An anniversary is a day of remembrance---when we remember how good we used to look when we first got married. 

It’s also inspiration for a couple’s facial.  “We can celebrate and exfoliate!” I told my husband Chris, who grudgingly went along with my cosmetic whim for our anniversary.

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Together we spent an afternoon at the spa getting creamed, steamed, and massaged.  It was wonderful up until check out when our therapist Angela offered us home skin care instruction.  To Chris she advised,  “Just keep up with basic cleansing and moisturizing---your skin looks great.”  To me she delivered a two-hour sermon on skin revitalization and handed me a basket loaded with enough wrinkle cream to moisturize a Komodo dragon.  

 “It’s not fair,” I complained to Chris on the drive home.  “Why am I the only one who needs to use all this stuff?”

“If it makes you feel better I’ll use it too,” he said, picking up a tube of concealer from my basket and reading the label.

 “But Angela said you don’t need it.”

“Still, it could be helpful… it says right here on the label, also repairs drywall.”

“This is no joking matter,” I said, holding back my tears for fear that the salt water might induce further skin damage. 

“Why don’t you talk to a friend?” he suggested. 

I took his advice and visited my friend Sue.  She had a Pug named Prince whose huge folds of skin drooped down his forehead and made his face look like a hairy accordion.   “At least Prince’s wrinkles are worse than mine,” I told Sue.  “Maybe I’ll just hang out with him.”

“There is a real solution besides trying all those face creams, you know.  You could do facial exercises like I do.”

“You exercise your face?” 

“Sure, you can exercise any part of your body that has muscles.  As you strengthen the muscle your skin becomes more elasticized.   For example, you can firm your lips by sucking on your finger as hard as possible and slowly removing it.” 

“I haven’t done that since my honeymoon,” I said.

 She ignored me.  “There’s also exercises to firm your chin.   Just tilt your head back and kiss the air like a fish,” she said.   With puckered lips she blew a series of invisible smoke rings.  “It works.  Start with five repetitions a day and work up from there.”

“I appreciate the advice Sue, and your complexion looks great.   But honestly I’d feel foolish doing that.”

“You’d feel less foolish comparing yourself to my wrinkled dog?   Keeping your face in shape is like keeping a marriage going.  You have to be willing to do the work or it’s just going to get worse.”

 “What if I’m not willing to do it?” I asked.

“Then you should take this home with you.” She wrote down a name and number and handed it to me.

“Plastic surgeon?” I asked.

“No, my friend Sheila.” 

“Why Sheila?”

"She owns a Shar-Pei.”

 

 

When Jersey Girl Lisa Tognola traded her job as freelance writer for that of full-time mother of three children, it didn’t take long before her writing was reduced to grocery lists, notes to school nurses excusing her kids from gym class, and e-mails to her husband reminding him to call his mother.  Her hunger for adventure ultimately led her to local reporting, where she now finds herself thrown into harrowing situations and narrowly escaping dangerous places like lacrosse games and town hall meetings.   Her new weekly humor column, Main Street Musings, highlights the humorous side of local news.   Ms. Tognola lives in Chatham, New Jersey with her family.