I thought I'd have a lot more wrinkles by now

I thought I'd have a lot more wrinkles by now
This is Sarah Lancashire as Madge in the 2015 movie of The Dresser. She was actually 51 at the time but still had far fewer wrinkles than I drew on to play the same role when I was 30.

When I was 30 I was in a production of The Dresser by Ronald Harwood. Actually, before that I was in a production of The Dresser when I was 21. The first time I played Irene, a young aspiring actress. But this is a story about my second production, when I played Madge, the lead character's long-time stage manager.

Harwood's script does not specify an age for Madge. It is noted that she has been working with (and has had a crush on) Sir for at least 20 years. Based on this, the director and I decided she was at least in her mid-forties. As I mentioned before, I was 30 at the time. That meant I felt the direction was that she was "old."

Madge was in her mid-forties (a.k.a. "old") and not supposed to be particularly attractive. (At the time I probably presumed part of that was due to her age.) In preparation for the role I asked my hairdresser to dye my hair a mousy brown. "Something not very flattering." She laughed and said know one else had ever asked her for such a hair color before.

I remember doing my make-up before each show. I carefully drew dark lines across my forehead, around my eyes, and by my mouth. After all, I had to look really old! Mid-forties! Unattractive! A review of the production called Madge/me "pasty-faced," so I guess I was successful at least with the unattractive part.

Well, I'm now in my mid-forties. There are definitely more lines on my face than there were when I was 30 but nowhere near as many as I drew on to play Madge. I try to remind myself about that every time I find myself not liking a picture of me (be it a selfie or something with my kids or my husband) due to my visible wrinkles. I'm definitely getting older, but older doesn't look as bad as I thought it would. Actually, older still looks pretty darn good.

scowling selfie to emphasize lines

I may not have as many lines on my face as I thought someone in their mid-forties would, but I never imagined that weird J shaped one that has developed between my eyebrows. WTF is up with that?! To be fair it really only shows up when I make a serious face like this, but I often make a serious face.

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