In my youth, when I imagined myself at 50, I thought I’d be a svelte, chic entertainment heavyweight with two or three thriving, academic-athletic fantasy children who would be close in age and in spirit.
I’m a heavyweight all right – ‘fat but fit’ still means wearing double-digit-sized-lululemons. As for the rest of that youthful picture…
I’m an uber volunteer without a single item of couture clothing in my closet who is trying to launch herself professionally (yet again) via a blog that currently has two subscribers.
Yes, reality has once again bitten me in my sagging ass. But, as I stare down the half-century marker – in 100 days… but who’s counting – I’m determined to enter this new decade with some amount of style. Thus, I have turned my attention to self-improvement. No, not the type of soul searching or sweat- drenched pursuits that require depth, intense movement or abstinence, but instead such quick fixes as the much-discussed injectable fountains of youth including Botox, Restylane, Voluma, and the like.
I am thinking of Botoxing the age right out of my face while keeping the wisdom within. It’s a win-win, right? I wouldn’t go the full Kidman – who is more beautiful that I will ever be no matter how much work I get or how little I eat – and make my forehead a clean slate. No, I’m thinking about just softening up those lines that have crept across my forehead and nested next to my eyes. I’m told by the more fashionable mothers who I have queried about this that ‘now’ (I think that they meant right now, as I saw one reach for her phone) is the time to start shooting up before the lines are too entrenched. Even muscle memory is a double-edged sword.
“Amy, it’s Botulism – it’s a neurotoxin,” said my husband, who dealt with his thinning hair by ordering a gadget so that he can give himself extreme crew cuts.
Well, so much for the husband who thinks I’m perfect just the way I am – he too was part of my youthful fantasy surrounding my 50th.
But everything in Los Angeles shines – at least on the surface. And, I’d like to think that upon occasion, when I am buffed and polished, even I shine a bit… and that it would take less work to achieve such radiance if I got a few units of a perfectly safe muscle relaxer shot into my face.
Will I see someone different – or just smoother – in the mirror? Will looking at a younger me encourage me to act younger, do more, and eat less? Will I look less fretful? What will the promise of Botox for my 50th birthday really buy me? Isn’t it cocktail hour somewhere in the world so I can sip into denial?
And what about Restalyne and other fillers? Will puffing up the folds around my lips simultaneously puff up my ego – or will my husband just make fun of my trout lips? What about my tendency to bruise – will I just end up looking like a beaten- up fish? Are you sure it isn’t cocktail hour somewhere, anywhere?
This aging shit isn’t for the faint of heart. I was never a great beauty but now, I don’t even garner a second look let alone a whistle from street crews. Who would’ve thought I might miss that sort of appreciation? Might Botox give me back the affirmation I used to get from wolf whistles?
The web is a blessing and a curse – there are so many parts of me that I can improve and so many professionals who offer their services for my benefit. There is vaginal rejuvenation – which just creeps me out even if it made me more appealing to the father of the two children who stretched things out below. I can laser my labia if I think my southern lips are too trout-like. I can bleach my nether region or wax it… the web is filled with ‘suggestions’ designed to pray upon my insecurities and lighten my wallet.
My favorite southern enhancer – of the moment at least – is the Vajewel™ and the Vatoo™. Va what? Oh, just vait.
Now, I’m the first to admit that monogamy can be tough on a sex life. Even on the best days, finding a perfect or even good-enough moment is generally impossible – especially after you have children. There is the care and feeding of the kids and, naturally, the generic, potentially soul-crushing exhaustion that is everyday life. Who said I wasn’t an optimist?
And, even when the little ones are out of the house, using all of those flat surfaces just because you can never happens – we still put our glasses on them rather than our sagging asses – so I get the need to change things up to maintain a satisfying sex life throughout a long term relationship.
And the Completely Bare website has just the answer to put the sparkle back in your lover’s eyes… post waxing one can “Accessorize your own jewels…with over 30 Swarovski crystals.” And if you’re not in to crystals, “there is Vatoo™, the spray paint decoration inspired by Cindy’s trip to Morocco.”
I dare you to do an image search of Vajewel™ and Vatoo™ and spend less than 15 minutes staring at what’s on your screen. My more hirsute self found it va-very interesting… in a slack-jawed ‘I-really-am-old-and-boring’ sorta way. On the World Wide Web you’re always just a click – two at most – away from porn.
Yes, I found it va-weird but I’m middle-aged and not particularly chic or adventurous. But neurotoxin… now that has some appeal.
I’m overwhelmed with self-criticism and the desire to fix myself through modern technology – damn the bank account, full cosmetic procedures ahead? I’m wracked with indecision as to where to start, given how many self-improvement choices are out there.
So, in the face of the stress and frustration of the aforementioned, I’m now going to raise The Gin Flag (God Bless the witty British gal pal who spoke this brilliant, oft-copied-by-me phrase) and enjoy that gin and tonic because damn it, it is cocktail hour, finally, in my neck of the world. I’ll worry about Botox, fillers, Va-enhancements and whether or not I should throw myself a 50th birthday bash or merely hide under a rock and deny the day tomorrow.