Monday, March 5, 2012


Every Line and Wrinkle

I can see clearly now.The freezing wind whipped around G.C. and me at the 30th Avenue subway stop. We were on our way to Petco in Union Square, and we had dashed out the door. I hadn’t bothered to put on stitch of makeup, and my hair was hastily tucked under my hat.

Suddenly I became aware of G.C. watching me, and I looked up to find him regarding me with the most wonderful gaze. He stared into my eyes with tenderness, love, and awe like he was seeing me — really seeing me — for the first time. Though we’ve been together for almost five years, I lowered my eyelids, suddenly shy.

“What are you looking at?” I asked flirtatiously, curious what his answer would be.

Still staring deeply into my face, he took a moment to respond. Then, with the delicacy one would use to touch, I don’t know, a piece of disintegrating yet historically significant parchment, G.C. dragged his pointer finger down my cheek and said, “I can’t believe it. I can see every line and wrinkle on your face.” He then cupped his hand under my chin, turning my face this way and that to really get a good look in the weak winter sunlight.

Have you ever had a moment while looking at something really awesome, like the first piece of art you ever really under “understood," when you felt something turn on behind your eyes, a light you weren’t aware could even be turned on, and you just felt so smart, so one with the world? And then an indefinite period of time later, it could be a minute, a month, a year — it dawns on you that this thing you thought was so deep actually isn’t? In fact it actually sucks? And the light that was burning so bright in your pupils dulls just a little, and your mouth sets in a slightly firmer line of disappointment?

Well, picture watching that swing of emotion in my eyes and you might be able to visualize the expression that came across my face in the first couple seconds after my boyfriend so delicately made his announcement about my wrinkly, shriveling face.

“Oh my god, no! That’s not what I meant!” G.C. cried, sensing all too late the danger in his words. “I meant you look beautiful! It’s really cool!

However, the damage had been done. Eyes narrowed, my heart contracting, I spoke in a voice louder than I intended, “IT IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT ‘COOL!’” Finger quotes jabbing the air for emphasis. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN? HOW MANY LINES AND WRINKLES ARE WE TALKING HERE?” My fingers flew to my face, probing for fissures and cracks. “NO, DON’T ANSWER THAT! I DIDN’T PUT ON MAKEUP OR MOISTURIZER AND THAT’S PROBABLY WHY YOU'RE SEEING WHAT YOU'RE SEEING! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT TO ME?!” Ending my outburst, I buried my apparently prune-like face in my hands.

Gently removing my fingers from my in-rebellion skin, G.C. guided my arms to my sides. With the most earnest expression the world has ever seen, he looked me square in the face and insisted, “I don’t care! It IS cool. It’s like an amazing glimpse into the future!”

Needless to say, his words were of no comfort. I simply couldn’t muster happiness about giving my boyfriend a look into what my face would look like at 70 years old while only 30. Although a small — a very, very, very, very small — and vain part of me was thankful he liked what he saw. With one more weak cry about moisturizer, I had nothing more to say. Not wanting to send me further over an emotional edge, G.C. wisely remained quiet. We waited like this on the platform for a few more minutes before boarding the train. I stayed silent for five stops wondering why I was so lazy that I couldn’t even slap some Lubriderm on my face before heading out into the world.

Finally, to break the silence — during which I wondered where that Regenerist eye cream I had once bought might be, and G.C. avoided eye contact, confused about the insult I could tell he still didn’t fully understand — I turned to face him with my dry, traitorous skin. I sighed. “I am glad you will be attracted to me when I am old.”

He nodded solemnly, an unspoken affirmation to my statement. “I love your face,” he said simply.

“I love your face,” I replied and put my head on his shoulder. A more comfortable silence settled between us.

When we got out at Union Square, I gave a quick glance to the Sephora on the corner and contemplated an “I’ll be right back” type of trip, one I knew would only last 10 minutes but result in $200 worth of serums and creams I didn’t want, couldn’t afford, but apparently may need? But the moment lasted just a minute and I turned away. We went to Petco, bought our dog what she needed — treats, poop bags, and a nice-smelling shampoo — and then headed back to our apartment.

Lia LoBello works in public relations and marketing by day, but spends her nights crafting, cooking, and watching real-crime television. She blogs about her projects and recipes at www.yaydiy.com. She lives in Astoria, Queens, with her boyfriend G.C. and her dog, Pelusa.

