Several years ago when I was in my late 20s, my boss gave me a picture of her mother-in-law to use for a promotion piece. The prominent philanthropist in the photo looked lovely and authentic. But the picture seemed dated. I asked my boss if she were sure this was the correct photo.
“Oh yes,” she said. “My mother-in-law decided that after a certain point in her life she would have no new photos used of her.”
I’m not quite there! I still qualify for middle age in many ways, and sometimes feel younger than I did in my 30s.
But this year, for the first time for our holiday card, I begged my husband to have it retouched. Seriously. My hair was great, and since we moved to Hawaii, nicely bleached by the sun when it dries as I sweat profusely during long training runs for marathons.
But my neck — yeesh! The corners of my eyes — a nice tiny nest of fine wrinkles.
Considering all the tennis I’ve played and marathons I’ve run — 21 to be exact — not too bad. I’m a Quaker, so I shouldn’t be vain.
But I still begged my husband. He told me if we had additional work done to the photo, the card would be late, too late for his comfort. I gave in.
I’m proud of the photo because I’m proud of my family. I’d like to say I’m proud of my “rugged” skin, and in some ways I am, but one of my holiday presents was a tube of organic anti-aging sea algae serum that cost less than two large pizzas. I’m making my peace with the reality untouched photos convey. A little sea algae serum, though, goes a long way!