When you are a woman of a "certain age," your face gradually mutates and shifts, until one day, no matter how good people say you look, you fail to recognize yourself. Yet my internal makeup remains full of vim and vigor. I'm still trying to get over the fact that I'm someone's mother twice over and that I'm no longer a teenager.
What can I say? The mind plays evil tricks. So does the subway. Ever look at your own reflection in a subway window? Each crevice is magnified by about a thousand fold. On a recent sojourn, I almost couldn't look away from the Crypt Keeper version of myself.
I longed to do something about it, but as a freelancer, my income is up and down, and thus there's no room in my budget for vanities -- only necessities. So I was completely bewildered when one day last spring, as if I'd conjured it out of the sky, I was offered the opportunity to receive a Juvederm XC treatment (the painless kind) from one of the world's foremost dermatologists, Dr. Doris Day.
Their ads promising to eliminate the "parenthesis" between my nose and mouth had me at hello, so I was totally tempted. I held on to the invite, but embarked on a heated should-I-shouldn't-I debate for months. In polling my friends, responses ranged from "Why not?" to the beautifully honest take from one of my New England homies, "Don't f*ck with your face."
Was I really going to f*ck with my face? Did this kind of self-improvement go against everything I believe in as a woman, a feminist? Was I merely a desperate woman clawing and clinging to some semblance of my youth? And if I did go through with it, what message would it send my kids? That I wasn't happy with how I looked?
Well, the siren song of Juvederm seeped through my cracking veneer, and I totally changed my tune. Dr. Day was warm and kind, explaining the entire procedure to me step-by-step, which really put me at ease. I pleaded with her to make me look like me seven years ago, closed my eyes and prayed for the best.
The outcome? Dr. Day took great care of me, and I could not be happier with the result. Until I "came out" in this entry, no one's been the wiser. I don't look like Jocelyn Wildebeast, or any other glossed, expressionless woman desperate to cling to her slipping youth. I just look like me. And that's all I wanted in the first place.