Submitted by Me & My Evil Twin
Sitting in the medical spa waiting room, I flipped through a magazine without seeing a word. My brain was wrought with worry: what if it hurt? What if I passed out? What if my face ended up looking so frozen, people referred to me as the Botox Queen?
The receptionist handed me a clipboard full of papers, jarring me out of my head. “You need to read through these,” she said sweetly. “These are some of the complications you may experience. Please make sure you sign every page at the bottom, then give it back to me.”
“Sure,” I said too brightly. I quickly browsed through the list, horror stories from TV flashing through my head, then quickly scribbled out a few signatures before I lost my courage.
I always swore I’d never be one of ‘those’ women. You know – the ones whose vanity was so great, they succumbed to getting needles in their face to paralyze their muscles. The mere idea of the procedure shocked me. Horrified me. I even felt sorry for women who were that ‘desperate.’ I was going to grow old gracefully and love and accept every wrinkle…
Yet there I was, about to hand the future state of my facial muscles over to a stranger with a needle. Had I lost my mind? you ask. Well…kind of – I was going through a divorce.
I’d always had an ‘animated’ face. A face that should have been in theatre. My real emotions were always visible ‘somewhere’ in the plethora of lines and muscles across my skull. By the time I hit thirty, my crowsfeet had become a source of insecurity. And sometimes I’d stare at other women my age with their eye sockets so creamy smooth, and long to see their reflection in the mirror, not mine.
My decision to try botox had arrived a few weeks earlier – while in this same medical spa, in fact. I was having the veins on my legs injected, something I’d never done before either. But two pregnancies with 50 lbs plus of weight gain during each had splattered purple spider veins all over my thighs. It was at the end of this treatment when I heard the doctor say: “Hun, have you ever considered doing botox?”
Immediately I looked down to hide both my eyes and feelings of insecurity. My lines must be really bad if a doctor is actually recommending it, I thought.
“You have absolutely gorgeous eyes,” she continued. “And I’m not trying to make you self-conscious. But if you take care of them now, your lines will completely disappear in ten years.” Suddenly, she grabbed a hand mirror and held it in front of my face. She gently molded the skin around my eyes into a saggy, puffy pouch. “If you don’t, this is what you’ll look like in ten years. And as long as you’re OK with that, then that’s all that matters.”
But what I saw in that mirror haunted me thereafter. I already felt tired and old from the stress and despair of my separation; I didn’t want to LOOK old and exhausted, too.
“Lynn?” I heard, looking up to see the doctor standing there with my file. “Please come with me.”
I leaped up and followed her, grateful that she hadn’t announced to the waiting room, “Ready for your botox, Lynn?”
As soon as she shut the door, I started babbling like a wimp about how scared I was. But she reassured me that my feelings were totally normal; that she’d only had one minor complication in seven years; that she even did her injections on herself; and that the entire treatment would seem like nothing compared to getting my leg veins injected.
“Smile for me, hun,” she said as she studied my face and dotted spots around my eyes with a marker. Her body language was relaxed as she continued chatting with me and filled syringes over at the counter. Then it was time. She pinched my skin around my eyes and in went the needle. I stiffened, felt a slight sting, then heard, “How was that? Not too bad eh?”
“Not bad at all,” I answered honestly.
Onward she went. A few more injections strategically placed around my eyes…then, the same points were injected on my other eye. “And we’re done!” she announced, walked back over to the counter.
“That’s it?” I replied surprise apparent. That was WAY too easy!
“Yup. You’re gonna love your results Lynn, I just know it. Just make sure you smile every five minutes for the next hour, and no exercising. And no lying down for at least six hours, k?”
Later driving home, my face felt funny but not uncomfortable. I smiled every two minutes instead of five, praying my body accepted the botox and didn’t start spazzing out on me somehow. I knew I wouldn’t see full results for the next seven to ten days…but looking up in rear-view mirror, I already noticed that some lines weren’t activating.
I did love the results, just as the doctor had predicted. In no way did I look ‘frozen’ – I’d literally just stopped the deep canals from highlighting my eyes when I smiled. I thought I looked younger than I had in five years…and in some wonderful way, my new look made me FEEL younger; a bit brighter too.
Of course botox can’t solve any of our life problems as we go through a divorce. But as far as I’m concerned there’s something to be said for a confidence boost – a little gift for the New Me under Construction.
Me & My Evil Twin