Putting My Worst Face Forward

Lately my face has mounted a malicious campaign against me, and it’s being aided and abetted by my middle-aged eyes.

My near vision has deteriorated to the point where I can’t see myself clearly in the mirror unless I’m wearing reading glasses, so when I glance in the mirror I look great… as far as I know.  Wrinkles?  What wrinkles?  The soft-focus face I see in the mirror doesn’t have any.  It also doesn’t have any zits or nose hairs or big greebly chin-whiskers… until I put on my reading glasses and YIKES!

So I’ve gotten wise to the games of my traitorous body parts.  Now I wear glasses every time I look in the mirror.  They won’t get the better of me again!


A while ago I went for a physio treatment, then ran errands all over town.  When I finally got home I glanced in the mirror only to discover I had creases in my face that looked like a topographical model of the Grand Canyon.  No wonder people were giving me those wary sidelong glances.  Even a couple of hours later, the marks were still faintly visible.  Life just isn’t kind to redheads with fish-belly-white complexions.

So I developed a workaround for physio, propping my face at odd and uncomfortable angles so that I could get up off the table and still pop into the grocery store without frightening the other customers.

I smugly believed I’d won.  My face wouldn’t betray me again.

How wrong I was.

I recently discovered a floral art club that was having a public demonstration (and I just proofread that sentence and found I’d originally written “pubic demonstration”).  Anyhow, I popped in to take a look.  At the flowers.  Geez.

Being new in the area and hoping to make friends, I always try to put my best face forward at these events.  I was warmly welcomed and directed to a table where they offered free dainties and coffee/tea along with (to my delight) chocolate-dipped strawberries.

I snagged a couple of strawberries and sat down to gobble the goodies.  Then, being extra-careful because I wanted to make a good impression, I mopped my face thoroughly with the napkin just in case I had any vestiges of chocolate left on my lips.

The floral demonstration went on much longer than I’d expected, so I had to leave early to get to some other appointments.  Thank goodness I’d been sipping tea, because that meant I also needed to pee.

I ducked into the washroom on my way out, and no; I didn’t have any chocolate on my lips.  But I must have dropped a chunk onto the napkin before wiping my face, because my right cheek sported a giant dark-brown smear.  It was big enough to be easily visible from outer space anywhere in the room; and I’d been sitting there for an hour.  No wonder the other women had given me those odd tentative smiles before turning hurriedly away.

So my face has won another round.  I don’t even want to know what it has planned next, but I’m sure I’ll soon find out.

Please tell me I’m not the only one battling a subversive face…

35 thoughts on “Putting My Worst Face Forward

  1. These are the wrinkles of experience. Canyons of creativity is what they might be called. You’ll need to get over these changes because there will be more on the way.


  2. You ladies get the effects of really slow ageing over time but at least have the assistance of a makeup bag. Us guys wake up one morning to someone totally new to us. All of a sudden, overnight it seems, some dastardly phenomenon has aged us beyond recognition. We’re sprouting hair from our ears which was once on our heads and even from our nose. Apparently, the nasal hair leads through our central core straight out of our as…
    The crags on our face now make us looked ‘lived in’ and can compete with the Grand Canyon! Hands which once looked manly are now covered in ‘liver spots’ and all of a sudden, people are offering to help you across the road!
    Time for another glass of red…..


  3. Join the club! What is it with those face creases? Has every molecule of elasticity been removed from our facial skin. Sometimes I wonder if the creases this time will be permanent. Frankly I prefer not to see well sometimes. Nothing like going into a hotel washroom and letting out a blood curdling scream at the well lit sight of oneself! I so can relate to this post I can’t even tell you. Or possibly I just did.


  4. Love the thought about “up to something evil” with a smile on your face Ha! Smiles are my business; literally–I’m a dentist. And I go through life with a smile on my face to everyone I greet. This is mostly because I’m so nearsighted that until recently, I couldn’t tell if anyone was actually looking at me! Combined with the age-related farsightedness and a really great optometrist, I now can really see well. While working, I use magnification so don’t worry about my patients. During my teens, I wore contacts so I never wore makeup because the powder underneath a lens would be incredibly painful. Just never got into it. I inherited the pale ginger skin from mom so I totally understand the red splotches and freckles. And the food thing…who orders spaghetti with tomato sauce while wearing a white shirt?! Never fails!


