I have a wrinkle. My first one. It's a small vertical line in my skin, not quite halfway between my eyebrows. It doesn't go away when I stop smiling. That's how I know it's a wrinkle.
I'm not so much concerned that I have one. I'm one of those who's excited about finding gray hairs, admittedly maybe at least as much from principle as from a sense of aesthetics. (Though among many others, a young John McCain reminded me again that gray can be good--who knew he was so good looking back in the day?) But I am worried about how I got it.
I got it from furrowing my brow.
Brow furrowing! Alas. I didn't realize I'd spent so much time being grim.
I told this to a friend recently--"I have a wrinkle, and it's from furrowing my brow"--and the friend said, "I always thought it was a prayer line."
Prayer. That's a nice thing to think about me. But always, as in, before this conversation?*
I just got back from a week-long visit to Texas, and there my best friend Laura had this idea: If I want laugh lines (and I do--they're the romanticized result of a life of buoyancy, good health, and cheer), then I should turn lemons into lemonade. I should start laughing with my wrinkle.
Genius. Reminds me of my brother Jacob's newest favorite quote: "There go my people. I must find out where they are going so I can lead them." (Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin)
As a child the "it will stay that way" threat about ugly face-pulling seemed silly to me. Its illogicality was so obvious as to be nonsensical. The face--it's so plastic, so malleable. Wide mouth, rabbit nose, bubble cheeks, evil eyebrow, pursed lips. Turns out, I was wrong and folk wisdom is finally having its day. Who knew?
What I'm saying is this: The furrowing. Watch out for the furrowing.