Once again it is Theme Thursday and the theme is but a wrinkle in my mind. What I mean is that it got trapped in the folds between the part of my brain that thinks of nothing but food and the other part of my brain. I’m not sure what the other part of my brain thinks about but if you read my Friday Random thoughts it might give you a little insight or it might send you screaming down the street. This week’s theme is of course wrinkle. Now I have to tell you I hate wrinkles. I hate wrinkled clothes, wrinkled paper and most of all the wrinkles that have appeared on my face. I often look in the mirror and wonder if they make tiny Rowenta irons with which I can steam iron out the wrinkles around my eyes. This of course leads us to a story and my take on this week’s theme Wrinkle. So straighten out that paper, press the lines from your shirt and take out those pesky crows feet with some hemorrhoid cream and read my take on wrinkles then go on over to Theme Thursday and read what my fellow authors have written.
Gladys was feeling pretty good. Her long not yet graying hair was shining in the fluorescent lights, her newly semi-tanned legs were bare and her freshly painted pink toenails were shining in her cute summer sandals. She felt young, alive and jubilant. She looked in each of the shop windows as she strolled the alley way in front of the beautiful shops. Oh look what a cute sun dress and look at those shoes, she thought as she window shopped.
She was alone but not lonely. She was for the first time in her long life happy with herself. She enjoyed her own company. She looked in the mirror and did not see an ugly, buck toothed, big eared, nerd who was found under a rock but saw a woman who had grown into herself. She saw maturity but not age. She saw beauty where she had never seen it before. She had made it over that mystical hump of middle age and had found her inner beauty. Maybe it was the fact that she now saw herself through a man who saw nothing but beauty. Maybe it was she no longer felt in competition with every twenty-something out there. Maybe she had gone through her right of passage into true maturity where outside beauty was no longer independent of inner beauty.
She walked on seeing all the stuff she didn’t need or want but just enjoying the beauty and art of the items. “Hello” she heard as she looked up from studying some curvy perfume bottles. Gladys smiled at the young woman standing in front of her dressed in black. “Would you like to try our new line of face care products” the young woman pressed. Gladys smiled knowing she had plenty of time on her hands she replied “sure, what is it?” The excited young woman led Gladys to an ornate old Baber’s chair under a bank of bright lights. Gladys sat and listened while the young woman explained how this product was like none other. This product was an amazing break-through in anti-aging serums. Gladys had heard this spiel before. Isn’t that what all beauty products claim? Use this product it makes you look ten years younger. Use our mascara it will create eye lashes you never had or use our foundation and have the clear complexion you always dreamed of. Each claim pounded into us through print media, television and now social media. Hadn’t she, Gladys, purchased her share of products which promised beauty and youth in a bottle?
Then the girl smoothed a cream on Gladys’ neck and around her Winston Churchill jowls. She swept some cool lotion on the area above Gladys’ lips. Gladys sat watching in horror as she realized she was covered in wrinkles. Her face was just a wrinkle depository. How had this happened? She hadn’t seen these this morning when she patted on her Oil of Olay moisturizer and swept bronzer on her cheek bones. No in fact what she had seen was a smooth skinned woman. She had always passed for much younger than she was but now…now she was the Sea Hag from the Popeye cartoons.
She listened eagerly as Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles droned on about the effects of this miracle cream. She listed an impressive array of celebrities who used this elixir all of whom now looked years younger than they really are. “You know that woman who stars in that really popular show on Sunday night” she whispered conspiratorially as she looked over both shoulders. Gladys nodded eyes wide and breathless. “She is really much older than you think. She is over FIFTY” the girl exclaimed. Gladys squeaked in disbelief. “That Sex In the City actress? Yeah that one” she went on “she too is over FIFTY!” Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles made sure to almost shout the word FIFTY but whispered every other detail of her pitch. She had Gladys hooked.
Gladys’ mind began to wander. She had visions of applying this golden cream and instantly looking not only twenty years younger but like a movie star. She saw herself leaving the mall with a gaggle of Paparazzi snapping pictures and people whispering to one another “wasn’t that Gladys? Oh my HOW does she stay looking so YOUNG? Isn’t she in her forties? Oh no, she is in her FIFTIES”. She had visions of herself sitting in restaurants with people clambering to buy her drinks and wanting autographs. Yes, she thought, I must have this cream. I must have it now.
She grabbed the bottle of cream and held it close to her chest “So how much is this stuff?” Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles smiled knowing she had a dupe. She had set the hook and she was reeling in her fish. “This bottle will last you for six months and only cost $250.00.” Gladys swallowed hard. She held the Holy Grail up to the light and looked at all 2 ounces of the precious liquid. “I want a bottle this size, not a 55 gallon drum” Gladys exclaimed. Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles merely smiled that un-wrinkled smile “oh that is for that size, but look at me. I use it every day and I’m” once again she takes on the conspiratorial tone “over FORTY.”
She had Gladys right up until then. Gladys was ready to hock her great grandmother’s engagement ring for a taste of a smooth wrinkleless face. She would offer up her first born child and throw in her little dog for no lines around her mouth and taut skin around her eyes. Heck she would sign her soul over to the devil if he would give Mr. Churchill back his sagging jowls but this was just too much. “Over forty huh” Gladys questioned eyeing Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles’ non-turkey neck. “How much over forty?” The salesgirl fidgeted feeling her sap seeping away from her. “I’ll be forty soon” she retorted. Gladys raised a wrinkled eyebrow forcing the large flap that usually covered her eyelid up just a smidge “how soon?” The shop girl shifted from one foot to the other looked at the floor and mumbled something that sounded like “in fifteen years or so.”
Gladys thanked the child for her time and started out the door and back into the corridor of the mall. She was so close to looking young. Oh well, she reasoned, I have earned these wrinkles, besides I think there was something wrong with that mirror. She finally reached the restaurant where she was meeting her loving husband for dinner. The maître’d called her Ma’am and gave her a seat in the brightest booth. She sat down at the table and looked over the menu as Kahuna sat down across from her. “You look GREAT! Wow what did you do to yourself” he effused. She looked up at him and smiled. “Did you get your hair done? No, wait you changed your make-up. No that’s not it. You look ten years younger! Come on what did you do?” he was studying her face hard now. “Really? Do you really think I look different?” she responded. Kahuna leaned further over the table and studied her up close. “Yep, definitely look younger. Your crow’s feet are hardly noticeable.”
It was too late. He was talking to himself. All he saw was the back of Gladys’ head running out of the restaurant and through the mall waving her credit card and screaming “Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles! I’ll take the 55 gallon drum!”
Saturday at the Maul
15 hours ago