So I ventured into some heavy stuff yesterday. I think I am going to give everyone a brief respite from the heavy stuff and take you somewhere else today. Someplace a little bit lighter.
You know how some days, you just look in the mirror and you feel a little – oh gosh – what’s the word? Dowdy? Lackluster? Just not quite as hot as your bad ass self wants to be?
And some times it’s not just days. It could be a phase. Like – “Oh, I hated that period where I had that really bad layered cut!” or “I was in Graduate school. I didn’t have time to look cute!” Even “Why in God’s name did you let me get bangs? Don’t EVER do that again, Girlfriend!” looking back at pictures we managed to hide somewhere but never quite forget.
Let’s just say that a few years ago, I was having one of those phases. It was an extended phase that lasted a while.
Now, the reasonable thing to do when you are going through one of these phases is something like the following:
1) Hit the gym. Get those endorphins flowing through your veins while working your way to a more fit body and hopefully an ass that doesn’t sag south of your knees.
2) Do some yoga. Maybe some meditation. Reconnect with yourself. Be all “Om Shanti”, like, you know what I’m saying.
3) Self-reflect. Ask yourself what is bothering you when you look in the mirror. Does it really even matter anyway? Is it even real – or is it in your head? Is it something that a bag of Baked Cheetos can get you through?
Those seem like logical options. Healthy options. Options I would give to a friend who might be going through a similar phase and is hitting the bottle a little too hard or wallowing in self-pity a little too much.
But because I am often NOT logical, and because I am often NOT one to really think things through over a long course of time (I mean, people, I bought a house. And had to return it), I decided to bypass all those options.
Against advisement from my ever wise husband, John, I decided to take a little visit to a plastic surgeon. I was looking a little tired, I thought. A little worn. I am certain if some of these lines on my face could be smoothed out, I would regain all of my mojo and be confident once again.
That‘s what the pamphlet said anyway.
So I go and I schedule an appointment with a well respected (i.e. expensive and no lawsuits pending) doctor in the D.C. area.
I sat in the waiting room where I could smell the overwhelming scent of insecurity mixed with a touch of quiet desperation. Before I knew it, I was taken back to the Doctor’s examination room.
He was a nice guy. Pretty good looking too (sorry John, I just think he was sorta cute!). He also had this reaallly sloooow Southern draawwwwl thi-ing that he playyys out, reeeally strawng, if you know what I mean.
I don’t know why, he just made me mushy. Ok, enough about my inappropriate crushes.
“So what brings you in today, da-arling?” he asked, smoothly pulling up his nifty stool to sit across from me.
I pointed to my forehead. And to the lines around my mouth.
“Do you see these?” I indicated, scrunching my forehead up and doing a big fake smile to accentuate the lines. “Do you think that there is a way to help me get rid of them?”
He got up from his stool, took a step back and looked my face over. Took a few minutes. Looked me over from this angle. That angle. It was oddly quiet and awkward while I waited for the verdict.
Taking a step back towards me, he pointed to my brow and said, “Well, first thing I’d do is clear these lines up with some Botox, maybe bring your brows up a bit. You see how they’re kind of drooping a little?” he asked the nurse who nodded her assent. He surveyed the lines around my mouth. “But I wouldn’t touch these. It’ll make you look kind of snouty, you know I mean?” Once again, the nurse nodded.
Apparently, snouty is NOT good. I don’t even know if it’s a word. So I nodded along, not really liking my face being compared to a pig’s snout, but at least he wasn’t trying to sell me services I didn’t need.
“But you know what I would DEFINITELY do?” He looked at the nurse and she nodded. Obviously the additional shortcomings of my face were evident to everybody in the room except for me.
“You see under your eyes? How they’re all hollowed out?”
No, I didn’t notice. But ok. I nodded sagely.
“Well, I would inject some Juvederm right here and here and that will really brighten your face.”
Hmm. That’s all it would take, huh? Good deal.
So of course I said, “Ok”.
And he said, “Great!” He and the nurses left to get the needles and the pretty juices (i.e. Botulism) to make me look a little more like myself again.
After all - I wanted to be revived. And brightened. And Botoxed and Juverdermed to a brand spanking new me.
So they came back to the room with their fancy needles and settled me in. I wasn’t too worried. After all, I’ve watched “The Real Housewives” and they got this shit done while eating hors d’oeuvres and getting into cat fights.
Let’s do this, I thought.
He did the Botox first. It hurt like a mother-effer.
Then he moved on to the Juvederm to get rid of those “deep hollows” under my eyes.
Before he went in with the injection, he casually mentioned, “Oh and by the way, you might have some slight bruising with these injections. But nothing that won’t clear up in a day or two.”
And a few minutes later, I was done, injected to perfection.
I was sent on my way, back home. I figured I would wait a few hours and wait for the perfection to kick in.
Hmmm. That’s funny. I didn’t feel that different. Where’s the perfection?
Other than the fact that my forehead now felt like a rubber band was pulling it back towards my scalp, I really couldn’t notice much.
And then came the next day. I looked in the mirror and screamed. Like bloody murder.
Both of my eyes were completely bruised. I looked like I had been punched in the face by Teresa from “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” repeatedly.
But that was not even the worst part.
One of my eyes started drooping. Like my lid couldn’t stay up because the Botox had freaking moved into it.
I called my Doctor’s office in a panic. They put one of the nurses on the phone.
“Oh, don’t worry sweetie. Bruising is completely normal. In fact, it could take up for two weeks for that to go away?”
Um, what the hell did you just say? I thought. I asked her to repeat herself and stood there in shock as she said the same thing, looking in the mirror all the while at the growing black and blue and purple marks on my face. They seemed to be growing darker and bigger with every second.
As for my droopy eye, she kindly explained that in a teeny, weeny, tiny, winy portion of the patients, this could, in fact, happen.
I think I hid in the house for about a week afterwards. It looked like I was a victim of domestic violence and I didn’t want anybody giving John dirty looks. About a week later I decided I would have to venture back out of the house. And of course, I did what any reasonable mother would do.
I blamed it on my kids.
By this point only one of my eyes was terribly bruised. The other had kind of gotten back to normal, especially with the help of some heavy duty concealer. The droopiness didn’t go away for about a month.
My solution was to wear sunglasses as much as I could. And I told everybody that Shaila had accidentally elbowed me in the eye in her sleep. Girlfriend didn’t know her own strength.
I don’t know if anybody believed me. I honestly think everybody just thought John was beating me heavily.
When all the healing was done, did I feel better about myself? Not really. Did I feel like it was money well spent? Um, again. Not really.
Looking back now, I know my issues were less with what was going on in the mirror and more about what I needed to be working on inside. How obvious of course and a total cliche, but it’s the truth.
I don’t have anything against people getting injections to make themselves feel better. I just want you to know about my experience. I didn’t find what I was looking for when my experience was done and on top of that I looked like someone had tossed me into a football game without a helmet.
Next time, I am going to try the yoga. The meditation. The working out.
But it’s going to be a helluva long time before you see me getting anywhere near one of those needles again.
Consider this a REALLY embarrassing PSA for what COULD go wrong.
And do you really want to tell anyone that your kids beat you? I think NOT.