    • You’re right – I’m pretty sure there’s some magic fibre woven into all white shirts that attracts brightly coloured foods! I wore contacts in my late teens, too, and I’m right there with you – makeup was bad news in so many ways. (Not the least of which being that I was never particularly good at applying it; and I could never remember not to rub my eyes.) 😉

      I’m glad you see so well now – not just for your patients’ sakes, but also because it’s such a joy to have crisp clear vision! My distance vision is still excellent, but close vision? Grrr. I’m eagerly waiting for the Bionic Lens to be approved… only another couple of years… (maybe): http://ocumetics.com/index.html.


      • I remember the Dr. explaining to me after RK surgery on my eyes, that they could correct my distance vision, but there wasn’t anything they could do to my age affected close vision (and she was right then). Sure enough, as I got older, my close vision has deteriorated. (Dollar Tree readers work great.) Wow! Now they can even correct for my age problem with my eyesight. Wonder when they will come up with something for all the other age related problems.


        • Wouldn’t that be nice? I had LASIK surgery, too, so I lost my close vision as soon as they corrected my nearsightedness. Wear reading glasses is annoying, but it’s SO worth it to have that wonderful distance vision! 🙂


  5. I’m just wondering when that old lady that greets me in the mirror every morning moved in. I know I don’t look like that (in my mind anyway). She sometimes also shows up when I accidentally take a picture of myself when I use the wrong camera on my phone.

    Also glad to hear that #13 is close to being started.


  6. My face is in cahoots with all the other faces here, apparently 🙂 The best thing I ever did was buy a small 6x mirror (I think that’s the magnification number); actually, I ended up with two – one for home and one for my purse. Makes it much easier to do what needs done and to check what needs checked.

    My chest is also subversive. If my face doesn’t have something on it, my front does. Chocolate, pizza sauce, root beer, you name it, if it will show up magnificently on my shirt, it’ll be there.


    • LOL! Yep, I hear you. I have a friend who always wears colourful print blouses to camouflage the results of the constant battle between whatever she’s wearing and whatever she’s eating (and whatever she’s eating, she’ll soon be wearing anyway). But I suspect the camouflage strategy wouldn’t work with my face… and it would attract at least as much attention as chocolate smears.


  7. If I look in the mirror without my glasses or contacts on, I just see a blended blob, kind of like a Picasso painting. Needless to say it’s difficult to put makeup on the days I wear my glasses instead of my contacts. I have to be careful or I’ll have mascara smudges on my cheeks just like your chocolate ones!


  8. A subversive face. Can’t say I have one of those, Diane, although I do have the four-mile-long eyebrow hairs, and the other thick hairs that I’m allergic to… and the occasional bald eyebrow… and nasal… Yes, I can say I too have a subversive face. (Sorry about the chocolate though – although I had to laugh!)


    • It’s okay; I laughed, too, after a moment of sheer mortification. Fortunately mortification rarely lasts very long for me. Life is easier when one has little regard for one’s own dignity… or lack thereof.


  9. When I looked in the mirror and saw my face, I was quickly reminded that even though my mind still thinks my body and face look around 40, with my glasses on I have to believe that I really am 68…what a bummer to the ego!


  10. You are NOT alone! And not just about facial subversion, either. Gad, where do I start…?

    I could mention all the times in the first grade when I walked into class and found myself the object of tsunamis of raucous laughter at the red lipstick print my mom had planted on my forehead. I could do probably six chapters on that, but I won’t even mention it. The recollections are just too painful to mention.

    Hm. Or having to explain to my CO in the Army why the shiny new cast on my freshly broken arm had WELCOME TO MALIBU in block letters and permanent marker painted on it Monday morning when I’d been assigned to weekend duty at the base…several hours away from Malibu, of course. But I’d rather not mention that one, either.

    Lemme see, now. Maybe the…no, not that one. Or how about the time that my buddy…oh, HELL no! Not THAT!!

    Hm. Nope, sorry. Forget I mentioned it. I got nothing. 🙂


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