It’s my birthday. I’m 59.
This year, I’ve decided to blow up the face part of a photo a friend took of me this past New Year’s Eve, one half at a time, and post them both for all to see. So, way at the bottom of this post (and smaller, and awash in sepia tones), is the other half of the picture on the right. The wrinkled, droopy-eyed, and crooked-toothed half. I would never have done this on my 58th birthday.
I take great pains to make sure a bad picture of me never circulates past the delete button on a camera. I have always hated having my picture taken (“No look!” I would yell when I was two. “Don’t put me on Facebook!” I yell today), but I traditionally make sure I do something singular for myself on my birthday. So my gift to me this year is to get over it, already. Face it. Of course I have wrinkles. I’m practically 60.
Those of you who know me well are most likely aghast at my courage. This cannot be understated. I can be vain, and prefer to keep my fading face off the grid, and out of my mind. Obviously, it’s a sham that I’m as ageless as I am in my mind’s eye – walking around with an eternal youthful glow that doesn’t even need candlelight. But what’s the use of an imagination if not to blur lines?
But I’m also right-minded. And while a picture never lies, a picture is also all about the angle. So, for my birthday, I’m pointing my point of view on aging and all that it can do to a face as a good photographer does with a camera – towards the truth in the shot; the subtleties that underlie what is in plain sight. My truth in the shot below being: those extra-long facial fissures illustrate a lifetime of smiling. And, I’m practically 60.
In a recent article by Gina Kolata in The New York Times on a study of aging skin was this quote from scientist, Dr. Adele C. Green:
“After 55, aging’s effects on skin start to predominate.”
Translation: Unless you fill it, freeze it, or lift and tug your cheeks to the back of your head, your skin is going to pucker, furrow, fold and groove all the way to the grave.
So, at least for today, and until I have a chance to check out Retin-A, I will share my (yes, sepia-ed, but otherwise untouched) bad shot. It’s written all over my face – I’m practically 60.
Rhonda Remer said:
You are beautiful and your courage doesn’t surprise me a bit!
its a beautiful photo > personally, many years ago I attended an annual sheep & wool festival up in dutchess county NY and was astounded to see an array of women browsing the natural wool yarns , many of them natural white haired gray haired back to nature sorts of women at various ages, some wearing their beautiful gray locks in long braids or brushed long and wild, and I realized my God no two women have the same gray or white hair, they are all unique. It seems to me that we naturally go lighter as we age in hair color and this somehow compliments our aging skin and softens the wrinkles. and little or no makeup means the wrinkles are not enhanced. Im 59 too.
Christopher Cullen said:
Happy 58th from another member of the club!…Wishing you All the best!
Lois DeSocio said:
Thank you for the extra year, Chris!
Frank Terranella said:
Own those wrinkles. You earned them! And I don’t think they detract from your beauty.
I agree with Frank, Those wrinkles add to your wonderful character and are a sign of a long life well lived….be proud of them!!! AND you look beautiful. Happy Birthday!!!
You are always 19 in my mind. Not so much your looks (though you look fab!) but your laugh and your brio and your love of crazy. Happy birthday and many more girlfriend!
Happy birthday my friend!! You are beautiful inside and out….what wrinkles????
You are beautiful in so many ways…including your sparkling eyes and beautiful smile surrounded by your lovely face!
Victor Hellwege said:
” It’s not the years in your life, its the life in your years.”_ A. Lincoln.Where some see wrinkles, I see smile lines.With any luck we will all acquire many smile lines as time goes by. Here’s looking at you, kid. Happy Birthday!
anita seyler said:
As Anna Magnani said when shooting a movie “Please don t touch my wrinkles. It took me so long to earn them.”
anita seyler said:
HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!