There are many things in my day-to-day existence that can instantaneously remind me of "advancing age." Okay, scratch that euphemism. Comedian George Carlin is completely dead-on about how society has padded our language to make certain things sound better than they are. So here's to honesty, George: Every time I wake up, there are a load of pain in the ass realities that scream in my rapidly decaying face, YOU ARE GETTING OLD!
Whether it's the crows that greet me in the mirror each dawn, the fact that getting out of bed and entertaining an upright posture makes my spine scream like a 12 year old who just sighted Orlando Bloom, or the crumpled mess of stomach flesh left behind after three children checked out of the Uterine Resort and Spa, I have no less than five YOU ARE GETTING OLD moments before I even leave my bedroom.
Daily as I go to wake up my three daughters, I pause for a moment and ponder their full lips, glowing skin and tousled hair. Okay, forget ponder, I stare in full-on seething jealousy and wonder where the hell my youth went and who sucked out all my collagen? For me to get that effect, someone would have to punch me in the mouth, stuff nuclear waste inside my cheeks and rent me a wig -- my own hair just doesn't speak tousled... it is, however, fluent in Thinning Bedheadese.
It's not that I don't fight all this aging business, I most certainly do. Name a potion touted to tighten, soften, minimize, eradicate or reveal and it is on my bathroom counter. I estimate that in the last decade alone, I have spent enough money on creamy concoctions (none of which lived up to their Madison Avenue hype), that I could have gone to the plastic surgeon and overhauled my entire body -- twice. That sagging skin alone could have made a new set of Olsen twins
Unfortunately, like every other female out there, I live in perpetual hope that some new, over the counter, $9.99 cosmetic will work some deep cellular magic and transform me from ravaging to ravishing in 14 days.
And so it was that recently, while staring at my crow's feet and also staring down the barrel of a .38 caliber birthday, I decided to stop waiting for L'oreal, looked in the mirror and said, "Damn it, I AM worth it." I was going to do something daring -- something expensive -- something just for me. Yes, that's right, after 13 years of motherly martyrdom and two years shy of the big 4-0, I was finally going to give myself a birthday present.
I booked my first Botox appointment.
I have to admit that I was a tad apprehensive as I entered the doctor's office-- after all, my research had pulled up photos of people who had bad results with the shots. But then again, what do you expect when you have your treatment done by an illegal immigrant at your friend's Botox-Scrapbooking party? Personally, my fear of needles was completely overshadowed by my vanity, excitement at sending those crows to facial Siberia, and the letters MD behind my doctor's name.
The procedure took all of two minutes: four shots, some minor stinging and what I'm now fairly certain was an auditory mirage: The Hallelujah Chorus.
Within a week, those crow's feet had severe frostbite, and when I smiled, they were unable to flock as they had seven days before. I smile a lot -- looking ten years younger will do that to a person. Will I go back for more? The appointments have already been made, thank you very much.
I know that aging is a fact of life I can only stop by ceasing to breathe. I know I will still wake up to a creaking spine and the artifacts of bringing forth life. But as I face advancing age, I am going to do it gracefully.
Okay, okay George... As I begin to fart dust and leak urine, at least my face is going to kick ass.