Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Skin Well-lived-in

One day I woke up and my eyelids sagged. Bammo, just like that! Sudden onset eyelid sag. I met with my women friends, and all of them said their eyelids had started sagging, too. We examined each other’s eyelids. We denied the sag in others – except Lori, we got worried about hers – but still remained positive our own eyelids were still sagging.
This is how aging seems to work: all of a sudden, the years show up. Wrinkles or odd necks or furrows between our brows aren’t a gradual accumulation. SUDDENLY, they’re there.

Lately, I’d been noticing a new thing. I look down at my thighs while I’m running, and I notice jiggle. That’s not new. But this thin, crackly-looking, spidery skin is new. I know Alaska is dry and non-humid. I know our winters leave my skin dry, flaky, itchy, and parched; but I pour lotion on my whole body all the time, year-round. Now what’s happening? Oh, no, it’s at my elbow bends, too!

And then I’m on Facebook and a Suggested Post pops up: ‘Here’s how I tighten & lift “crepey skin.”’ I looked up from the computer horrified, as if someone were in the room examining my body. That’s what it is: skin the texture of crepe paper. But why did someone suggest this to me??? Are they looking at me?

Now, what to do? Do I click on the post and risk getting crepey skin posts for the rest of my life? But what if there really is a do-at-home remedy? I wouldn’t want to have missed out on the best way to de-seed pomegranates or use silica gel packets or peel ginger with a spoon – those were good hints. So I clicked.
And was subjected to a long – very long – promotional thing by some Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. It didn’t have the progress bar at the bottom so I had no idea how long it would go on, so I ended up quitting before the big reveal. I don’t know how anyone lifts and tightens crepey skin at home, but I do know why the post got lots of “angry” marks.

I know all these suggested posts are based on my Third Third demographic and our secret worries or obsessions. That must explain why I’m targeted with “The Heart Attack Culprit” or “Symptoms of Adult ADHD” or knowing my metabolic type. But I’m a little confused about all the college posts: “21 Colleges that are losing applicants.” Do I care? Do women with crepey skin still have kids applying to college?
Way back when, I was in a hair salon reading a Ladies’ Home Journal. Mysteriously, Anchorage had been profiled as the Beauty Capital of the U.S.: “Anchorage, Alaska comes out of this at the head of the class, largely due to its spectacular skin-index score.” The women in the salon were astonished: “Do we win a prize for dry, flaky skin?” I was dispatched to get to the bottom of this. I phoned the editor.

According to the editor, Anchorage is cloudy. According to the National Weather Service and based on altitude, cloud cover, and humidity, we are high on the “complexion-kindness index, based mostly on UV radiation levels.” “Ultimately,” the editor said, “on hair days alone, Anchorage may not be the most stellar performer,” but for skin, you’re THE BEST.

So there.

The crepey skin on my upper thighs covers muscles that run long distances. My skin is only skin-deep. It’s crepey, not creepy. (I’m practicing affirmations.)

And my latest Suggested Post: “The more intelligent you are, the easier it is for cults to brainwash you.” Hmmmm…


  1. Ba,ha,ha,ha... It only became a funny article after I realized you were not talking to a bunch of woman about my (Lorie) sagging eyelids and rather (lori)... But nevertheless I feel Lori's pain... 41 and eyelids dropping with everything else! Love your blog!

    1. No, not you. The thing is, if I lift my eyelids, I wrinkle my forehead....

  2. Funny, but this affects men, too. I rolled into my we-must-be-vain, gay male ego later in life -- I need only look at my (too many) early shock-n-awe photos of what I wore to confess this. So with my new awareness -- bless the goddess! -- I too am noticing the wear and tear of aging on my body. It's not pretty.

    Same stuff, really. And why wouldn't it be? We boys and girls are the same in all the important ways. But how men and women view aging and what their bodies do seems so very, very different from one another.

    Really? Not with guys I know. We noticed. Ok, so maybe we're given a 'pass' on having to wring our hands about it. And maybe not. Evidence in history is that men can and are every bit as concerned with looks as women -- it just ebbs and flows with time and fashion more.

    And that brings me to note we're entering a time when men can be peacocks once more. And why not? As a gay guy, I always understood what lots of women like about guys.

    So fear not. You are joined in this age-old battle with entropy by we, the less-fare sex! Now, where is my exfoliating cream?

  3. Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!


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