I’ll start with a quick digression. I’m currently in a car, on our way to Vegas. And I’m typing on my laptop. Don’t worry, I’m glancing around periodically to make sure I don’t miss any exciting dessert hills. My point: technology is amazing.
My grandma’s birthday is this Sunday, and unfortunately I’m missing the celebration…for Vegas (don’t worry, you’re not the first to tell me my priorities are skewed). To make up for it, however, I decided to go visit my grandma, take her out to lunch and spend a few hours going around doing whatever she wanted to do. It was quite the pleasant visit: I took her to JC Penny, she needed to buy a calling card from Costco, so we hit up Costco, we bought some yarn so she can make a baby blanket for Olivia, we hit up Soupplantation (her choice), and rounded up the evening by walking around Old Town Temecula and oogling at the price of “antiques.” All in all, it was a great day.
With one exception.
Grandma got me freaking out about wrinkles!! I’ve never been one to care too much about my physical appearance, much to my detriment, I’m sure. And although I’m on the cusp of 30, I hadn’t started to freak out about the extra lines on my face. Until my grandma mentioned it. “You really need to take care of your skin! You have too many wrinkles for someone your age.” Um….ok? She immediately made me put on some anti-aging, de-wrinkling lotion that probably has more chemicals in it than the stuff I use to clean our kitchen. Then she let me have that lotion and told me to make sure I put it on generously every day. “It’s expensive, but it’s worth it, you need to start spending money on taking care of yourself.” Don’t get my grandma wrong, she’s amazing and she’s not as materialistic as this one incident probably makes her out to be. It’s more funny than anything else.
However, it brings up a subject Jeff and I have commented on several times before, when we see people on TV who have stretched their faces beyond belief, and look horrid: why can’t people just let themselves age gracefully? I wonder when this infatuation started…I mean, it’s not like people around you don’t know how old you really are. Sure, maybe your face looks like your 45, but your husband knowns you’re 55, and your hands show that you’re 55. And people can tell you’ve had plastic surgery. Or botox, or whatever. Wrinkles are part of the circle of life.
I just don’t get it. But grandma made me wonder: am I being too careless in [not] taking care of myself, in my effort to not care about aging? Should I at least do the minimum and put on magic lotions? Or do we, ahem, society, put too much emphasis on de-wrinkled faces? And why? Why does a stretchy, but still older, face seem more socially acceptable than someone who just lets themselves be?
Food for thought.