Monday, November 21, 2011

Crow's Feet

I love mine. Really.

You are going to think I am crazy to be proud of a certain set of wrinkles. Go ahead and think it. I remember, when I was younger and my skin was completely line-free, crinkling up my sunburned cheeks in a smile and thinking, "You know, those smile lines are going to be so great when I'm older."

Isn't that a strange thing to remember from my teen years?

Now when I stop smiling, those lines don't go away anymore. But I really don't mind. Maybe it's the influence of Hemingway's Brett, who early on in The Sun Also Rises crinkles her eyes up at some lucky soul. She's not a character to emulate (unless you aspire to drink a lot, feel miserable, and take up with a sexy young bullfighter) but it's clear from the crinkling eyes part that she has that certain something, and I've always wanted it, too.

We were thoughtless -- or should I say fearless? -- about the sun back then. As a child, I used to have to wear a T shirt to the beach during vacation to protect my shoulders and back -- after I was already fried red as a lobster.

Sunscreen was called "suntan lotion" and it was for Yankees and sissies. It was only for the beach, never for sports or daily life. If you used anything at all, it was SPF 4 or 8. Most beach lotions were touted as increasing the darkness of your tan. By high school the potion of choice was baby oil and iodine.

I thought my dermatologist was going to faint when I told her that last one. She still reminds me about it when I go in to have the occasional sun spot frozen off.

So, yes, I am paying for all that sun now. But I still think I look better with a tan. And I love those crinkles.

And for the record? I have a few lines I am NOT happy about, so I'm still normal.


  1. Those laugh lines are wonderful. I love to see means a life lived with humor. When I was a kid, I always wanted freckles...same sun process. Now I have some spots from aging - I admit to deep denial...they're freckles :)

    I had been to Hawaii three times before I even heard of sunscreen. And then it was a really heavy duty product for surfers called 'Bullfrog' which was, I think, almost all zinc. I like the look of a tan, too. I think partly because it represents, to me, healthy outdoor living.

  2. I agree. I've had the skin cancer scare and I do put on the sunscreen, but I still go to the beach once a year for my beach week with the girls. I think that's where the laugh lines came from :)

  3. I was agreeing with you all the way down the line there, though I never used baby oil with or without iodine. Absolutely agree.


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