This morning I noticed that I am developing laugh lines. They’re still very faint, but they’re there… waiting to overtake my face and slowly turn me into my mother.
Discovering the first signs of aging is hard… I’m 27… not even 30, and I’m very depressed to know I’m going to end up with laugh lines… What makes this harder, though, is that everyone I know is older than me. A strange thing happens when you’re trying to talk to people older than you about things that bother you in your life… lemme give you an example.
Imagine, if you will, a teenager stressing about acne and the prom. If you’re over the age of 20… you’ll prolly smile to yourself. You know that in a few years the acne will clear up and prom will have meant little to nothing in the grand scheme of your life. High school, while seeming like the most important time in your life, ends up meaning virtually nothing. It’s just something you look back on and cringe at. In recent years it’s been made apparent to me, from talking to people of all social groups from high school, that high school was an awful, anxiety ridden roller coaster of disappointment for everyone. Including the popular group, jocks, cheerleaders, and anyone else you think might be enjoying themselves.
Having friends in their 40s-60s is kind of like that… except that they’re laughing at you, and shit doesn’t get better, but significantly worse. So today I mentioned to some friends that I discovered the beginnings of laugh lines, and that it makes me kind of depressed, and they laughed at me and assured me that time will ravage and rape my face and body, and that I’ll wake up one day and see the Crypt Keeper where my fresh faced young self used to be… but probably a fat version.
I’ve never worried that much about my skin. I’ve never spent much time in the sun, thanks to having had skin cancer when I was real young. In Girl Scouts, we went hiking, but I always slathered myself in sun block and thanks to my insecurities about my entire body, I was usually covered from shoulder to knee, at minimum. In high school I had some acne, but not as much as other kids did. My mother worried about it more than I ever did, only to buy me Pro-Active, which make my face SIGNIFICANTLY worse. It cleared up by the end of… Sophomore or Junior year, I think. As an adult, I tried to develop a skin care routine, but I am pretty negligent when it comes to moisturizing, using creams, or even washing my face… I just always had naturally nice skin, even if you can see the blue veins underneath it…. #pale
So finding laugh lines saddens me. I have a friend whose main battle in life has been their skin. They had terrible acne in high school that left their face a scarred landscape reminder of the war that was skin care through adolescence. In college, they went so far as to take Acutane to clear up their skin. Acutane has since been discontinued in the US because of side effects, but it was a form of Vitamin A that changed your skin cells and caused them to release less oil and made your skin renew itself faster than usual. It was discontinued because this shit wrecked the intestinal systems of many of the 16 million people that took it. While on it, my friend was also advised not to drink, as mixing it with alcohol can be fatal. As an adult, this friend has also done chemical peels, had all kinds of needles jammed in their face for resurfacing, had cyst dents filled, and gotten Botox. They look great now. Not that I ever thought they looked bad, but they’re happier, so I’m happy for them.
I’m not this kind of person, though. I’m not going to run out and price Botox because I’m getting some laugh lines. I’m going to be depressed about it, and actually nail down a skin care routine, instead. Aging is a battle you can’t win. You can hold off the invasion, but sooner or later you lose… you either lose because you end up looking aged, or you lose because you get too much plastic surgery and look alien. I’d list examples, but you can probably think of them… I mean… come on… we all know which celebs look weird and why.
My granddad aged really well: jet black hair till he started chemo, soft age lines… skin like paper, though. My mom is getting my granddad’s paper skin. She can cut herself on a butter knife at this point, and I predict it will get thinner with age. Lois (my grandma) had pretty okay skin… but it was devastated by diabetes. I’m kind of hoping for my dad’s skin. He and his family have pretty resilient skin. That doesn’t mean they age well, but who knows? They all did a lot of drugs and slept in the sun a lot… without those factors they might age like wine. Lol.
Anyways… today I’m sad because I found laugh lines… but I don’t remember laughing all that much in my life.