again until the next bathroom break.

Kindra
Kindra
3 months ago

This really hits home and puts it in perspective, thank you! I have been struggling lately because many people around me are doing fillers and botox and I can’t quite get on board with it all… I mean you do you boo but I don’t know if it’s for me.

Barbara
Barbara
3 months ago

YES, all of this. Reminds me of how Jamie Lee Curtis recently posted a picture of her legs in a dressing room. They were fabulously saggy. And she was like, guess what, this is what legs look like when you’re in your mid-60s. So deal with it. Half of me was like, Hell, yeah! The other half was all, ugh… reality sucks.

Sara
Sara
2 months ago

❤️❤️❤️

Shawna
Shawna
1 month ago

OMG I remember how horrible the Cafe Mom commenting community was.

Sara
Sara
1 month ago

While I don’t love aging I’m equally horrified at the way women have started messing with their faces earlier and earlier. Now 20 year Olds are looking like 40 year Olds. And all of them end up looking all puffed up like they’re having an allergic reaction. Everyone is paying for a version of the same face and it’s bonkers.