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judging by a quick google stalk and a look at your linkedin, you definitely don't need $200 of serums and creams!



Sure, she looks gorgeous now. But wait until she's 102.

(Reminder: never gaze at a loved one's face in the sun and speak of apple-head dolls.)


Astoria - represent! (although I don't live there anymore, which makes me sad. I still dream of La Guli's and Astoria Bagels!)

Lily Rowan

@@serenityfound I also don't live in Astoria anymore! God, I miss the Mediterranean grocery store.

saul "the bear" berenson

@@serenityfound I thought the same thing!!! I pictured this happening outside Key Foods.


@Lily Rowan The one with the olive bar? YES. Also, I bought my first pair of skinny jeans at the thrift store there. Good times...

@Moxie Or the produce store next door. (or the liquor shop across the street. 1.5L of wine with penguins on them!)

Lily Rowan

@@serenityfound Doesn't every place in Astoria have an olive bar?? ;) But YES. Also the million kinds of feta.


@Lily Rowan My favorite thing is that they imported weird international candies, like the milk chocolate "Mozart balls" from Austria that have marzipan centers (mmmmm). Also, they are so nice there!

Lily Rowan

@@serenityfound Astoriaaaaaaa!

saul "the bear" berenson

@@serenityfound Yes! Or the plant store under the train where everything is expensive but they're so nice.

Lia LoBello@facebook

@Moxie i'm sorry i found this so late! i live right by key foods. it happened right past key foods haha.

Party Falcon

Stupid youth-obsessed culture.

A moment of true love, of true passion and adoration. Spoiled, unappreciated because of our collective, silly need to remain young.


@Party Falcon Yes agree agree agree


@Party Falcon Yeah, I've had moments of girlish pride and being indignant at genuine compliments because of this.



Ladies are hard to compliment. I just blurt something out and run away.


@atipofthehat "You have charming elbows and your ears are angular in an interesting and beguiling fashion!" *runs*



Shouted over shoulder:

"I meant it the nice way!"





Okay but seriously it's the worst thing when dudes say rude shit and then blame you for "hearing" it wrong or "misinterpreting" their tone.



"But your ____s ARE almost as nice as Susan's! That's, like, a huge compliment! Jeez, wimmen!"


@Emby "You're...smart, you've got wonderful bones, great eyes, and you dress really interestingly!" Oh, for the day when Kevin Kline would compliment me like that.


@Emby One of the first times I got high, I told my boyfriend that I liked how he had skin.


@this thread: This is why I <3 the Hairpin Boys. (Please go out and try these on Ladies. Report back.)


@itmakesmewonder One of my husbands favorite jokes is to say when people ask about me, "Yea, I mean, she's pretty funny and moderately attractive."

He was so pleased with himself the first time he pulled that one out.


"I love your face."



You are a better woman than I. That comment would have resulted in alternating silent treatment/raging/sobbing that I am old and hideous for at least 2 days from me.

sugar cubism

It would've, I think, made me go "where where where" and want to look in a mirror and have this GC point out to me where. And maybe felt my age and a sense of peace to be with somebody who loved me?

Hard to know, though, for sure.


What I choose to take from this is that you live with George Carlin.


@figwiggin If I ever get haunted I hope it's someone as cool as that.
Just me and the ghost of Bea Arthur, chillin'. No big.

audrey horne

I was once laying in bed with an old idiot boyfriend, naked with sun streaming in through the window. He turned to me and placed his finger just below my nose and said "whoa, it looks like you have a moustache!"
Naked, post-sexytime, soooo humiliated.

Party Falcon

@audrey horne And hilariously, he probably commented because we're all so good at hiding our random facial hair. I thought I was the only light-haired lady with a light-haired mustache until I was like, 22.


@audrey horne A mighty box of juice is he!


@audrey horne I refuse to believe John Justice Wheeler could ever be so uncouth!


@Emby Agent Cooper would never have done that.



It was Jean Renault.


@Lucienne Later when he was Charlotte's husband Trey he definitely would have.


@audrey horne The current boyfriend's first "I love you" came after such a statement. Laying in bed, chatting, kissing, all that good stuff, and he says, "woah! You have a little mustache!" To which I responded by yipping and attempting to escape his grasp. In order to keep me, he immediately countered with "but I love you! I mean, I LURVE you... I luff you?"

I couldn't possibly be upset after that, and we're still together, 3 years later. It's not only the idiot ones who say stupid things.

