My 40th Birthday Gift to Myself Was Botox

Woman 1: Ow, oh, ow ow! Please wait (exasperated)! Let me take a breath.

Woman 2: Give her a sec, Doctor, she almost squeezed my hand off.

Holy shit, what is she doing in there, an amputation?

Cosmetic Dermatologist: Did you have a natural childbirth?

Woman 1: I don't have children.

Cosmetic Dermatologist: Well, when you do, go natural. It'll boost your pain threshold, prepare you for stuff like this. Now, hold still, just seven more.

Seven more?! Of what ... blood sucking leeches to the face? I don't think she can take it. Frankly, I don't know if I can take it. Why am I still sitting here on the table in the room next door? Is looking young that important?


Plus, I didn't have a natural childbirth. I was so over-drugged, someone had to sit on me. I should get my stuff and politely leave the office it took me two months to get into. I'll just look at the receptionist, scream "epidural," and run for it.

But my legs are not responding. I'm sitting here, listening to the woman next door wince in pain, wondering why such a nice office has such thin walls, and waiting for my highly recommended cosmetic dermatologist to come in and assess the damage. How much work will it take to erase all evidence of the fact that I'm turning 40 in a week?

I said it: F-O-R-T-Y. I never thought a number could pack so much punch, but as the milestone draws closer, I find myself reassessing everything -- my professional life, my marriage, the clutter in my house, my choice of nail length, my wrinkles, my glassware. You name it, I've reassessed it.

"Is this where I thought I'd be financially at 40?" "Does my marriage look the way I thought it would look at 40?" "Is this the iPad cover I always thought I'd have at 40?" You know, like that. I've also thought, "Is that WOMAN in the mirror really me?" I guess that's why I'm here -- one day I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize that chick.

All those years we snidely said we'd rather stick a needles in our eyes, who knew there would be something that could make that a true statement? Well, as I have my mini-mid-life crisis, I realize that, for me, the effects of aging have just that kind of power. Nope, I'm NOT going to take this lying down. Well, except for now, because the table has me set at a steep angle. But I will stay on this table -- at this incline -- until someone sticks needles in my eyes. 

And boy did someone do just that: the doctor stuck needles in my eyes, my neck, my forehead, and the bridge of my nose. The pain of Botox isn't so bad, though. I think the pain in my wallet was the sharpest. Now I can worry and scowl all I want and you'd never know it. Hopefully, you can still tell when I'm smiling.

As for the woman next door, I never asked what procedure she was having. I'd like to assume it's something I won't need until I'm at least 50!

Would you do something cosmetic to set back the hands of time, or are you down with aging naturally?

Image via Jenny Isenman

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