Thinking inside the box

I have a wrinkle. Actually, two wrinkles – one for each decade I have been alive. Apparently women start losing their looks at 28 (or so once said a study in the Daily Mail)…

I have a wrinkle. Actually, two wrinkles – one for each decade I have been alive. Apparently women start losing their looks at 28 (or so once said a study in the Daily Mail). Should I be alarmed? What does this mean? In my opinion, I haven’t even got my looks yet, never mind losing them. I look exactly the same as when I was 14, and when I was 14, I was told that I looked 12. But these wrinkles…they’re not those cute crow’s feet found decorating the eyes of beloved grandparents, or the smile lines that grace the faces of those who laugh a lot. They’re simply emblazoned across my forehead.

Apparently stress makes you get wrinkles. I would imagine having a baby to be quite stressful. In fact, I know it – I’ve seen, all without having to go through childbirth myself. One Born Every Minute is back and so are a bunch of screaming mothers-to-be, fathers-to-be, and (soon enough) babies. Having missed the bandwagon for the first two series, no one had warned me how graphic it would be, but that doesn’t matter in the end. Thankfully there’s another forty-five minutes of quips from the northern midwives – and as champions of childbirth, how they aren’t more wrinkly is beyond me – to distract you.
Enter, Danny and Heather: who describe themselves as “a real life walking Disney” sweethearts. They met at fashion college at sixteen and now they’re having their first child, embracing the water birth trend while they’re at it. The only thing that would possibly stress them out is if their iPod ran out of battery while they were both listening to it as Heather’s on all fours having a silently “perfect” labour.

Maybe concentrating on the task at hand was a bit too ‘real’ for them, so a distraction was necessary. The real question that plagues me is: what were they even listening to? My bets are on A Whole New World – the Katie Price and Peter Andre duet album. The lead track is a Disney song and the ex-happy family couple are quite likely Danny and Heather’s idols.

The most stressed I’ve been in the past few weeks is – dissertation woes and impending graduation fears aside – a food-related situation. Specifically, a meat-related situation. I’m a carnivore: eating meat is a daily joy for me. I buy it in bulk and freeze it like bread, just so I know I’ll never suddenly run out. On this particular occasion I’d been looking forward to a steak all day, having put my portion in its plastic freezer bag out to defrost that morning. Returning home to find not a steak, but two rashers of bacon waiting for me…imagine the disappointment. Bacon in no way equates to steak.

Father-to-be Paul would understand. Whilst his heavily pregnant wife bounces on one of those big exercise balls looking like a constipated hippo trying to relieve the pain in any way possible, he’s got other things on his mind. “Just look at it, then taste it.” He waves a crisp in front of her face, which she reluctantly accepts. “Tell me – is that a Frazzle? What a pathetic excuse for what used to be…I mean…I’m sorry. But they’re just not Frazzles.” It’s these times of distress, frustration and confusion that you wonder why the world seems set against you. Paul, I feel your pain. I really do.

‘First World Pains’ these may be, but when you’re living in the First World they’re valid wrinkle inducers. I have, however, yet to invest in any form of anti-wrinkle product. No one seems to like talking about wrinkles on TV programmes so I’ll stick out a few adverts and see whether Jane Fonda (pre-facelift, I hasten to add) can convince me to buy L’Oreal Age Re-Perfect. My forehead is not ready to accept its fate just yet.

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