Preview of Your Coming Attractions

When I retired after 40 years of writing columns for the San Jose Mercury News, I figured I'd said about all I could say. Wrong. I've realized that at age 76, I'm about 10 years older than the oldest baby boomers, who are now turning 66. My very average body has had a lot of experiences in those 10 years. I've learned a lot that could be helpful to people just starting on that same path -- what to do, what to avoid, what to keep an eye on.. Consider me your canary-in-the-coalmine for the boomer generation. Tune in regularly for the heads-up advice.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Saving Face

     What do you think about your face? You like it, I imagine. But as much as you did when you were young?
     Yes, I’m hinting about plastic surgery. The older we get, the more people tend to consider ways to look younger. I have mixed feelings about that.
     We’ve all seen the results of plastic surgery on celebrities. Sure, their faces look pretty good in still photos, but in live action, when those faces have to move, they don’t. I’ve never had much of a poker face, as anyone who has played cards with me can attest, but I still don’t think I’d like to be impassively frozen facially unless I was planning on a late-life career in Las Vegas.
     Neck jobs, though, I might consider. I notice that I now have wattles. Maybe that’s why some people call old guys “turkeys.” I could get those lifted and still be able to show some emotion on my face. Something to consider. Maybe no one would notice.
     Eyes are something else again. Skin tends to sag around the eyes as we age. A friend of mine’s skin had sagged so much that it was interfering with his vision. Doctors easily corrected that, and now he can see fine again. But he looks somewhat surprised most of the time – “wide-eyed” is the term. I’m not sure that I’d like to look like that. Crinkly smiles are nice.
     Full disclosure: I have had a few facial peels, but not as part of any cosmetic procedure. My dermatologist said I should do it to remove pre-cancerous skin blemishes on my face. The peels were painful – sort of like a bad sunburn – but after the redness went away, so did a lot of my fine-line wrinkles. My face was smooth as a baby’s bottom. An old, saggy, baby’s bottom, mind you, but a baby’s bottom nonetheless.
     I don’t think I’d do more than that cosmetically. My droops and wrinkles are there, but they’re my droops and wrinkles. Hard-earned over more than 70 years of living.
     I think I’ll keep ‘em.

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