Catherine Durkin Robinson: 'What’s up with your forehead?'

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I sent my best friend Julie a selfie, while making a goofy face, and this was her response. “What’s up with your forehead?” We have more than 30 years of friendship under our belts, so ultimately I decided not to kill her.

I did think about it for a while.

I looked again at my picture.

Yes, my forehead. There are lines. I can’t deny it.

“Come for a visit,” Julie said. “I’ll hook you up with my dentist and she’ll introduce you to botox. It’s 2015, there’s no excuse for wrinkles.”
Unbelievable. I not only have to deal with pressure to look young from the media and my mother, but from my best friend as well. Julie goes to her dentist to get her teeth done, but the woman does more than just the mouth.

For example, next week, Julie will get a Vampire Facial. Check this out. They take a vial of blood from her arm, spin it to separate the red blood cells from white, and then inject the white blood cells into wrinkles. You still with me? Then they take the red blood cells, which is, essentially, blood. They pour that blood on her face and roll the blood into the skin with a tool containing little needles.
I know. You’re trying to eat breakfast, but stay with me.

The little needles create trauma on the skin, which brings more blood and collagen to the surface, decreasing wrinkles and brown spots.

Yeah.

Think about that for a moment.

And try not to throw up.

That’s why I visit Julie in between dentist appointments.

I thought I was doing just fine with chemical peels twice a year and regular routines with cleanser, sunblock and moisturizers. I thought wrong.

My mother has been warning me since puberty that an expressive face is an aging face. These are lectures my balding brother never receives. Men in my family never have to endure subtle reminders to laugh without moving a muscle, or magnifying mirrors and nose clippers disguised as birthday presents.

Every year the pressure to look younger gets more intense for women and women only.

This is a strange set of circumstances because I feel better than ever before: Yoga, running marathons, training for triathlons, and meditating to erase the urge to kill people during traffic jams all keep my body and psyche in great shape. At the same time, the lines on my face are deeper than ever before.

Every face tells a story.

Mine says, clearly, that I’ve been living with a funny man for the last two and a half decades. You can tell by looking closely around my eyes and mouth.

Okay, maybe not so closely. Maybe you can see them a mile away.

I laugh. A lot. And laughter leaves lines.

But still, that’s better than frowning, right?

My favorite actresses and performers are the ones getting older gracefully. They appear that way, anyway, rather than appearing to fight it. Kathryn Hahn, Catherine Keener, Kathleen Hanna, Kim Gordon, Marisa Tomei … they don’t look like they’ve had a ton of work. Their beautiful faces emote and express and I’ll admit it, watching them feels good. Empowering.

I’d rather look like them, than those pathetic females fighting the inevitable. I don’t want a Joker’s mask where my face used to be, especially one that looks like it’s been melting.

I don’t want to look like Joan Rivers.

She probably looks better now, after being dead almost two years, than she did during the last decade of her life.

But I won’t pretend that I’m perfectly fine with getting old. I need mood stabilizers before looking into that magnifying mirror.
Sometimes I want to throw a towel over my face.

Over my hair, too.

My natural reddish-brown hair is a pain to maintain. Grays won’t stop poking their way through my skull, ever more determined to ruin my day, and it costs more and more in money and time to cover them up. That’s why I thought maybe it was time to dye the whole thing silver.

What?

Silver hair is all the rage, and so I made the mistake of thinking about changing my hair color out loud. The reaction?

My mom almost lost her mind. Marc tried to escape through the back door. Apparently, silver hair looks good on 26-year-olds with young faces. On middle-age women, not so much.

On some level, this is good to hear. We need people in our lives who aren’t afraid to tell us the truth. On the other hand? Damn.

Truth hurts.

But I’ll try not to express it so much on my face.

Catherine Durkin Robinson co-parents twin sons, organizes parents for advocacy purposes, writes syndicated columns, mentors kids, runs some races, and avoids the sun. Follow her on Twitter: @cdurkinrobinson. Column courtesy of Context Florida.

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