Setting: Jetblue flight from Long Beach, CA to JFK Airport, aisle 10. I’m seated in the middle, next to a beautiful 23-year-old woman from Los Angeles with perfect skin, discussing skin.
Me: I was celebrating my birthday with friends from college. We all turn 40 this summer, so we all met up.
Her: [gawks] You’re 40? You do not look 40. I mean, your eye area is nearly flawless.
Me: Thanks. [awkwardly aware she may be blind]
Her: What’s your secret?
Me: Well. . .
Her: It’s genetics, isn’t it?
Me: I was going to say years of smoking and drinking, bad sleep and reading late at night?
Me: But also sunscreen, daily, since I was your age. Also blue-green algae.
Her: Blue-green algae? [pulls out blackberry] I’m writing this down. My mother would kill me if she knew but I’ve already started getting botox.
Me: . . .
Her: It’s preventative. Here, along my forehead. See? I can’t furrow my brow.
Me: Wow. I’ve not yet seriously thought about botox.
Her: I’m obsessed. I just have to watch it, though, that I don’t go after every little thing. I kind of want to turn my face into a mask that never moves.
Me: . . .that would be bad.
Her: Yeah. What kind of blue-green algae?