I first saw you in the mirror. I wasn't planning to see my reflection, so when I looked, unfiltered truth stared back at me. And there you were, the portent of Age: my drooping jowls. I hated you.
The second time I saw you, I was more prepared. I looked you square in the ... I looked at you. I said, "I accept you. I welcome you. You and I have much in common. You are not my enemy."
The third time, I said, "I honor your wisdom. I admire your stories and accomplishments. I embrace the struggles you've witnessed and your courage in overcoming them. I will never try to hide you with an Alexander McQueen floral print-silk neckerchief."
The fourth time, slightly breathless, I said, "If falling for the force of gravity is wrong, I don't want to be right."
Then I told you that I loved you.
But you didn't say you loved me back.
It was mortifying. After everything we've been through, I felt we had a deep bond forged by shared experience and suffering. I assumed we'd reached an elevated state together where harsh, external judgments about beauty couldn't touch us—a world where airbrushing was for people who don't know Charlotte from Emily. I thought you loved me too. But I was wrong. You're just as shallow as everyone else.
After that, I have to be honest. I started looking at other wrinkles. My crow's feet are warm and compassionate and obviously open to a relationship. So what if I don't have the same feelings towards them? At least they don't just sit there like some unhinged collagen fiber, expecting me to do all the work.
My nasolabial folds are fun and full of enthusiasm. They're always suggesting something surprising, like waking up at 4 a.m. to watch the sunrise together from a hot air balloon or building a fort out of tongue depressors. They make me feel alive.
I don't have to tell you about my glabellar lines—I suspect you've always been a little jealous of them, so silent, muscular and passionate. Believe me, they're not just trying to hide lack of substance beneath taciturnity. They've blown my mind on more than one occasion. Sorry if that hurts you to hear it. And in case you were wondering, elasticity does matter.
Did I mention that a friend was telling me about the benefits of sea plankton the other day? No?
Oh God, listen to me—I've become such a vindictive bitch. I don't want to live this way. I'd rather be emotionally vulnerable than bitter and closed to love. I refuse to let you have that power over me.
No response? What exactly are you trying to say?
Oh I get it. You think you're making me stronger by hurting me. Thanks, but I can do that all by myself. What I need from you is support and non-judgment. I would have thought that the one place I could find that was in the mirror. What a fool I was.
Well, I've got news for you (soundtrack music). I won't stop living just because my sebaceous glands are under-producing essential oils that women believe you can purchase for $475 in a 1.35 oz bottle. (Soundtrack music with rainstorm.) Maybe I'm crazy but what I've come to realize is that we're put on this Earth for a purpose and that purpose doesn't just end because you have the time and the money to book a cruise when you're in the mood to go on one.
And maybe you didn't notice this, but I'm a woman. This may come as a shock to you and to all the haters who dismiss me because Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato seem like the same person to me. We don't stop loving because our dermis begins to thin. Our dermis begins to thin because we stop loving.