“My son just said the cutest thing,” chirped my daughter. Excited to hear the latest bon mot from my adorable grandson, I eagerly implored her, “Tell me, tell me. What did he say?”
Just as eagerly my daughter replied. “He said, ‘Mommy, your face is all smooth. When you get old will it be crunchy like Bubby’s?’”
Crunchy?! Yes, I’ve written about my wrinkles – about owning them, about affirming the life that produced them, even about other such “flattering” comments by the aforementioned (and now less adorable!) grandson. But it seems that I don’t quite believe my own PR.
It seems there’s still a piece of me that’s bothered. I’ve spent the last week staring at the faces of my contemporaries and marveling (read: feeling jealous) at their smooth, unlined skin. Frankly, it’s becoming an obsession.
And with it the potential for tremendous dissatisfaction. Added to the list of those who are taller, richer, healthier, and happier, are now those with smoother skin. It’s a road I really don’t want to walk down.
So I need to nip it in the bud. I made an appointment for Botox and filler injections – not. (I don’t have a principled objection; it’s just expensive and doesn’t last!) I didn’t make a commitment not to look in the mirror either (although those ones in the airport restroom with the fluorescent lighting should be avoided).
Instead I made a commitment not to care – not to care about the wrinkles (this is the skin the Almighty gave me), the bigger houses (ditto), the longer legs, the fatter bank accounts...Everything I have is exactly what I need to achieve my potential, to be the best I can be, to get closer to my Creator.
It’s not a new idea. It just requires constant review. Because the possibility for jealousy and resentment is everywhere, bombarding us from all sides. (Do I really need to see those models with the perfect dewy skin every time I want to buy some groceries?)
I actually don’t spend that much time thinking about my wrinkles (compared to the time spent thinking about my weight for example!). It was just that offhand (and supposedly cute) remark that triggered it and that ongoing reflection about the danger and destructiveness of comparisons.
I’ve made a commitment not to care. I’ve made a commitment to remind myself that I have exactly what I need. But, to paraphrase Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, I can’t help but wonder “would it be so bad it I were an unwrinkled woman?”
I guess the answer is yes!