In fact, I recently discovered I have a wrinkle-stache. If you don’t know what that is, well lucky you and your smooth upper lip area. When I smile? A line forms in such a way that it looks like I have a mustache. I don’t know when it made its first debut, but I remember looking at a picture and pulling it in real close thinking “What the ever-living hell is that? Is that a? Oh my God. It is. It’s one of those old lady upper lip wrinkles.” The horror. How is that even a thing? Crows feet and laugh lines, I get. But the wrinkle-stache has got to go. I’m not a Botox girl but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t Googled Botoxing the shit out of that uninvited line across my upper lip. Ok, and the line between my eyes. I just always seem to look angry or concerned and people always ask me what’s wrong. I’m getting old, that’s what’s wrong. I’ve got a good case of resting bitch face. Have they never heard of frown lines? And while I’m telling them to suck it in my head, I am simultaneously trying to remember what my hairdresser’s Botox lady’s name is.
So, yeah, I’m not feeling fine. I’m feeling fucking 70 years old.
My husband and I, romantically, bought our own Christmas gifts because we’ve been married 17 years and we are flat out over it. I get what I want. He gets what he wants. Annnd he gives me an extra surprise gift on Christmas day because he is still scared of me and not quite sure if I really mean it when I say don’t get me a gift. I do mean it, but it’s ok that he is still scared.
It just so happens both of our Christmas gifts came in on the same day. He opened his Amazon wrapped package with excitement and was planning a day where he could install his new exhaust on his 2017 Mustang GT. I ran with excitement and locked myself in the bathroom to read the instructions on my new skin care products, which included a derma-roller. I held that needle rolling face poker up in the mirror and thought to myself “Something is so wrong with this picture. He’s out there revving up his fancy car engine and I’m about to roll 500 micro needles across my face to get rid of a wrinkle-stache and my resting bitch face.” To add insult to injury, I drive a God forsaken mini-van.
And you know how I mentioned that I pulled that picture in real close to examine the wrinkle-stache? It wasn’t just because I wanted to verify what I was seeing. It was also because I can’t really see anymore. I bought an iPhone 7plus for the “camera” except it was really for the giant screen so I can actually see things again. I even large printed my text messages because I feel like reading glasses is a gateway drug for aging. If I buy those I might as well grab a bag of adult diapers for my sneezing problem. Oye.
Forty is hitting me hard, y’all. Some of you have already been there, done that, and have no sympathy for me. Just give a minute, ok? I will be fine, but I just need a minute to mourn the loss of my vision, upper lip, dark roots, and bladder control.
Getting older is getting wiser but it’s also a real bitch too. On top of all the physical signs of aging, my mental health is off the rails. I’m not quite to bald Brittany, but honey, I feel for her and I am not above it. There are times when everybody’s wanting dinner and clean clothes and money and lesson plans and to play fetch outside all at the same time and I just want to run Forest run. Being a woman is being so many things at one time. Now that I think about it, not one of those things is really even me.
A couple of years ago I had a weekend long panic attack. I was so scared and miserable that I had my husband take me to the women’s mental hospital because I wanted to be checked in. I wanted them to stick a needle in me and pump me full of something that would make it all go away. I was so badly off I wouldn’t have cared if he snapped a selfie with me and put it on Facebook if it meant I could get help. But, I wasn’t accepted. So, I came home trembling, vomiting, and crying for two more days. After a long road of anxiety pills and stress management techniques, I have a good grip on the panic attacks, but they sneak up on me sometimes. And just when I think I’ve got it bad, one of my best friends tells me she’s hearing voices and then I’m scared again. Scared for her. What do I do with that? All of the sudden things get very complicated and serious. Age can’t even prepare you for that.
This is 39 for me. Nothing is like it used to be. Everyday I’m very aware that I’m not living the life I really want or thought I’d be living and that I have a wrinkle-stache. I don’t want to have the cliché mid-life crises, but if I’m being honest, I think that’s what’s going on. The panic attacks, the recent investment in facial torture devices, the empty feeling at the end of a long day of teaching wondering what I want to do with my life.
So, I guess I just diagnosed myself with a mid-life crises. Now what?
This author chose to publish her story anonymously.