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Monday, August 6, 2012

Way Back When Our Faces Were Young And Thin

“Oh my damn!” we silently think to ourselves. “What the hell happened to YOU?! Your face. It blew up, yo! It’s… like ... you just swallowed a damn pumpkin!”

It’s so good to reconnect with old friends. Nothing quite beats that feeling of having shared many of the same experiences and memories, laughed at the same jokes, feared those same fears and shared an affinity mixed with a rich and varied history we have with another person. Yet, in our mind’s eye, when we see or think of those old friends, it’s usually in the way they were, the way they appeared when we last saw them. We don’t always allow for time to do that sly thing and hideous THING it does to all of us: It ages and matures us to the point where we barely recognize each other anymore.

I took particular notice of this last week as I attended a funeral for one of the old neighborhood's elder women. She was very much beloved and we all had warm stories and vivid memories of our adventures in her presence. For instance, for decades, each 4th of July, she would plan these elaborate barbecues where everyone who was anyone within the community regularly attended. She was quite the hostess, an expert chef/griller and her food was always top-shelf delicious. Her spacious backyard became the IN spot, the holiday jump-off, and the hottest place to be.

Rest in Peace, Miss Easter.

And so, with her passing, and because she was so beloved, people came from near and far to honor her memory. It was a wonderful thing to see. Many of these people were faces from my childhood and teen years. I had not laid eyes on some of them in about 20, 25, hell, even 30 years!

After the ceremony, people were stepping to me, as people usually tend to do at such events. They seemed to know my name, to remember me vividly, and that felt strange because these were people who I didn’t know, had no recall of ever knowing, and it caught me by complete surprise. But the biggest surprise came when they REINTRODUCED themselves to me.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking: Oh snap! Oh MY Damn! That’s YOU under all that?

Yes. I know I’m wrong, but that’s me just being real, mentally. I would never say it out loud. It’s just a bit astonishing to see someone you once knew has become this whole OTHER person physically. But it’s also another naked fact of life: Unless we have a plastic surgeon on speed dial, we don’t tend to get prettier or more handsome as we grow older. We change. The body shifts and it morphs. The pounds appear. The gray hairs sprout. The wrinkles settle in…


… and we are no longer the hotness, or the serene beauty queens…


… and awesome Adonis boys of yesterday.

Sad but true.

So as I’m conversing with this person from my previous life as a young buck, I began to do a visual survey by looking for signs of the person I once knew. That’s when it HIT me: Do the people we haven't seen in years all develop chubbier faces? I mean is this to be our true fate: Fat-face-did-ness?


Unless you happen to be naturally or unnaturally angular, maybe sporting a fatter, fleshier aspect is simply the way we tend to age. We don’t obsess about it… in fact, we hardly pay this much attention. However, when we see an unflattering picture of ourselves, and we silently recoil... then ummm... that's a problem. Also, when something happens, some watershed event or some benchmark episode occurs and it brings people together, it has the feel and vibe of a high school reunion, and it’s then we are suddenly face to face, eyeball-to-eyeball with our reality.

And it is then that we are reminded of how time changes the mugs of those people we knew long ago, back when we were young and we all had thinner faces.

This may just become my new reference point to measure how long I’ve known someone. Example: Hell, we go back, waaay back to when we BOTH had skinny faces!

But having noticed that one old friend’s (once thin) head was now a BIG, cheeky ballooning dome, that was just the beginning. It seemed as if people would appear out of the proverbial woodwork to remind me of this strange and growing phenomenon. So many of my old school friends showed up and ALL of them sported these rounder, chubbier faces (yes, myself included)... even the formerly skinny people... and suddenly I was left wondering "What's up with this?"

It can be gradual… so gradual as to be one of life’s more insidious occurrences. Stuff happens to us and we don’t even notice it. We’re too damn busy living our lives to pay any attention. And then, something happens, and it suddenly opens our eyes: “Oh my damn!” we silently think to ourselves:


What the hell happened to YOU?! Your face. It blew up, yo! It’s… like ... you just swallowed a damn pumpkin!”

And please believe I’m not only cracking on the rest of them. I fully own up to my personal bout of pumpkin-headed fat-facedid-ness!


(Top): The more angular Lin…


(Bottom): The current, more fat-facedid Lin…

There are some days I’ll accidentally catch a glimpse in the mirror to find I'm repulsed... because suddenly I possess these mad puffy-verging-on-Dizzy Gillespie-type cheeks!




This is all very odd because, most of the elderly people I know tend to have thin, sunken-in faces. So, perhaps this is all a part of that whole middle-age-spread concept… and IF we live to become older and more elderly, we can at least look forward to a frailer face, and thinner physique.

Who knows.

