Look Into My Eyes

 "I want you to use the Retin A on your forehead every day."

I stared back at my dermatologist and tried to decipher just what she was saying.  She's equal parts clinical and personal, and I like her not just for her flawless skin which gives me hope.

"Oh.  Yes, well, the forehead isn't really the problem, it's my eyes."

She arched one perfectly drawn brow in response.

"Yes, actually I've seen a plastic surgeon about it.  My eyelids are so heavy that unconsciously I am raising my eyebrows in order to lift them off of my lashes.  That's what is causing the wrinkles."

"It's significant enough that I think your insurance might cover it.  You should check with your optometrist."

Cut to a clandestine meeting in a neighborhood coffee shop where a friend said, "She could be right.  I think you should make an appointment."  Neither woman said the word, "bad" as in "bad enough to be covered by insurance as your eyelids have dropped to the point that they are impeding your peripheral vision."  But that is the case.

It's not a surprise, really.  If you saw my father's eyelids you would see where this is headed.  Still, as I stood in the kitchen and explained the stitches and the bruising to Bill he said, "Please don't do it."  I just can't tell what would take more courage; the scalpel and the slice or the slow slide.

Living elegantly with a little wear was Princess Claude Ruspoli in, yes, Paris.  She was quite fond of antique fabrics, the patina of which adds to the allure of her apartment overlooking the Seine.  Architectural Digest, International Interiors, 1979; photography Pascal Hinous.