About five years ago I noticed that the shallow lines on my forehead had started to morph into wandering rivers.

Since I wear my hair very short, there wasn’t really any way to cover them up and I complained to my husband that I was starting to look old.

“How old do you think you look?” he asked.

“Around fifty,” I replied.

“You are fifty,” he said.

“Yes, but I don’t want to look fifty.”

“What’s wrong with looking fifty when you’re fifty?” he asked.

“I’d rather look forty.”

“But you’re not forty,” he said.

“I know that,” I said. “I just want to look younger than I am.”

“Just tell everyone you’re sixty and they’ll think you look really good for your age,” he said.

Without two x chromosomes, I knew there was no way in the world my husband would understand my concerns. So, I sought out the counsel of my fifty-year old friends who all, mysteriously, happened to have smooth foreheads. They also all had eyebrows that didn’t move, but I overlooked that because their foreheads were so smooth. The secret, they said, was to get a shot of botulism in my face to smooth everything out.  I’m not sure why I agreed to inject a known toxic substance into my forehead, but they all seemed pleased with the results, so I decided to give it a shot… no pun intended.

I made an appointment with a dermatologist, got the shot, and then a funny thing happened. I discovered that I had a muscle weakness above one of my eyes that had heretofore gone unnoticed… until I got the shot. Unfortunately, when the miracle forehead smoother interacted with the secret muscle weakness, it created something worse than small lines in my forehead.

It made one of my eyebrows drop.

So, now, instead of looking like a gracefully aging fifty-year old woman, I looked like Mr. Spock.

Naturally, this wasn’t really the look I had been going for. I went back to the dermatologist to register my complaint and ask if there was a way to get me to look like a human again, instead of a Vulcan.  She said that there was nothing she could do and another shot could possibly make it worse. I was stuck that way for six months.  Then she held up her hand, told me to “Live Long and Prosper,” and sent me on my way to boldly go where no middle-aged woman with a droopy eyebrow had gone before.

I assumed she meant the mall.

I figured I could probably find a solution there, and if not, there was nothing like retail therapy to make you feel better when you look like an alien.

Unfortunately, if I had thought that covering up small forehead lines were hard, covering up a droopy eyebrow was darn near impossible.

First I tried getting oversized sunglasses to cover the problem. But when I wore them inside couldn’t see and kept walking into things. Clearly having a fat lip would not improve upon the eyebrow problem.

Then I considered getting an eye patch. But I was pretty sure that looking like a pirate wasn’t much of an improvement over looking like a Vulcan, plus I would have to walk around saying “Argh,” and “Shiver me timbers” all the time.

Finally, I consulted the smartest woman I know. I called my mom and told her about the shot of botulism and the droopy eyebrow and Mr. Spock, and after some thoughtful consideration, she came up with the most logical conclusion.

Stay inside.


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  • Marta Fainberg

    At 97; interestingly enough, I have an un-wrinkled forehead, but lots of jowl and wrinkles on my lower face, as a result of gravity insisting on keeping me fastened to the earth. However, thanks to the mask requirements, that part of my face is covered! Therefore I have received lots of comments lately. Which does not help your situation but is good for some laughs!

    • Tracy Beckerman

      I hope to look as good when I’m 97! I actually have been pretty lucky and have been blessed with a baby face my whole life. I always wanted to look gaunt and sophisticated by alas, it was not meant to be. Now however, I actually have very few wrinkles at 56 thanks to my mother who told me at age 12 to stay out of the sun and moisturize every day. My mom is the bomb!

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