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John Winters Columnist

Published Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lines of time

I can’t tell you the exact time one of the SONs of Thunder was nearly hit by lightning, but I sure remember the circumstances.

The Little Black Dress was in her sacred boudoir, where mere mortals are rarely allowed access, when the SON in question entered, looked at her, and said, “you’ve got more wrinkles.”

Children have no concept of how fragile life is.

Shortly after this near life-changing event, The Dress returns from one of those stores where men just look depressed, toting bags of stuff purchased by their significant others while trying not to get sprayed passing the perfume counter. She has armed herself for this battle of whatever.

That night she is applying said elements when I make a comment about what all you can still buy for $5 and she just laughs and says something along the lines of “try $50.” A quick calculation of those various jars and bottles means no new truck for me.

“I don’t mind getting older so much as I’m not ready for my face to sag,” she said. “I’m fighting with creams, lotions, potions and prayer.” And that she is, and a few other tricks of the trade apparently.

She turns around and has something I can only describe as duct tape on her forehead. This apparently is an old beauty pageant trick to get rid of wrinkles. Anyone who is willing to look like a Klingon must be serious.

“But I like your lines,” I say, trying really, really, really hard not to burst out laughing because I’m now married to an alien and could get hit with a thunderbolt. “They show your life.”

“Yeah, you like them now,” she responded. “But just wait.”

To be clear, we are not talking Grand Canyon lines here. No, we’re talking that small ripple effect one sees as a brook trout surfaces to feed upon some insect in a cold spring-fed mountain pond. Man, that was good. And no, I’m not comparing The Dress to a fish.

But I do like those lines, I dare not say the word wrinkles. They are her life lines, and she would agree - to some extent. They show the good times as well as those we’d rather forget.

Lines formed as she dealt with Alzheimer’s and dementia with her parents; as she buried one and then the other; as we nearly lost the Middle SON of Thunder. Lines showing the births of the SONs; nearly blowing up a wave runner; the Great Water War of 2009; the most recent Nerf War To End All Wars; and so on.

Over on her blog, corbywinters.com, one of the topics The Dress writes about is healthy living. She titles it “The LBD’s Guide To A fabYOUlous You.” Great tidbits on eating right, makeup, poise, lifestyle choices, natural beauty ... all that girl, um, woman stuff.

That’s why she has not brought up Botox. Rather I should say she has not brought up what is more commonly called OnabotulinumtoxinA injections, used to relieve the symptoms of cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis) ... strabismus ... and blepharospasm.

Yes, government definitions are always so clear.

For those types like me who are content with small words and don’t feel insecure about our vocabulary, Botox is the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism. Oh, and it’s supposed to get rid of wrinkles and therefore as we literally shoot for the fountain of youth, we’re turning food poisoning into a multi-billion dollar industry.

The Dress and I have joked about this. I am not keen on the idea of The Dress having a perpetual grin, especially when she’s deciding whether or not one of the transgressions of the SONs deserves the stocks. And as stated prior, I love her lines.

“Yeah, and I have friends in their seventies who look better than I do,” she will always reply. I would disagree.

It is a Catch-22. Men age and become “distinguished-looking.” Women age and become old.

“Experienced?” she suggested. Yes, “experienced.” I like that. Lines are simply that, lines. You can only stop them temporarily, because they will come. And only you can determine how you let those lines affect you. The Dress and I agree on this, never let your “you” be defined by a line.


John A. Winters is a staff writer for The Newnan Times-Herald. His personal blog is at justflipthedog.com . You can contact him at john@newnan.com

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