She's had work done. That's the euphemism for a facelift. When spoken by women who haven't had work done, it's usually a criticism, as if the women around my age who look younger have cheated somehow.
I always thought it was silly. All the women I know who have had this work done were absolutely beautiful beforehand, so it was hardly necessary in my opinion.
It's so traumatic, the bruises and the swelling and the poor battered-looking faces. Plus, its surgery and any surgery is serious. Plus it's expensive and not touched by insurance.
So I always figured I'd just go on and get old 'gracefully', accepting my wrinkles and sagging skin and sunken eyes.
I was doing okay with it, repeating to myself every time I looked in the mirror: I am 54. I've raised three boys. I've earned these wrinkles.
I even maintained my philosophy after a little girl I tutor asked me if I was Miss Margaret's mother. Miss Margaret is my age. Three months older if you want to be particular. Which I do. My embracing-aging attitude was seriously shaken, and I spend considerably more on face cream and sun screen to hold it at bay.
I am 54. I've raised three boys. I've earned these wrinkles. I avoided the mirror and sallied forth.
Until I went to the DMV to get my expired license renewed. I hate the DMV. I drive for 45 minutes and hold my breath while they try to find obscure pieces of paper I forgot to bring so they can tell my I have to go all the way home and start all over.
Hot and tired and impatient, I waited on my number to be called. Except for a few just-turned-sixteen-year-olds, everybody else was in the same boat as me: Haggard. Worn out. Not looking our best. By a long shot.
"I thought I was supposed to get a notice in the mail. My friend Margaret did," I said.
The woman didn't check my license, but said instantly, "No, you wouldn't get one. We don't send those to people over age sixty."
"I'M NOT SIXTY!" I shouted.
You'd think she might back peddle. Apologize, and stammer out something to take it back. But she just made it worse. She looked at my license, at the 1958 birth date, then scrutinized me like she knows it had to be a typo.
She took the picture for the license right in the thick of this trauma and it is HORRIBLE. It looks like a mug shot of a longtime meth-user on the run after digging tunnels. I am serious.
So as much as I hate the DMV, I'm going to get another picture taken. But not before I seriously consider getting a little work done. If you know what I mean.