I know a lot of women in their 40s think that their ever-deflating jawline is due to the laws of gravity, but I thoroughly disagree. The bottom of my face seems to be somehow defying the laws of gravity by emptying upwards into my eye sockets.
This is most evident to me when I wake up in the morning and my eye area is so swollen it looks like I slept on a pillow made of bee stings and salt rocks, while the lower half of my face looks like an empty McGruff The Crime Dog mask.
Waking up in the morning in your 40s means you can actually feel how much heavier your top eyelids are as you struggle to open them, and they make a door-slamming sound every time you blink. It’s like waking up blindfolded until you can get up and get that circulation going in the morning – and by “circulation” I mean “don’t look in the mirror”. I’ve made a habit of not looking in the mirror at all until I’ve been up and awake for at least an hour. Any accidental glances prior to that just set the wrong tone for the rest of the day, and I inevitably end up spending the whole day googling cosmetic surgery procedures and figuring out whether I can reasonably contribute less to my Roth IRA in order to pay for them.
On a side note, I used to worry about seeming too shallow for being interested in cosmetic surgery, and then I woke up one day and looked like Wilma Fucking Flintstone and got over the “oh no, what if people think I’m shallow” thing. I used to be the first person who would tell Wilma Flintstone to love herself and embrace her face, and now I’m like, “How did she ever see out of those pinhole eye-dots? Jesus Christ, Wilma, get those eye-hangs tacked up!”
And feel free to use eye roller gels, cucumber slices, and frozen spoons to reduce the puffiness. They do make the swelling go down pretty decently. The great part is when the swelling goes away, it is replaced by raisiny-creased purple undereye caverns that binge-eat expensive concealer ten minutes after you put it on. The concealer patch-job looks halfway decent from about twenty feet away or so, but any closer and you’ll notice people’s looks of confusion when they see a map of the Balkans appears to have been sketched under your eyes.
I know, the potions, creams, and rollers that you use totally work! I should try them! This is most often shared by someone who has never actually experienced 40-something morning eyes. If you’re 25 and you tell me your eye cream really works, you can just go jump off a building right now because you are (a) useless, and (b) nobody cares what you have to say.
I am so bothered by how my eyes look in the morning that a few months ago, when my optometrist sent me to an ophthalmologist because she thought I might have the early signs of glaucoma, the first thing I thought was, “Well, at least if I go blind I can cover my eye bags with sunglasses twenty-four hours a day and claim it’s for a medical reason. If someone at work tries to call me out for just trying to look cool, I will make them feel SO BAD when I drop that glaucoma bomb on them.” It was one of only a handful of times in my life that I had a “glass half full” reaction to news.
As it turns out, the chances that I have glaucoma are less than one percent, according to my test results. Regardless, I have to see the ophthalmologist once a year now to make sure my eye innards haven’t deviated from the “baseline” they made in my chart.
I will be addressing “baselines” in a later blog, but spoiler alert, after you turn 40, every doctor finds a reason to establish a “baseline” for almost everything on your body. It’s like when you’re a kid and they make you stand against the door frame so that they mark off how much you’ve grown, only instead of charting the speed at which you’re growing, they’re charting the speed at which you’re snowboarding downhill towards your eventual coffin, or as I prefer to call it “Shreddin’ To The Grave”. It sounds metal as fuck that way, and makes you think I am the sporty, outdoor type.