Today I walked by the mirror in my bedroom and had to do a double-take. Whoa! My first thought was, “Who is that old lady and how did she get in my house?” I’m in desperate need of some hair color to cover the grays that are popping out and some eye cream to reduce all these wrinkles. Or Botox would be even better. And I’m only halfway kidding.
I remember sitting in Sunday School when I was about sixteen and one of the girls mentioned that she used eye cream to prevent wrinkles. (Yes, we often discussed very spiritual things like wrinkle prevention and acne medication.) Anyway, I was horrified at the thought of her, a beautiful 15-year old girl (with perfect skin, by the way), using eye cream. What in the world did she need that for? And her mom gave it to her? How vain is that!
Now as I study my own late-30-something face, I’m thinking I could’ve benefitted from some wrinkle prevention during my high school years. My first clue that I needed to take some action came a few years ago. Brienne (who was six years old at the time) and I were having a sweet mother-daughter moment. We were laying on her bed, staring into each other’s faces, having a deep conversation about Junie B. Jones or why orange shoes wouldn’t match her navy dress (or some other equally important topic), when she reached up, put her little hand on my cheek, and started rubbing my face. “Isn’t this just the perfect moment?” I thought. Then she said this:
“Mom, why do you have crinkles by your eyes?”
What??? Crinkles? Oh my word! I ran to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and gasp! Crinkles! When had that happened?
If these “crinkles” are genetic, I think I know what Brienne will be getting for her Sweet Sixteen birthday. A tub of eye cream. Yes, you read correctly. Not a tube of eye cream, but a tub. As in, a vat of eye cream. My motto has become, “One can never have too much anti-wrinkle retinol.” (It’s kind of a weird motto, but it is what it is.)
I keep trying to remind myself that Scripture tells us “Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old,” but honestly I sometimes wonder who really wrote things like that. I’m pretty sure it was written by an almost 40-year old woman who saw her reflection in her polished brass plate and was horrified by the wrinkles and gray hair. Her husband had probably started thinking she was looking old and worn out so she decided to feed him some baloney about how she was getting wiser as she got older. I wonder if he bought it… Anyway…
Despite what you may think, I’m not altogether disgusted with getting older. I do feel like I’ve learned a few things during my thirty-seven years on earth. But I also realize I have a lot left to learn. A lot. And before someone fusses, I do realize that thirty-seven is not very old in the grand scheme of things. But it’s also not twenty-two either. And it doesn’t seem to matter how old I get, there are still some things (my autocorrect just changed things to thongs and amazingly both words are applicable here) that just plain unnerve me and reveal my insecurities.
This afternoon I had an “assessment” of my piano and vocal skills by our worship leader and a worship intern. Apparently this is also known as an audition. It went okay, I guess, and we’ll see what happens from here. But for some reason, I was so intimidated. Obviously I don’t have a lot of self-confidence because we’re new to the church and the whole “band thing” is still a little bit out of my comfort zone. But mostly I’m intimidated by those young whipper-snappers (see how old I am?) who are on stage every week singing and playing. Every week as I stand to worship with the congregation I can’t help but think that I could be their mom. And unfortunately I’m not exaggerating. They’re all under the age of twenty-two, I’m sure of it. Except for our worship leader, who may possibly be twenty-nine. Not that age matters but if you factor in their youth and their amazing talent level, well, I just feel old. And not cool.
I guess tonight I’m just feeling the need to vent about some of my insecurities in hopes that someone else can identify with me. Maybe I just don’t want to feel alone as I get older. Maybe I want to know other people get intimidated by little things too.
And maybe now I’ll go slather eye cream on these crinkles.