I’ll admit it. I’m a little Bo-curious. As in Botox: The final frontier. All the cool eight-year-olds are injecting these days; is it time to channel my inner-Judy Garland and sing, “Why oh why can’t I?”
Here’s another question:
Did you know the word botulism derives from the Latin for “sausage”?
Yeah. Neither did I. And who freaking cares? Let us assault our foreheads with “sausage poison” and then do lunch. Because nothing boosts the appetite like some muscle paralyzer. Am I right?
It’s not that I am vain. Much. One must bathe with greater regularity and don something other than pajamas to garner that particular reputation.
Nevertheless, I’ve caught myself looking in the mirror more frequently; scrutinizing the decline of my slackened skin. The truth is that I’d love the planes of my face to be smoothed, to erase the effects of Father Time. (Time has to be male, right? I mean, really.)
I’ve taught a lot of Shakespeare. His sonnets seek immortality through words (which is great work if you can get it). Yes, the heroines of his plays never succumb to plastic surgery. Still. They’re generally dead by 42 (lucky bastards). Which means Romeo never finds himself gazing at a middle-aged Juliet and thinking, Really. That’s what your neck looks like now, huh?
We scoff at the Real Housewives (okay their lives suck so maybe not the best example) but Herodotus began searching for the Fountain of Youth long before Ponce de Leon; and Dorian Gray didn’t keep his secret portrait for no reason.
Still. These obsessions came with a price. And it’s not just the potential droopy-eyed side effects or the prohibitive cost that’s keeping me off the sausage poison.
I’ve found other deeper worries attending the passage of time. Here’s a sampling of my oh-so-scary fears:
1. That this blog post may be my last because I’ll never again have anything funny, relevant, original or moving to share. Ever. Thanks. It’s been real. Goodbye.
2. That despite my best intentions, I am ruining my children. Or I already did. Or both.
3. That Michael Scott’s no longer on The Office. I love Will Ferrell. But.
4. That I’m grateful to pay $4.20 a gallon for regular unleaded. I mean seriously. How can anyone afford Botox?
5. That the twelve pairs of shoes I own are no longer in style. Probably. Definitely. No.
6. That I can’t pay for college tuitions let alone a vacation to Hawaii. And I like palm trees. Damn.
7. That I’m a fraud who can’t write and my Novel-In-Progress won’t be published and my family’s sacrifices will be pointless.
8. That the Skinny Cow ice cream cups I love are, in fact, loaded with fat and calories. And botulism.
9. That despite my best intentions, I’m ruining my children. I know I said that already. But.
10. That I’ll never again have living room furniture and people in their forties are supposed to have living room furniture. This is something I know from watching television so of course it must be true.
These thoughts weigh on me. Heavily. And at the end of it all, I’m torn.
Should I erase the evidence of my descent into Life’s Second Half, or continue to glide through my forties pretending I don’t care about the crow’s feet?
Because I do care. I don’t want to grow old. Yet. I’m not okay with death—mine or anyone else’s. (Except for those Shakespeare characters. Some of the best ones, after all, are skulls.)
No doubt my fears are petty in the grand scheme of the world’s stage. But still. These are the lines I play. The lines I write. The lines on my face.
I’m sure it’s all related and that I can’t erase one without the other.
So what if aging gives depth to my writing and meaning to my parenting; an appreciation of life’s fragile beauty? Is it wrong to cling to youth for just a bit longer?
Help me out here, people. I need some answers. Or at least a little lunch.
And maybe one or two new pairs of shoes.