Photo by Carvalho (it’s not me)
I don’t mind getting older because the alternative is death, but that’s where my tolerance ends. I don’t like taking pills to maintain bodily functions. I don’t like waking up at four in the morning and not being able to go back to sleep. I don’t like peeing a bit when I cough or sneeze. (sometimes, not ALL the time)
And I don’t like getting wrinkles. Wrinkles on my face, my neck, my hands…they’re annoying and distract me from believing I’m still a relatively attractive, smart, capable woman. They distract other people from seeing it as well. I get 20-year-old dental hygienists calling me “sweetie” and patting my shoulder, grocery clerks asking if I need help to my car, and sales girls directing me with, “you might like some things in THIS part of the store” (sweetie, pat, pat).
I’m sixty-freaking seven, not a hundred and two!
Etna Quinlin Welch
In her later years, my paternal grandmother had the most beautiful network of wrinkles on her face. A Kentucky farmer, she worked in the sun most of the day, working the tobacco and tending to the large vegetable garden out behind the stable. Long before sunscreen, she wore a bonnet to keep the sun out of her eyes, more than protecting her face, and never used anything other than Corn Husker’s Lotion to soothe rough or reddened areas of skin. My sisters and I used to help her by pulling the seedlings from the fabric-covered beds so my dad and Aunt Hazel could set them in the field. We tormented the caterpillars dining on our tomato plants, dug potatoes, picked and shelled peas, and counted our sweat bee stings. The one with the most was the winner as long as she didn’t cry.
Wrinkles, although probably not welcomed, were accepted, like the hard wind and rain that came in spring, washing deep gullies in the plowed fields. Honestly, I think a face with wrinkles can reveal so much about a person. A testament to their life’s adventures, to their hard wind and rain.
It’s deemed unacceptable today. Wrinkles are bad. We must minimize, abbreviate, eliminate, and eradicate. We spend thousands to do this, without much success. It makes me mad (frown line) to see the commercials depicting young, smooth-skinned women, touting a product that reveals their “younger, smoother, looking skin. Big Woo!
I don’t hate wrinkles. I just don’t like getting them one…by one…by one.
I propose, “Wrinkle Day”
In my perfect world, no one would get a single wrinkle anywhere, until they wake up on their 75th birthday. Then VOILA! All of the wrinkles they will ever get in their lifetime will appear on their face. No one could postpone or avoid it. No miracle creams, syringes, or surgical procedures could change it.
One thing I know for sure. If there is something that is inevitable for everyone, everywhere. Society will put a positive spin on it. It will be a day of celebration, Wrinkle Day parties with a cake and presents, photographers, caterers, friends, booze, and medicinal marijuana, in certain states. Wrinkle Day greeting cards, T-shirts, and restaurant specials will all boost the economy and make old people feel good about the arduous process of aging. It can become a fundraising event for septuagenarian charities. “Guess how many wrinkles the mayor will get on his Wrinkle Day! Dollar A Guess! (Ten for $7)
Septuagenarian, the word for people in their 70’s. We don’t use it often now, but individuals will embrace it on Wrinkle Day. This would open up a whole new path for the fashion, food, and the personal intimacy market, i.e. silver-streaked vibrators, two-seater, walk-in tubs, and edible Depends.
Maybe not that last one.
I’ve purchased www.wrinkleday.com and am ready to begin a mass marketing campaign once I figure out how to make it all happen. I believe with the exploration of genomics and the determination of this aging sexagenarian there is hope for the future of Wrinkle Day.
It makes me happy just to think about it. (crows feet)