Saturday, February 5, 2011
Botox - believe it or not!
Well, all I can say is thank-you very much [coat with sarcasm please]. With over 400 women connected via email, plus nearly 200 via the survey and another fifty or so via the discussion groups, I found only ONE (uncontactable) person who admitted to using Botox. Now either that says that we are a remarkably sanguine lot, or well-preserved, or totally at ease with the middle-aged-ness of our faces. The latter of which was not particularly reflected in survey answers, where wrinkles ranked right up there as things we're not too keen on. So that leads me to suspect a few more women are having foreign substances injected into their faces, but they just don't want to talk about it. Fair enough. But this left me in a bit of a pickle - how can I write about Botox with no information? Which brings me back to my original (sarcastic) thank-you because it meant I had to - after making and breaking two appointments over Christmas - drag my saggy, baggy face down to the local salon and be my own source. Yes, that's right, my name is Ilsa Evans and I have now been Botoxed. Gulp.
When I say Botoxed, I have to admit that I opted for a minimal amount over a minimal area - which will no doubt result in a patch of pristine skin that only makes the rest of me look even older. The truth is that I would be laughed out of Wisteria Lane, but it's good enough for me. And I now have something in common with all those shiny-faced celebrities - except for the fact that I'm admitting to it and they are not. Who me? Never. It's just genetic good fortune, darling. All the women in my family are wrinkle free and trout-mouthed even at eighty. Honest.
I have to say it was a rather fascinating experience. And informative. I arrived with half-baked perceptions of women trapped within tangled notions of self-esteem, fragile egos quivering with desperation, dark sunglasses in the waiting room, and frozen smiles at the checkout. Wrong on every count. Jessica, the nurse, who kindly answered all my questions, says that for most of her clients, it's more about erasing life's little tragedies. Women who have gone through some sort of trauma, such as a death in the family, only to see this written across their faces. And wanting it gone. While that may well be correct, I'm guessing it's also about vanity, and wanting to wind back the clock, and rejuvenation. After all it's why we pay big bucks for the latest gamma-beta-globules of virginal seaweed kelp - if we're told it'll do some good.
So after our interview came the big question. Yes, or no? And by then I felt a little like I did at five years of age when Daryl Thatcher dared me to put my bare feet into gumboots full of tadpoles and then walk around the pond and back. Which, now that I think of it, was probably a lot more traumatic for the tadpoles than for me. So I did it (then and now). Putting myself in Jessica's hands - literally - and even following her advice that if I was going to opt for the minimum, then I should hit the crow's feet. I have to say the most painful part was the ice-bag that was used to numb the area - that killed - with the injections themselves paling in comparison. Then came the instructions - do not expect instant results as Botox takes between four and fourteen days to work (seems a bit lazy to me but what do I know?), and do not, under any circumstances, rub and/or massage the area for four hours as apparently the stuff can travel (wtf?). Whereapon I was immediately struck with an almost overwhelming urge to rub and/or massage said areas, and this urge lasted for exactly four hours. Necessitating quite a lot of time spent sitting on my hands.
In the waiting room were several women who glanced at me curiously so I did my best to look nonchalantly urbane as I strolled through and out to my car. Instantly forgetting that windows have glass as I examined myself every which way in the rear vision mirror. But nothing had changed, and two days later nothing has changed yet either. Except that my daughter spends quite a lot of time examining my face (much like she used to examine seedlings when little, waiting impatiently for a sign of life), and my mother gave me a look that I haven't seen since I was a teenager and did something particularly daft. But it doesn't feel any different, and most of the time I forget I even had it done. So will I ever do it again? I doubt it, but stay tuned.