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My forehead feels wrinkled from frowning into my computer screen too much. If people were not so demanding, I would not have to frown as much, and my forehead would not get so wrinkly. I wonder if men ever worry about their foreheads wrinkling, or if they even notice. Probably, forehead wrinkles make men seem thoughtful and distinguished. My lightly wrinkled forehead reminds me both of a bulldog puppy and Babagesh.
It's raining again, and rain reminds me of summer afternoons when I was young, when clouds would roll over the horizon and dump water into thick, black earth. The whole world opens up and drinks when it rains. The whole world is green and dewy and blossoming now. California poppies and bluebells are popping up everywhere, bringing color to hillsides that are normally brown and choking for water. Rain reminds me that it's never too late to blossom, never too hopeless. We have waited a long time for rain, but sometimes waiting makes water that much more sweet.
What isn't sweet is that the nearby mountains are getting record amounts of snow. There are people dying in their homes, and it has taken days, weeks, just to dig out the mountain towns. Some people who live where there is no snow have begun traveling up mountain roads just to see it, frustrating the people who live up there. And why not? Nobody would visit a town devastated by a hurricane, "just to see" what flooding looks like.
I lay in bed last night and felt my forehead twitch. I tried to relax my brow, to remove all expression from my face. I thought about Madonna, how plastic and hard her face looks now, like an antique doll. I thought about one of my friends, who received Botox injections from her dentist because it is apparently not that hard to get a license to administer Botox. I thought about my other friend, who requested laser hair removal as a Christmas gift from her mother. Women are up against impossible beauty standards. We can smooth and stretch our faces, remove our hair, sculpt our bodies, and there is always someone just around the corner trying to sell us something, trying to capitalize on our deepest insecurities and fears.
I recently bought vitamins that promise to prevent hormonal acne and decrease other symptoms that come along with menstruation; bloating, cramps, etc. The vitamins are gummy pink rings, because women like gummy pink things. They are shockingly sweet, because women are sugar and spice and everything nice until Aunt Flow comes along and turns us into hungry, stubborn, raging monsters. Someone once explained the difference between being nice and being kind but I could never remember what the difference is, exactly. Being nice carries a sort of dull connotation, as if no one can remember anything significant about you so they just shrug and say, "Oh, she's so nice." It feels much different to say, "Oh, she's so kind," doesn't it?
I was also recently researching mortgage rates online, not because I'm going to buy a house today, tomorrow, next week, or next year, but because I am an informed, upstanding citizen who also occasionally doom scrolls on Zillow. Anyway, I made the dire mistake of plugging my phone number into an online calculator and now Rocket Mortgage calls me five times a day, always from a different number. My forehead wrinkles deepen.
Last year, People's "Sexiest Man Alive" was Chris Evans, who is now 41. In contrast, Maxim named Paige Spirinac the sexiest woman alive, and she's 29. I wonder when girls start being considered women, and when boys start being considered men. I wonder about the expectations that befall all of us to grow up fast while remaining eternally youthful; to hurry up and blossom already, just to wrinkle and fade. To live for the future instead of being here, right here, right now.
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