Paper Table

@audrey horne The EXACT same thing happened to me! "But it's cute!" he says. This is the same guy who thought "Pea head" was a cute pet name.


@audrey horne Oh crap, now I'm scared. First visit with dudefriend is 3 days away and I did not wax my upper lip. And he is just the sort of guy to comment on it in an "Isn't that cute?" kind of way. Kind of like how he thinks calling me his "little swamp monster" is cute after I told him I wouldn't video chat with him without make up because I look like a swamp monster when I wake up.


@audrey horne I like the peach fuzz I've been developing lately. I think it's kinda sexy in a Frida Kahlo way. So my bf pointed it out and I was pleased and he was amused. I guess it's all perspective.


@audrey horne It is all about perspective! If my boyfriend were a jerk-off, I probably wouldn't think our mutual pet name for one another (Dummy) was funny either.

Lily Rowan

Aw, this gave me allergies a little bit.


@Lily Rowan Me too. Stupid pollen.


Ugh what is it with everything having such ridiculous emotional-ness after I've decided "fuck nicorette". I was doing so good w/ no nicotine in my system until about an hour ago, and now I just want to hug/be hugged.


@leon.saintjean (((LSJ))) There.


@Mingus_Thurber - ahhh thank you. I don't even know how people do it.

Between the enhanced tastebuds/nose-strength and the mental-crazies, I actually have spent a huge amount of my time-outs from work trying to determine the best mineral water. I think I like pellegrino much more than perrier. I also used to drink seltzer, like a normal person, instead of mineral water, like some kind of weirdo snob, during the day. Now, I am all mineral water all the time. Its so weird but OMG guys, mineral water is so fucking good.


@leon.saintjean Mineral water is the bomb-diddly, indeed. I like Perrier Citron after I mow the lawn, or while I'm cleaning house, but oh Frogs when I'm done with everything and am just sitting out on the porch, Pellegrino is the stuff. (You might gather from this that I drink a lot of water.)

Can you get Crazy Water where you are? It comes in several different strengths/mineralnesses, and it's not carbonated (though I suppose you could run it through a selzer thingie). It's from Mineral Wells, Texas, and gets its name from the aforementioned wells, which were used as a treatment for folks in the insane asylum there in the 1890's. Anyway, it's great. I like #1, the least-minerally, mixed with #3. A friend of mine swears by #4, the one you can pretty much chew, for colds/the flu/hangovers.

Chesty LaRue

@leon.saintjean Darling! I told a friend I would be quit by the end of March and I am feeling your pain right now.
Also I just got not-dumped by a guy I was not-dating, I could use a hug too.


@leon.saintjean Pelligrino > Perrier forever. And although I don't typically like sweet drinks or soda, the occasional Pelligrino Lemonata is quite delicious.

@Chesty LaRue Good god, this whole not-dumped by a guy you were not-dating. Right there with you. The juicebox alarm is screaming its siren so loud these days.


Any illusion I had of myself as a calm and reasonable person flew out the window when I realized upon hearing that comment I would have returned home and made him run the errands by himself. (Although, I probably wouldn't have locked myself in the bathroom.)


We single people view laments like this as a bit of "first world problems," to be honest. I mean, I get it and all, but...some of us have to be "old" and "wrinkly" without anyone much noticing at all. So, there's that.


@WaityKatie I don't understand why 15 people haven't clicked 'like' to this. :clickclickclick:

Tweets of Rage@twitter

@WaityKatie : I'm normally good with being on my own, but for some reason the idea that nobody's ever going to hold my face and tell me they love my flaws is kind of stabbing me in the heart right now.


@Tweets of Rage@twitter For reals. And yet, I can think of a seemingly endless list of people who have taken it upon themselves to enumerate my flaws in great detail, and list the reasons why those flaws made me "less than." I wonder what it's like to live in this secure couples world?


@WaityKatie ahhhh that's more like it. many clicky


@WaityKatie: Right? I was shocked at the lack of "Congratulations. How wonderful."s in the comments.


@WaityKatie Seriously.


@WaityKatie well I DID think it was cute ... but now having read your comment I'm sad and need to curl up in the fetal position somewhere.


@redheaded&crazy Oh, sorry! It WAS cute, it was just kind cute in the kind of way that the real estate features in the NYTimes are magnificent. "Wow, that's a magnificent...5 million dollar apartment. I want to die now."


