I forget at what age it was I read about these very thin, imagine hair width barb wire that you could have wired under your skin and it would hold everything up – everything in your face which would otherwise succumb to gravity. In actuality it sounds pretty gross but conceptually it’s genius. And I started to think, wow, if I could just wire up my falling eyelids. And then it was, maybe a longer one to my chin. A few years later is was, how about they start at my head and just run a wire down to my hips. This year it’s I wonder what it would cost to have one wire from the top of my head down to my knees and they could just tighten it every year? You see the problem?
Body issues. Come on. We all have them. I was out running today. It was hot, but not too hot. I debated taking off my shirt but there are issues.
Here’s how I see myself when I run. In the summer. Not in winter. Then, thankfully, I am clothed from tip to top, but summer, you have to go sparse.
So it starts out with 2 tooth pick legs. This isn’t self deprecation. I once had a friend exclaim “You can stand on those things!” and my own mother once said “you have legs like a chicken” so this is documentation not speculation. So they’re tooth picks with saggy knees. I’m thinking of maybe starting a line of cocktail toothpicks with body parts. Saggy knee toothpicks. Or beer belly tooth picks. I mean the possibilities are endless although you’d have to be over 47 to really get it.
Above my gams are tiny hips which somehow expelled at rate slightly faster than light speed 2 children. Not built for speed but produced it anyway. Go figure.
On top of that is the slightly muffin top waist. My waist has always been my bane and now that things are reacting to gravity the whole love handle thing has new meaning. Love handles? How about love shelves. When did that happen? What used to be a non-existant waist has fallen down a few steps resting squarely on my hips. Love handles my ass.
Oh, and speaking of my ass, I used to have a good one. I made the mistake of looking at mine today. Excuse me and when did THAT happen? First of all sagging and secondly something resembling cellulite with dimples. Are you kidding me? How come it feels so tight when I reach around to put my hands on my hips and yet in the mirror it screams holy cow old woman get thee to the nearest burka!
Above my muffin top is the remainder of a six pack. There are some abs left but only a few. Think I had a six pack, I drank most of the beer, maybe theres 2 left and I put the empties back in the box. Six pack redux but not. That’s where I’m at. A few empty Buds and 2 two which when opened are probably flat anyway.
Speaking of flat, then there’s my chest. Thankfully it’s smallness lends to not too much sagging. Unless I’m in a running bra and then there’s nothing there at all. If something doesn’t exist can a gerund be applied to it? Can a ship be sinking if there’s no ship? It begs the question.
Neck: sinewy. Beats a double chin by a hair. A chin hair. Oh. Have those too.
Brings us to the face. This is inescapable. One can easily avoid looking at one’s derierre because frankly, the twist needed to even get to that angle is painful but one’s face….even avoiding mirrors like you’re dracula, it just crops up in store windows, ponds, everywhere. And I love the terms I suppose dermatologists have come up with. Puppet lines, for the lines that appear on either side of your chin to separate the sagging jowl from the now dimpled, not sexy cleft, of your chin. Puppet lines. How about ventriloquist dummy lines, too long? Great.
There’s the hair like tusk that won’t leave your upper lip (see prior post regarding dating panic around that). The fine lines that appear over your upper lip which I’m now told are exacerbated by drinking from a bottle. You mean those ubiqitous bottles we all carry around because the body needs water? And I thought the chemicals in the container would kill me, but no, now I can worry about the lines it’s going to produce over my lip defining me as no longer part of the pepsi generation. Hopefully the plastic will kill me first.
I once heard a comedian say when you hit 40 you get laugh lines and you’re going to wonder just what the hell was so funny all that time. Me, I don’t have to wonder, just one word. Restylane. That’s all I’m going to say.
My eyes….let’s not even go there. Ok. I’m going to go there. The first sign of eye problems, not sight, that was years ago, but eye problems regarding vanity is the time you go to put on eye shadow and the skin bunches up and follows the brush. You have to go over the same area a few times to get into all the crevices. What? When did THAT happen? Since when does my skin move? Bags, crows feet, darkness, loss of something that makes you look skeletal. Boom. You wake up one morning and that’s all there. The one saving grace of failing eyesight is you don’t really see it. You can’t see your face in the morning because the mirror is more than 6 inches away. You put on makeup, you put on your glasses and WHAM! YOu look good! You can live with this delusion until the day you put on your contacts. Contacts go on BEFORE make up. Suddenly you have clarity in the mirror paint-my-face and it is NOT pretty. It’s a case against contacts if ever there was one. Ignorance actually IS bliss.
My dermatologist last time I was there mentioned my eyes were uneven. One brow lower or lid or something. Thank you. I will add that to my list. And I’m paying you for this service? Can you just remove the black thing growing from my arm and we can call it a day?
Rabbit ears. Are you familiar with rabbit ears? If you are, you’re not 20. Those little lines at the inside of your eyebrows bewteen your eyes. Rabbit ears. I keep saying it because, what, is that supposed to make them cute? Oh, you squinched your eyes once too many so bugs bunny now resides on your face? I have a friend who said I look like bugs bunny and I hated him until I realised he was 100% correct! Teeth a tad too long, goofy grin, big cheeks and now, in my 40s I finally achieved the ever missing ears. I’m so grateful.
Foreheads are the compensation for laugh lines. Frown lines. I must frown a lot because think latitude lines on a map. Why is it that the frown lines and the laugh lines don’t cancel each other out. I was pretty much as unhappy as happy as one can be in life. They should equal nada. Or actually, I was more happy than unhappy, why don’t I just have deep laugh lines and no frown lines? There should be some parity there and I would like to know who I can talk to to have that corrected.
You think I’m done, right? Got to the forehead. No my friend. There’s more. Hair. Nora Ephron once said at least when I’m dead I won’t have to worry about my hair. At least she had it til the end. Thinning hair. It’s a Samson and Deliah thing, with Deliah being the grim reaper. Slowly cutting away your strength vis-a-vis your hair. Mine is blonde thanks to my colorist, thin thanks to menopause and curly thanks to a return to my youth which is also what will land me in diapers at some point, but that’s another problem altogether. I’m still waiting for that.
So this is how I feel about myself when I’m out running. Sometimes I take off my shirt and just run in a running bra and think, what the hell. Those people with hard abs and thin waists and muscular legs are in their 20s. Or 30s. Oh, wait, she’s gotta be 60, what the …. ?
But I was out running one day and I guy was running toward me, good looking, age appropriate, giving me the eye and as we passed I smiled and he then gives me the snake tongue, gallallalaaga. Like some insane serpent trying to smell me as I go by. Did I need that? I turned and yelled, Really? Necessary? and then turned back only to trip over a rock and do the cartoon character imitation of scrambling to get back on the cliff after the dynamite blows it away. You know, flailing arms, feet running in mid air. It’s very sexy. Very dignified. This tiny stick figure grasping pathetically at nothing in mid air. I wonder why I’m single.
It was the proverbial nail in the coffin in meeting anyone while out running. At least there are no mirrors on the route, so long as I don’t fall in the reservoir.