I started worrying about my eyelids migrating south on my face when I was teaching a six-day workshop several years ago. I showed up on the last day, all dressed up and feeling good about the students’ final presentations.
One of the young men walked up to me and said, “Oh, you look so tired today.”
Note to Men: NEVER tell a woman she looks tired, even if she’s just run the last mile of a marathon. (Which I had not just done.)
Then I realized that I was spending a good five minutes a day putting on eye shadow and liner, after which the makeup completely disappeared into the wrinkly folds of my upper eyes. That would not do.
Now I’ve always had eyes that turn down at the corners.
I’d corrected the deep wrinkles in my forehead ten years ago with a temple lift. Back then, the doctor took a pleat in the skin on top of my head and jerked the whole business up; it worked. I still have fewer lines on my forehead than most people my age.
I had trouble justifying cosmetic surgery to myself. It felt so vain. And I’m a member of a Unitarian church, where almost everybody’s working on some social justice project or other. I was more embarrassed than hesitant. I wanted the surgery; I just didn’t want people to think less of me. I’m congenitally unable to keep a secret about myself, so I knew I’d be explaining the bruises on my face with the truth.
I dithered for a year and then took the plunge. For yucks, I asked Dr. Fleury for an estimate on my whole face. A face lift was way out of my budget. And I don’t mind my crepey neck all that much. What bothered me the most was the droopy eyes. I sprang for a blepharoplasty.
“Will having my eyelids done make me look 20 years younger and 20 pounds lighter?” I asked the doctor.
He looked up, stunned into silence for a fleeting moment before he realized I was kidding.
That was this past April. Nobody since has told me I look tired.