She wiped the fog from the bathroom mirror and looked at her tired face. Brown eyes, with a gleam hinting at her mischief. Distinctive nose, betraying her Greek ancestry. Grey hair stood oddly off her head, only a handful of them, but enough to be noticeable. They seemed to ask for attention. Wrinkles had formed around her eyes and mouth. Her plump lower lip pouted. Her youth was definitely in the past. She couldn’t deny it. She would never pass off as a young woman again. She would never have to show her ID to buy alcohol. Young people would call her “Miss” now. It was frustrating. She ran her hand across her face again and dragged her cheeks down, making silly faces at herself. Her reflection didn’t change, though. Her hair was still beginning to lose its natural brown, and her eyes still showed signs of age. She looked down at her damp naked body. There was no hair; she had suffered through a couple of procedures to make sure of that. But there were other things she saw: Wrinkles. Loose skin. Flab. It was useless. She put her hands on her protruding hips. She turned left to right, standing on tiptoes, looking at her beauty spots. How could she face a blind date looking like that? And even if she would meet him fully clothed, their texts had implied that there would be activities requiring less clothes. She was thirty-seven and ready to start a new chapter in her book of life. Wrinkled old face or not, she had to get ready. She chose skinny jeans and a black blouse. She liked to keep it simple. A little bit of makeup and her preferred jewelry topped off her look. Her hair was a hopeless cause, but she tied it in a loose bun. She wasn’t dressed up. This was her, all her.
She was ten minutes late when she entered the pub where they were supposed to meet. She recognised him right away. There was a smile on his face, and his greeting was but a croak. She extended her hand, and he leaned in for a hug. It was all very awkward. She looked at him; the first thing she noticed was wrinkles. Around his eyes and mouth. And just like that, she didn’t feel old and out of place anymore.