It’s reached almost epidemic in proportion as it effects the people I know personally. When did it happen that so many of us became afflicted with this dreaded disease of: Fat-Facedid-ness? It seems we are not our physical selves anymore… no… we just become these older people with BIG faces.

Don’t believe me? Go on, do your own visual survey. Trust me, it won’t always be pretty. But it will be LIFE!



Anna Renee said...

Fat face-did ness! Oh my! I love that term, and WILL use it!

I've noticed the fat face-did-ness happening to me, someone who was teased as a child for being skinny. It's a strange thing and I wonder if it's always about aging.

I don't remember seeing any fat face-did ness in my mom and auntie. Maybe it's not noticeable unless you haven't seen the person in many years. They are elderly and slim and healthy.

But I do notice it in many of my high school friends who are now on Facebook. I see their photos, and they have it.

I wanna blame the proliferation of fast food restaurants like Mickey D's, and even those like Olive Garden and Chick Fil A. I don't know if it's because we are eating so much more food or if it's the TYPE of food we're eating.

Fight Fat Face-did ness!

Moanerplicity said...

@ A.M.

Feel free to use the term at your own discretion. (smiles)

As far as eating fast foods, consuming the wrong things, etc... I eat healthier NOW (no fast foods in the past three years, no sodas, no beer or alcohol, no fried foods, no candy, no junk food & very few desserts,etc). So, my caloric intake is far less than it ever was back in my 20s or 30s.... & yet that dreaded fat-facedid-ness has arrived ... so I really think it's an age thing. There are so few people from my (our) generation who are mad thin and who haven't been a victim of this bloated thing I call fat-facedid-ness.

I'm sure some of us aren't eating right or still engage/indulge in the same diets we did as teens & young adults... & that's just foolish & yes, unhealthy. But what about the rest of us? I exercise regularly, often eat my biggest meal before 5PM and more often than not, I go to bed HUNGRIER than a mug! Still, this dreaded puffiness exists. Hence, after noting the same thing in others my age, I've come to the conclusion that its more age-related than anything else.

If your mom & auntie are considered 'elderly' and are slim, that too proves my earlier point, in that fat-facedid-ness seems to be a middle-aged phenomenon.


Thanks for contributing to what I hope might become an interesting discussion.


Mizrepresent said...

Man, i am embracing my fat-facedness. See, i've always had a round and plump face, even when i was under 90lbs. I loved the youthful me and i so love the near AARP me. My mom and sis and a couple of my brothers were gifted with a small face, but me, oh know i was pumpkin face from the start, round with big, juicy cheeks everyone would squeeze and kiss. I have no fear of growing old, or even fat-faced as long as my spirit and soul is absorbed and reflected in those humongous cheeks!

Mizrepresent said...

Great post my friend. This being my third try, i love it. I love my fat-face, and will continue in with it.

Mizrepresent said...

4th try, now i'm getting tired. Can't get this right. I love my fat-facedness and you should love yours too!

Mizrepresent said...

5th try, now i'm getting tired. Can't get this right. I love my fat-facedness and you should love yours too!

Mizrepresent said...

6th try, now i'm getting tired. Can't get this right. I love my fat-facedness and you should love yours too!

Teri and her Stylish Adventure Cats said...

I'd have to scan a bunch of old photos to show how I've morphed,'s the jowly thing I don't like about how my face has 'fattened'... but, then again, I'd look funny with a skinny head and a 'fatter' body anyway!

Roger Poladopoulos said...

Life happens to all of us and age creeps in when we aren't looking. The funny part is, most people notice it in others but not in themselves. I can think of at least a dozen acquaintances I need to send this post. They are in denial about getting any older. Thank you for having the courage to admit that you've aged a bit also.

There are some who actually look better as they age. Maturity does add a certain distinguished aura that exudes dignity and wisdom.

Moanerplicity said...

@ Miz:

I her you fully. Much like you, I was rather chubby-faced as a keeid, which was kind of strange because I was always painfully skinny body-wise. I too was a constant victim of the squeezed-cheek syndrome.

I thinked I peaked in my mid 30s when everything came sort of together & that lasted a good week! LMAO.

In my 40s I'm noticing a definite return to the pudgy fatso cheeked mugness of my kidhood, & others in my generation seem to be following the same path. Odd that.

I DO agree that we should all learn to embrace ourselves, accept who we are, flaws & all.

p.s. thanks for not giving up on leaving a comment here. Methinks w/ all this site's new ads some of the basic blogger functions are suffering the consequences.


Moanerplicity said...

@ Teri:

Looking at old photos of one's self is NEVER a pleasant experience. Speaking from personal experience, I just end up picking them apart, & oddly, I was never very secure about my physicality. Even when I was younger & thinner, I wanted to be OLDER & thicker. Human nature, I guess. Maybe we should all be very careful of what we wish for!


Moanerplicity said...

