I have changed my mind, Doctor Olay, I do not want younger-looking skin.
You remember how it used to be: you're fifteen (32) and the boy (literary agent) you've fancied for ages (done a redraft for and exchanged some promising emails with) has finally asked you out (invited you into the office). You'd started to think it would never happen - boys (literary agents) usually pass you over in favour of your prettier (more talented . . . possibly also prettier) friends (fellow writers). But here you are, the morning before the date, lying in bed wondering what to wear, how to act, which way to tilt your head for that first kiss (we'll probably just shake hands first off) . . . But hang on, something's different - you can feel something lightly throbbing on your cheek and as you rush out of bed and stumble to the mirror you see the full horror of what has erupted on your face overnight:
You rush around in a blind panic - you've got to do something! He (she!) can't see you like this! Can you hide it with your hair? Can you casually leave your hand on your face for the entire date (meeting)? Use brown eyeliner to make it into a beauty spot? Some sort of head scarf, wrapped tightly around one cheek? A balaclava? HELP!!! You run downstairs and ask your mum (children) if it's really noticeable. "Not at all," says your mum. "Now hurry up, you'll be late for school." ("Eurgh," says your child, "what's THAT on your face? Hurry up, I want some Cheerios.")
You rush into the kitchen to find instant spot remedies: a lemon? Hmm, might work. You cut it open and slam it onto your face. Ow! OK, how about some alcohol: brandy, vodka or damson gin - which one, which one?? You wet a piece of kitchen towel with the vodka and dab it on. Ow! What else? Cumin seeds, porridge oats, fish sauce, plum jam . . . curry paste? dab, dab, dab. Ow! Ow! Ow! You run upstairs to the bathroom and grab the toothpaste - YES, TOOTHPASTE! You're sure you've read somewhere that toothpaste is an excellent remedy. You squeeze it onto your cheek and try to calm down as you contemplate yourself in the mirror, wild of hair, flushed of face and white-blobbed of cheek. You breathe deeply, clutching the basin for support as you think to yourself: Sod it. If he (she!) doesn't like me zits n' all, he (she!) isn't the right boy (agent) for me.
You see, this is why I'm so suited to teen fiction, because I feel like a 15-year-old on the inside, and I look like one on the outside.
Umm, except for all those laughter lines.