"Do you see them? Do you see them?"
My wife's face was about two inches from mine. I was supposed to be noticing something about her face.
"Do you see them? They're wrinkles. And they weren't here a year ago," she said, with a hint that I was somehow responsible.
"So, do you see them?"
Again, her face was about two inches from mine, but I honestly didn't notice any wrinkles. I did, though, notice that her lunch included onions.
"No, your face looks exactly like it was the day I met you," I said assuredly. My assurance didn't seem to soothe her angst.
I don't notice wrinkles of the skin, or blemishes, or dry patches, or goiters, for that matter. I know nothing of skin care - never have, really. I remember someone once offering me some moisturizer.
"It's moisturizer. Here, try some," they said.
"What's it for?"
"It moisturizes your skin," they answered.
"Why do I need my skin moisturized?"
Crickets chirped. Somewhere in the distance, miles away, I heard a hummingbird land on a leaf.
"I don't know" was the eventual response.
It is indeed ironic that, while I don't notice, or give a flip, about skin care, I have uncovered the secret to a lifetime of wrinkle-free skin.
I came upon this discovery where all startling revelations are borne - on TV. The other day, I was perusing the channels when I saw Aretha Franklin singing. I paused the remote control for a moment to listen to her distinct song stylings.
"This must be from a long time ago," I said aloud to myself. "Her face looks really young."
Not so. Further viewing revealed that the performance was recent.
How did her face look so smooth and crease-free at the age of 65? Her mug showed none of the plastic surgery markings evident in other celebrities - Exhibit A being Joan Rivers, who now looks more like that Madame puppet (anyone remember "Solid Gold"? I hope not) than an actual human being.
No, the Queen of Soul is free of plastic.
A brief investigation uncovered her secret. Aretha Franklin has retained a fresh, youthful face via the following regiment: She has gained five to 10 pounds a year for the last 30 years.
It's a little known fact that skin stretches. As Aretha's case scientifically concludes, if you stretch your skin a little bit each year, it will become tighter and tighter and wrinkles won't develop. What's critical is that you don't skip a year and stay the same weight.
It's that simple.
Unknowingly, I have followed this same regiment for years, which accounts for my youthful glow.
Now, mind you, while gaining such weight year after year clears wrinkles from your face, it can, as evidenced by Aretha, create crevices, indentations, or ravines in other parts of your person.
But that's a small price to pay for smooth, clear, kissable skin when you're fighting time.
Actually, it's a large price - but maybe not as expensive as a plastic surgeon.
Eat on, look young. It makes you feel like a natural woman.
Len Robbins is an award-winning columnist whose weekly column appears in 21 newspapers in Georgia. He is editor and publisher of The Clinch County News in Homerville.