@ Roger:

Yup, Life indeed does happen, IF we're fortunate enough to stick around & witness it. I would not ever want to be a teenager or in my 20s again on a bet! A mess of insecurities mixed with sensitivities & no real sense of SELF. So I'll take being a mature individual w/ a some degree of substance albeit fat-faced, with a host of aches & pains & the all rest.


WynnSong said...

Hehehe.......interesting. As I've reconnected on Facebook with so many high school friends, I've asked the same question, what happened to them. Then I look in the mirror and say......Damn.....You Look Good......
But it does seem to take a lot more work than it used to.......

Moanerplicity said...

@ Wynn:

I sincerely TRY not to compare myself to anyone tho sometimes I slip back into old behaviors) knowing there'll always be some people we may exceed, but also plenty of others who'll exceed us.

& yes, I agree. Suddenly, just making a decent public cameo seems to take MORE effort on our part.

When did THAT begin to happen?



Babz Rawls Ivy said...

Not in agreement with this post. well written indeed and I may even understand its origins. but Lin my dearest, you are a handsome man. When I look at your photos I do not see fat faced!!!

I do think I understand your musings. however for me, I am always thinking do I look as old as they do when I come across a peer from my past. Do I look as worn down as that?

I look at Ruby Dee and think WOW!, or Diana Ross, or Patti Labelle, Harry Belafonte, or Richard Roundtree. I am encouraged..that I too will age beautifully and gracefully :)

You are missing something here. Give it another look.

Moanerplicity said...

@ Lovebabz:

Well, thank you vurrrr much for the compliment, my Sista. The truth is none of us escape the fact of life that aging affects us all. And it's okay to admit it. I am heading towards hitting that proverbial wall... you know... where it all falls apart (either slowly or rapidly) & goes to pot.

The people you listed are all very attractive examples of older CELEBRITIES & as such they have access to the best doctors, nutritionists, beauty products, glam squads, personal trainers & stylists... in other words, besides possessing great genes, it virtually takes a village to remain physically attractive, & to maintain one's glamorous facade.

Most of us aren't privy to those kinds of resources.

So we age, we go gray, we gain weight, we begin to lose our physical appeal and we become these unwilling victims to one of many chronic diseases... & in this case-in-point: the dreaded condition known as fat-facedid-ness.

I kid, of course. But not too much.


A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

Personally, I think the current more fat-facedid a beauty to behold.

I don't mind my round face, big head. I'm Gerald's daughter and proud of it. Now the grey hair...I'll always be youthful to let it show. It's truly an arm wrestle trying to compete with it. Lol

Love for a great day!

Moanerplicity said...

@ Free Spirit Butterfly:

You are TOO kind. Thank you.

Eventually we all have to either embrace our fat-facedidness or else starve ourselves to near anorexia. As far as I'm concerned, the latter simply AIN'T gonna happen.

Also, sStrange thing about the grays: The more we fight them, by shaving or plucking, dying or coloring, the quicker they seem to thicken & regenerate.

It's like Mother Nature is a bold witch, sticking her tongue out at us & daring us to simply accept our fate. LOL.

Enjoy your weekend.


Reggie said...

We all get old, such is life. God knows I don't look anything like I did 20 years ago.

Moanerplicity said...

@ Reggie:

Indeed. That phrase attributed to James Dean: "Live Fast, Die Young & Leave a Beautiful Corpse" was never MY credo.


Unknown said...

Always looking @ younger photos of myself asking if this looks like me.

Moanerplicity said...

@ Gayte-keeper:

I have a theory about photographs: The best-looking pictures ever taken of us ultimately look NOTHING like us.



Unknown said...

You are onto something there...

Anna Renee said...

There are cultures where the people embrace their fat face-did-ness without lamenting. Here in the west, we struggle so hard against the inevitable. I'm fighting as we speak, with a balanced vegan diet and plenty of water to plumpen the cells.

After fat face-did-ness, wrinkles. Mother nature is indeed a wicked witch.

Moanerplicity said...

@ Gayte-keeper:

I know. Sad fact:Unless we're very vain, we can always find fault w/ our physical selves.


Moanerplicity said...

@ A.M....

re: Mother Nature: I KNOW! Ain't she just..? I was gonna use the b-word, then thought better of it. I don't need her showing out & getting angry @ MY azz! Lawd knows what else she might have in store for me inside her bag of tricks!


Daij said...

lol yeah! Love this entry! In trying to lose weight, I looked at pics of myself from 20 yrs ago. no matter how mush weight I lose, my face will never look that lean again. and that's sad.

Moanerplicity said...


You're right, unless something very DRASTIC happens. @ the height of my illness, I'd no appetite. It resulted in a 40-lb weight loss. The face & body were mad lean. My appearance became more youthful, but also very SICKLY! Not a GOOD look, yo.