Whimsy for Today

Becky Kueker

While putting makeup on one morning, I was taking a serious look at my reflection. My magnified make-up mirror is for maximum detection of everything you really do not want to see, and I noticed that I had more wrinkles on the left side of my face than the right.

So, I turned to my husband as he was getting out of the shower, “Can you tell that I have more wrinkles on the left side of my face than the right?”

He froze on the spot.

“Well,” he chuckled. “You know I can’t see anything without my glasses, but no I don’t see the difference.”

I knew he was lying, so I thought about how I am going to deal with this beauty crisis: therapy, meditation, or my go-to favorite, a bottle of wine?

That afternoon I had lunch with a friend and complained to her about my wrinkles. 

“Becky, at your age you should not take wrinkles seriously. Just pretend they only exist in the mirror,” she said.

I thought that answer was just stupid so I logged on to ask Google. The first item that popped up about wrinkling was determining how we sleep. It turns out side-sleepers have more wrinkles—I sleep on my left side! Wrinkle city had set down roots. I read a solution for wrinkles was to purchase a silk pillowcase. I jumped in the car and headed to Bed Bath and Beyond to purchase my pink savior. The package said it eliminated facial folds by allowing your pores to breath, resulting in supple skin. The first night using the pillowcase was quite a dilemma. We keep the bed elevated because we both snore, so trying to position myself while elevated and on my side, my head literally kept sliding off the pillow. By 2 a.m. my “beauty pillow” had been thrown off and was on its way to the waste basket.

My grandmother lived with me for five years. I was walking down the hall one day when she came out of the bathroom completely naked. From the back she looked just like ET with all the wrinkles and skinny little arms and legs. But you know what? She was beautiful with white blonde hair, sky blue eyes, and a high voltage personality. Her name was Goldie and she certainly lived up to it. She was the epitome of aging at its best.

My husband was reading the paper and I plopped down next to him.

“Are we going to have a talk?” he asked, rolling his eyes.

“No, not really, I am depressed about my wrinkles,” I said sadly.

“Becky, I’ve been watching you grow older ever since we met in high school. Why should it trouble me or you that you have wrinkles? It’s the face itself that I love, not your face at twenty, thirty, or fifty. Stop reading about wrinkles. You are still perfect to me,” he said, picking up the paper. 

Of course I sat there in shock. My not-at-all romantic husband had just said the sweetest thing he has ever said to me. As I looked in the mirror the next morning, I thought about the life I have lived and the wrinkles that I have are proof of the struggle, heartache, and blessings. As I tried to powder over the “left side” I thought, “What the heck, go for it girl, because no one is guaranteed tomorrow!”

After retiring from a career as senior partner in a commercial architectural and interior design firm, Becky Kueker published a memoir on life after retirement, Hiding in My Pajamas that launched a national speaking career. Her second book, A Classic in Clown Shoes was published in May 2019. Both books are filled with deep, funny, intimate discussions and poignant stories from women and men who have proven that aging does not have to define you and that laughter changes everything.