I'm ashamed to admit-- I'm proud of my skin.
okay, maybe not so ashamed.
It doesn't help that some of those closest to me encourage my lack of facial humility...
I had a friend say to a mutual acquaintance was hawking Airbonne, "I want whatever you're sellin' that will make my skin look like Carole's.
"Black don't crack.
Became the light hearted banner I whip out like a giant foam finger on an exuberant Redsock's fan's hand.
Poink, poink poink, don't I look young?
"Black don't Crack," is not mine, Oprah Winfrey is reputed to have first used it, but it doesn't stop me from embracing it with all my might,
"Black don't crack"
the statement usually elicits a shocked and stifled giggle from my Caucasian friends, and a knowing head nod from my African American ones (and my Asian friends as well-- they too are ageless, but they have no rhyme to support it)
it is both an colloquial explanation for my youthful look, as joking way to say I was proud-- without saying "Hey, I'n proud!"
One day it was going to be my downfall... this pride in something over which I have no control. I mean, I didn't choose my parents? They didn't choose their genes.
That day was today...
The book of proverbs says "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" and eventually my fall did come. Was it a winkle? No, something much much worse...
It was the presumption of a wrinkle
Tonight someone sent me a message which said
"Hi Carole, I just started using and now selling this product called_________. If you curious or interested on knowing more about the product or want to buy?:)
P.S. I have posted pictures of real testimonies on my Facebook wall"
I had seen her posting pictures but didn't remember what they were. At the moment I assumed they were about weight. At either rate I wasn't interested, but I wanted to be encouraging.
So I replied
"I love that you're always looking for new ways to supplement your income... but nope, I'm not interested..."
but first I decided to stop by her page to refresh my memory as to what this product might be.
Pictures of insanely old and wrinkly people!!!!!!
Oh dear heavens! SirensAlarms!The sound of insane appall (if there is such a thing.
So i added to my message
"besides, hello-- have you seen my face lately? three words. Black. don't. crack. Im just saying"
she was confused at first but then replied momentarily
Beat... then a response
I know you do have a very nice skin:)"
And I in turn said
"selling skin cream to me would be like selling ice to eskimos..."
Ring ring, this is your character calling-- and it needs a little work.
I had to think about it-- even though i made a joke about it, there really was no reason to be proud-- what do I have that God has not given me? my talent, my intelligence-- my skin? its all on loan and all subject to the passage of time. I will become addled one day, and my hands won't draw, nor my voice do more than croak -- though that is not this day.
I have to face the fact that one day, this face, like everything else on me, will fall. I hope on that day I will be gracious enough to not be offended if someone offers me a glass full of refreshing ice cubes because they want to help.
Age, and wrinkles are inevitable-- but graciousness is not always.
So for now I joke, and inside I think--and am thankful for the message that though my face may not need work, my character could always use a little tightening.