Guest blogger Sarah: I got the age gene -- and not the good kind. When I turned 40, the wrinkles and sags came to town. They took over my face, just like houseguests you realize will never leave unless you make them leave. You hope they will, so that things will get back to normal in the mirror, but they don't. They get worse, no matter the face cream or beauty regimen used.
Luckily, my salvation came in the form of a gift from my sister: a face-lift. My sister (who has more money than she knows what to do with) took me to see her fancy Beverly Hills surgeon, and I ended up getting a full neck- and face-lift -- and I think I look great. But my family is a little weirded out. I thought having a face-lift would make my kids proud of how I looked, but the truth is, they hardly recognize me. I think I still look like me, but the problem is, I look like me ten years ago, the woman I was before any of them ever laid eyes on me.
I remember when my college boyfriend came home with a radically different haircut (as in, from shoulder-length to no hair). He looked like a stranger, and it took a while to warm up to him. I knew he was my boyfriend, but my brain took longer to be convinced. I think this is what my children are going through now, ever since I came home with a smooth neck and jawline and eyelids that aren't blocking my vision.
My toddler just looks at me with wonder (she knows something's off, but can't verbalize it). But my other two kids stare and are blunt about their feelings. "Mom, what did you DO?! You don't look like yourself!" they say. Well, that was the whole point. But they don't see it that way ....
And speaking of the way they see it ... I didn't think about that before I had surgery. I was just so excited for the chance to get it done. (And I think my husband was too relieved it wasn't coming out of our own wallet to care.) But now I wonder what kind of message I've sent my kids. That outside beauty is more important than any other kind?
If I had the chance to do it over again, I can't say I wouldn't do it. But I would sit down with my kids and explain things better.
Has anyone out there been through this? It's not a common problem, I understand, but somebody must have some advice on how to remedy the situation ....