30 March 2012

beauty and weirdness

cosmetic surgery

It's Spring, and that means brighter light, less clothing, and much, much more flirting.
And it also means that even the most secure woman thinks, fleetingly, about paying lots of money to look better for all three of those conditions.

[Random note: I think Macy's would make a LOT more sales if the put Xanax dispensers in every bathing suit changing room. Or Vicodin. I'm not picky.]

Many years ago, the combination of having an unexpected day off and a taste for random adventures, led me to call a plastic surgeoun who advertised in the Post. [Advertising in the Post should have been the first red flag: Danger, Will Robinson!! as "Lost In Space" robot would say.] He was giving free consultations, and his office was a block from the museum I was going to. And I'm a weirdo. So I went.

The girl behind the desk had classic ethnic features: BIG eyes, BIG mouth, BIG cheekbones, and a little dot where her nose used to be. She smiled cheerily at me as I approached the desk with trepidation. She said "He's WONDERFUL! He did my nose! I'm so happy!"

She leaned confidingly in. "I know, you're surprised. Most people can't tell. But then he did myy mom and my cousin Sheila, and now we all look alike!"
I gulped weakly. "Didn't you look alike before? Being, um, related and all?"
A shadow crossed her face. "He'll see you now," she said crisply, and I walked in.

Dr X's office was like any other oldfashioned doctor's office: paper covered table, stainless steel trashcan opearted by a lever (this is important, hold on), and, on the desk, an oldfashioned doctor's bag. I couldn't IMAGINE why he needed that. He beamed at me, and said "Oh, you've come just in time!!

"I have? It's Tuesday." I was confused.

"No, no! Those naso-labial folds are getting out of hand!" He helpfully handed me a mirror. It had magnification. LOTS of magnification. Catherine Deneuve at 16 would not have survived looking in that mirror.
"I like to call them marionette lines!"

"You do?" I needed water.

"Yes, because--and this'll interest you, I saw where you are a cabaret performer--I'm actuall a ventriloquist! "

"You are?" Really needed water. And a valium.

"Here's my dummy!" He whipped out a picture of himself on stage, with a dummy dressed as a doctor. Little stethoscope, white outfit, the works. Disturbingly, the dummy looked like he was suffereing from a form of macrocephalia. I guess that was supposed to be humourous.

"I can throw my voice!", he announced, and walked over to the trashcan. Using the pedal, he made the lid go up and down, and made hois voice come out of it, saying "Hello, Peri! You got here just in time!"

"well, it IS Tuesday", I muttered, hynotized by the surrealism.

"So! he sat back down. "You need a brow lift, a partial face left, and a couple of other things we can talk about now. Mind if I se your breasts?"

I fled. I would like to say I handled it coolly, and stuck around for the free wine and cheese, but i didn't: I fled like Bambi at a gun show. All I could think about was tha, someday soon,while he was opearating on a patient, he was going to snap, and make Mr. Kidney have a fun and amsuing dialogue with Mrs. Spleen. There would be blood on the walls as they carted him away, screaming "Give me a trash can! I can make it talk!"

So now I age in real time, and smile when I see the "New You For Spring!" plastic surgery ads in the Voice, and getused to the fact that NYC is a city filled with an ever-arriving stream of the young and the gorgeous. I have marionnette lines. But I got no strings to hold me down, and i can quote Dickens, and on a good day I can turn enough heads to satisfy whatever need that is, and that's okay.

But please. No talking trash cans.


PS: Did I mention, that at the time of this whole megilla, I was TWENTY-SEVEN?
27. And he said I needed abrowlift.

Note: the writer reserves the right to change her mind about this issue at a moment's notice.

Where's that Xanax?

21 March 2012

A Brief, Chicken-y Encounter With The Abyss

I make the best chicken soup ever in the history of the Universe, and I'm modest about it, too. The problem is, I can't let anyone know what's in it. But you're you, so I can tell you: the secret ingredient is...Chicken feet.

No, really. I go down to Chinatown, and find a store that sells chicken feet. They're easy to locate, as there is usually a crowd of chickens in wheelchairs, picketing the place. I buy a passel (along with the two chickens it takes to make the soup properly), go home, and fire up the oven.

The first time i did this, i was still married. I was cooking away, and had tossed the footsies in the pot, and did something else for a while...then turned back . And then screamed. The feet had come together in pairs [no cracks, please], and were doing an amazing simulacrum of the "Praying Hands" trope, so beloved by cheesy sculptors everywhere. Truly, it was one of the most appalling sights ever. So i did what any normal, 29 year old woman would do...I raced into the hall and crouched there in sheer, abject terror.

My husband came home. "Ha ha, little lady," he said, or would have said if he talked like that, which he didn't or else i wouldn't have married him. "What seems to be the problem here?"

I gestured in a frantic way reminiscent of the early Zasu Pitts, towards the closed kitchen door. "Feet," I said. "Praying. -Scared."

He gave me an odd look, and marched in a manly manner, into the kitchen, where i heard a loud girly scream, and he came rocketing out to join me in terrified crouch position.

"NOW what?", he asked. We clutched each other, and whimpered, and waited for The End To Come.

Finally, we closed our eyes, inched back into the kitchen, and managed to turn the stove off. Eventually all was fixed, the feet were retrieved and buried in a special graveyard, and dinner went on. I made matzo balls with seltzer water-the secret o' fluffiness- and life went on, but I had to go get Audited by a crack team of Chicken Scientologists, before i could look at a spoon again without screaming.

And now, off to teach class...

xoxo peri