One day as I was looking around a high-end cosmetics store for a new lipstick, a “beauty expert” approached me and said that I was so stunning I should forget the lipstick, and get a lip plumper instead. At first I wondered why I needed a lip plumper if I was already so stunning. But then I thought, “Now here is someone wearing a badge that says, ‘beauty expert,’ so if she thinks a lip plumper is the one thing that will make me a model of facial perfection, I’m all for it.”
In her defense, the stuff did actually work. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really going for a look that screamed, “Why yes, my mouth did get sucked into vacuum cleaner.” So I went into hiding until I looked a little less like a frightened pufferfish and vowed to never be swayed by anybody selling anything again.
But after some time passed, I forgot the error of my beauty ways. As I shopped for a new mascara, another “beauty expert” approached me and said, “Instead of mascara, have you thought about trying false eyelashes?” She showed me the most gorgeous pair of voluminous eyelashes I had ever seen.
“Are they hard to get on?” I asked.
“Oh no,” she assured me. “Super easy. You’ll love them!”
She sold me the eyelashes and the glue and I immediately went home and tried them on. But before I even got the eyelashes on, my eyelids started to swell from a reaction to the glue. Had my lips still been enlarged, I probably would have had a matched set. Again I went underground until I no longer looked like a freaked out chameleon and promised myself that this would absolutely be the last time I fell for some miracle beauty product.
Fast forward three months and I was in the dermatologist’s office. As I waited for her to come in, I felt myself drawn to the before and after photos of women who’d had Botox. They all looked so stress-free, natural and youthful. When I told my doctor I might be interested, she agreed that a small amount would relax some of the wrinkles in my face. In two minutes the procedure was over and in four days I had a frozen forehead. That part of it would have been bad enough, but apparently I have a muscle weakness above one eyebrow that no one ever noticed. As a result, the Botox made one eyebrow raise in a somewhat surprised look while the other sank a little lower on the other side. The result was neither natural nor youthful but instead made me look permanently dubious like Mr. Spock from “Star Trek.”
Sadly, this was not one I could sit out for a week. This was a three- to six-month commitment to be a Vulcan and I was at a loss for how to cover it up until my face went back to normal.
That night my husband came home and I met him with a hoodie pulled over one side of my face.
“OK, what’s going on?” he said.
“Take off the hoodie.”
“OK, fine. I sighed as I pulled the hoodie down. Now it was his turn to look surprised.
“I got Botox and it made one of my eyebrows go up and the other one go down,” I explained.
“How long will it be like that?”
“About three to six months,” I groaned. “What am I going to do until then?”
He raised his hand up into the Vulcan greeting and said, “live long and prosper.”
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