Product placementUnlike everyone else out there, of course, I thought I would always be young. One of the casualties of my husband's illness and death was my own sense of perpetual youth--oh, sure, it would have died on its own, but losing him finally stripped me (or, perhaps, freed me?) of my sense that I was not yet grown up, that I still had most of my life before me, and that I had innumerable possible lives. And, of course, having a child is a pretty big wake-up call to mortality, and to the real meaning of permanent obligation.
But in the last year, I have started to be aware of how old I look. Like most women in what I choose to think of as the prime of life (a fantasy I can cling to only by considering those in their 30s as "young"), I weigh considerably more than I did in my hotter days, due to a slowing metabolism, but also to giving up the miles of walking I had always done as a waitress. I don't mind the lines around my eyes, or mouth, or even the grey hair, except for its tendency to stick up like little wires. But I have that kind of super-fair skin that is prone to redness, sun damage and (say it!) age spots. When I was a girl, I remember advertisements for something called "Porcelana fade cream," designed to bleach (?) away age spots on the hands. Do they even still make it? It's not in my drugstore. But I hate the way the backs of my hands look simultaneously wrinkled and sort of puffy, and the "freckles" that no longer look youthfully frecklish. My hands look like my mother's hands--like they've done lots of laundry, loads of dishes, plenty of careless and inefficient digging around in the dirt (since I hesitate to call my occasional forays into planting stuff and then letting it die "gardening"). And the wrinkly/saggy skin right under my eyes--not the "laugh lines" at the corner of my eyes, but an encroaching crepe-iness that gives me a perpetually tired look.
So here's the come-to-Jesus consumer testimonial: NEUTROGENA.
Yeah, I love their sunscreen.
And now I am here, selflessly promoting this hand cream and this eye cream.
We now return to our regularly scheduled program of aging gracefully.