I haven’t quite decided which is worse. Looking fat or looking old. Unfortunately for me, the two seem to be mutually exclusive. Let me explain.
After seven weeks in Weight Watchers I have lost a total of 20.2 pounds. Fabulous, right? The only problem is that my face, which was once pudgy and prime, is slowly deflating. At first this wasn’t a problem until I realized that the fat had actually been stuffing my wrinkles, eliminating them altogether. As the skin settles closer to my skull, it’s beginning to pucker and sag. I’m becoming svelte, slender, and shriveled. It’s hugely disappointing.
I first noticed this while driving my car. As I looked into the rearview mirror I noticed a distinct line between my eyes. I thought it was a stray eyebrow hair and immediately tried to remove it. It was no hair. It was a deep-set wrinkle! You’ve heard all those smartypants newscasters warn about how stress causes premature aging? Turns out they’re right. All those years I furrowed my brow with worry and anxiety have permanently scarred my forehead.
When I lived in Japan my friends used to slap my forehead whenever I furrowed my brow. They warned that if I did that enough, like crossing my eyes, it would eventually stay that way. You don’t believe things like that when you’re 21. But I tell you what—it’s been fifteen years and I believe them. If only they’d wacked more sense into me.
My friend told me that some women scotch-tape their foreheads when they’re home to prevent brow-furrowing like a poor woman’s Botox. Sadly, for me, it’s too late for that.
But it turns out that happiness causes just as many wrinkles. I curse my mother for extolling the virtues of a healthy smile. I now have jowl lines and crow’s feet as evidence of all my virtue– a thing that didn’t preoccupy me much before I began losing weight. I’m just praying my skin still has enough elasticity to bounce back. That or I’m counting on modern science to develop the technology where the skin from my children’s buttocks can be grafted onto my face. Considering all the skin they’ve stretched out in other areas, I figure they owe me a cheek or two.
I guess the moral of the story is, keep your expressions consistent. Either furrow or smile, but don’t do both. And apparently you shouldn’t sleep on your face or put your eye makeup on with your pointer finger—it’s too strong. The ring finger is best suited for that, being weak and all. I know, I’m learning all these beauty tips a little late in the game. But 20 pounds ago, I could apply makeup with the palm of my hand and sleep with all three children on my face. The sacrifices you make to be thin.
So I’m opting for old. That’s all there is to it. And if my skin doesn’t bounce back, at least I’ll have my skinny jeans (okay, okay—size 11 jeans). That and I’m still banking on the skin-grafting.