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?