Since I’ve always been a tad socially-reckless — over-sharing, stirring the pot, making listeners squirm — what I’m most looking forward to with turning old is my newfound license to I-Don’t-Give-A-Shit (IDGAS). Surely you are already aware there is an entire fleet of IDGAS behaviors that growing old affords, whether it’s IDGAS driving, IDGAS dressing (or undressing), IDGAS civic involvement, IDGAS bodily functions and so forth. For now let’s focus on the latter, specifically the kind that derives from one’s mouth.
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One night last week, I tried to figure out how many matches my mother saw me play as a child. I know it was less than ten. It may even have been fewer than five. There were a couple of street league finals I forced her to turn up to. There was definitely a county juvenile hurling final with St. Finbarr’s where I was, rather embarrassingly, called ashore 20 minutes into the first half (“It just wasn’t your day, love”). There was also an FAI Youths Cup semi-final defeat with Casement Celtic at a drenched Turners Cross (“How did they expect ye to play in that?”)
Beyond those, I struggled to recall any other appearances by her on the sidelines. As might anybody of mine or older generations. Those were different times in the Cork where I grew up. A lot of parents didn’t attend the games their kids played…
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Earlier this year I was diagnosed with a skin condition called melasma and an eye disorder called ocular rosacea. What this amounts to is having brown patches of skin, and red bloodshot eyes. It’s fair to say that 2015 has not been a great year for my face.
The melasma has meant I’ve had to coat myself in serums and sunscreen everyday, leading to vampirically pale skin. The rosacea has also meant I’ve had to stop wearing makeup altogether. Of course I can still wear lipstick, but not if I want to kiss my girlfriend often, which I do (this is another femme dilemma for another time). I’ve gone from someone who used to wear smokey eyes at breakfast, to a blankly pale-faced person.
The whole thing has been quite unsettling. But it’s also taught me a few lessons about my relationship to beauty…
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