Unaltered

I love teenagers they keep my ego in check.  The other day, I was enjoying lunch my with preteen and teen kids, man my kids are mean, do they take after me?   So-my mom and my dad were there, Dad-who despite being in a wheel chair has all his hair and fewer wrinkles than me, despite those Pall Malls, we’re logging some family time.  My kids proceeded to tell me that I looked older than my mom-Damn the wine and steroids.  Damn the Ban De Soleil ads.   Damn my mother prodding me to get out of the sun why didn’t she just say “Lisa, spend another hour or two out their in that 2:00 O Clock sun sweetie.”   My kids secretly clicked away as I told stories at lunch.  The click was my phone- they had slid it outta of my purse undetected.  My forehead up close has serious wrinkles.   Each one having a different story for all the seven wrinkles stacked like ripples in the sand perched above my brows.     They giggled…which caught my attention.  Teenagers don’t laugh.  I realized they were taking photos of me, good and close up, making sure to get the dry texture of my skin and the freshly puffy eyes from sleeping in.   I had thought I’d looked good when I left the house?  Then….they took photos of the forbidden zone.  Yes-my forehead!   The ripples are deep as deep as the unfortunate life episodes that carved them there.   Each one a mark of time, a tear-filled, anger filled, episode -that one most prominent had to be where they cuffed me and put me in the back of the car.   I don’t drink anymore……but indeed the ones on my forehead made me want to excuse myself from the table and demand Cherie my hairdresser come right over with her scissors and snip me some bangs -NOW.   My wrinkles matched the ripples on my textured olive green sweater.  The sharpness of the iphone photos are incredible.   My forehead looks like Gordon Fucking Ramsey’s!  Shit, less coffee, more night cream.   Suddenly I wanted to get home so I could have some Chevy Chase frozen faced unnaturally blonde facial lady inject poisonous shellfish toxins into my forehead and end this discussion.   But then what would happen?   Like Pandora’s box, I’d be like the celebrity addicts Michael Jackson, Joan Rivers,  Carrothead….top, whatever-I would turn into one of those airbrushed addicts who then look at their lips and suddenly think they should be bigger? Then their boobs, then their mouth starts talking to them in slow mo looking like Mick Jaggar’s -everthing looks distorted and imperfect.   Id feel like a teenager stoned for the first time sitting on the sink looking with panic into the bathroom mirror.  Then the lines around the lips reveal every imperfection looking like a cigarette must have plugged that fumarole nightly and cocktail hour must have lasted until dawn.  I mean wrinkles are like worse than belly fat!  Thanks god I don’t have fat issues.  Eegads.  The wrinkles spoke now like that man’s boil in the movie “How to get Ahead in Advertising.”  My appearance would taunt me.  I would demand my eyes be pulled tighter until I looked like Connie Chung and I was craving Oxycodone hourly.    Later I asked my uncle if I looked older than my mom, he answered, “it depends on the lighting. ”  I decided surgery might take me down-the remedy would be bangs, Mexican potency advanced levels of Retinol and rose tinted glasses everywhere just like Jack Nicholson. Cause quite frankly there is nothing less than genuinely real about me.   I’d surrender Lisa to the knife, why now?  Besides, I really am prettier inside. Some day when my kids call me to borrow money, they will have my entire plastic surgery fund, the one I didn’t use-at their disposal!

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