My Face

My face isn’t my face. And it’s not just because I’m getting old and wrinkly. My face has never been my face. When I look in the mirror, I see a stranger, the same familiar stranger I’ve been observing for 51 years. I swear it’s not me.

If eyes are the window to the soul, those eyes are opaque and the shades are drawn. I see nothing of me in them.

I’m serious-minded but my face—no, let’s call it THAT face—is jovial. I’m eternally young (inside), curious and studious. But that face is playful, happy to be older and just a bit ridiculous.

Who is he? How did he get to be my front man?

Well, I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I decided to take action. I would do everything I could, short of plastic surgery.

I started with makeup. I know guys, particularly men of a certain age, aren’t supposed to wear makeup, but I’ve always scoffed at convention. I put on makeup to hide my age (I feel young) and straighten the upturn at the corners of my mouth. I’m serious.

Then, I add accessories. I considered a monocle. But that was too serious. I settled on some horn-ribbed bifocals—so people understand that I read things.

The hat is a grey wool fedora, and I wear a cotton one in warmer weather. I use pocket squares. I never wear jeans and even rarely wear khakis. Dress slacks are “me.”

Finally, I finished my makeover. Then I fell in love. That ruined everything. Now I’m downright silly. I’ve got no time for reading. And I can’t possibly wear grey slacks on a Ferris wheel.

I didn’t have the wrong face after all. I just needed time to grow into it.