@WaityKatie I feel you...so much. I'm 35 and only 4 months into my first real relationship. I spent many, many years tackling everything alone, including the fact that no one was ever going to look closely at my face and adore it when it was still smooth and young, before the lines around my eyes and mouth showed up. But now I have a lovely young man who just the other morning told me he liked my disheveled morning self, with no make-up and crazy hair, because it was "pure" me.

Who knows, in four more months the young man and I may have decided it wasn't working and I may be back to being single again--I have no illusions that any pain I experienced while single is gone forever. But I do have more hope about my (and everyone's) power of regeneration in the wake of singlehood--my little dessicated heart is showing an amazing capacity to get soft and gooey again, and frankly I was worried that wouldn't happen.

I hope this comes off as consoling and hopeful for you and me and everyone who's had to deal with long-term lonliness, not gloaty. I certainly didn't mean it to sound that way at all.


@SuperGogo It didn't sound gloaty at all, AND ALSO, "My Little Dessicated Heart" would make an excellent album name.

And as an aside, where did you meet this remarkable man who is willing to date a 35 year old woman, because I have not met any of those! Certainly not on the internets.


@WaityKatie I met him through volleyball, and he's a wee bit younger at 33. You're right that the interwebs are challenging turf for mid-30s women. Have you ever read this blog post from OK Trends about the vast pool of slightly-older-than-them women that men tend to overlook entirely while dating online? Warning: It will make you want to pump your fist in victory and throw the computer monitor out the window at the same time.


@SuperGogo Bleh. It's not even that guys don't want to go older, it's that 35 year old guys do not want to date women their own age. They want 25 year olds. Everyone wants 25 year olds. Sometimes open minded men of 52 or older write me. Guess it's time to "withdraw myself from contention" as okcupid implies women my age should do. (Veiled suicide reference? Thanks Okc!)


@WaityKatie Found in the last year that 29 and 30 year old guys (I'm 30) were mostly uninterested in me as well - all after a 22 year old. Was usually more like guys aged 35+ interested in me, which was fine, but I also had an awful lot of guys between age 42-50 message me. I mean, I also found it frustrating that guys my age also mostly didn't seem mature enough to be interested in, but oh well.


I am unable to take a compliment without trying to undercut it. Fortunately for me, boyfriend just thinks this is a cute quirk and keeps trying. #win




My wife used to do this. I read somewhere that having a habit of always negating praise could be unhealthy, so I kept asking her to say "thank you" to compliments, just a simple "thank you" instead of, "no, I'm horrrrrrible" or something. Now I can say something nice and she can appreciate it.




@Inkcrafter *snerk*

That said... my quality of life vastly improved when I just started saying "thanks!" or "thank you! I am glad you like it, because I like it, too."


@PistolPackinMama I'm still working on this myself. the other day this guy told me i had gorgeous hair and i was about to tell him the colour was ... fake ... before I realized, what would even be the point of that? so I was like "thanks! it's not rea-- ..... awkward pause ...... thanks"


I am too caught up in how wonderful that moment was before the light died. That man loves you.

(Please note I don't mean for there to be an unspoken "AND YOU RUINED IT!" This is the stuff relationships are made of. I just really am caught up in that moment.)


@miwome Same. What a beautiful moment.


Oh. Man. I think...I think I have something in my eye just here. Hold on a second.

(I *so needed* to read this today.)


"I love your face" is now my mental definition of love.


My husband did something similar (except without the nice end part), during a beautiful late fall sunset at the end of a perfect day he turned to me and said 'every grey hair on your head is glowing! You have so many, I had no idea!'


<3! My BF always picks the most godawful photos of me to say he thinks I look beautiful in. We're talking bags under my eyes, pouches around my mouth kind of thing. I just console myself thinking, well, if my ugliest shots and angles are what he thinks is beautiful, I guess I have it made!


Aww, I love people who look a gift horse in the mouth...and then promptly spit in it. I'm sorry, not "love". Hate. Now if you excuse me I'm off to get a haircut that I can come home and show to nobody.

fondue with cheddar

@LydiaDeetz Show US!


My favorite---in bed in my childhood bedroom, first time I took him home to meet my family (after 4 years! I know. I work slow.) It's late, we're naked, it feels kinda hot and naughty, and he looks at my chest and says, "I've been noticing that your tits are like inches lower now than they were when we met." Enter a completely new neurotic physical obsession--"Things That Are Lower Now."


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