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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Yeah, I'm rockin' some Botox. (Alternate Title: Botox as a Path to Spiritual Enlightenment)

Botulism is to Botox as sewage is to purified water. So Botox is as good for you as purified spring water. How do you like that logic, huh? Botulism is all natural and Botox is a purified version of it, so it's all good.

I first got Botox before this study was published. The study suggests that Botox might help depressed patients. I have an "eleven" between my eyebrows,two lines that make me look worried or angry when I'm not. When I catch sight of the eleven, I immediately think I need to relax or get more sleep, even if I'm not tired and don't have a care in the world, which leads me to worry that I'm not taking care of myself. Sometimes, putting on lipstick and pinching my cheeks helps, but as I get older, those temporary fixes have lost their punch. The lipstick settles into the creases around my mouth and the pinched cheeks make me look kind of drunk.

Right before I got pregnant with Baby J, I had a miscarriage. Like most women, I felt sad, mostly for the simple reason that I really wanted a baby. All in all, I recovered pretty quickly. As I told my husband, the only thing that would make me feel one hundred percent better was getting pregnant again and having a baby, which I eventually did. But not before indulging my curiosity about that injectable purified toxin. I get acupuncture, and what is Botox but acupuncture with a kick? Kind of like washing down a Valium with a cup of Kava Kava tea. The lingering sadness from the miscarriage was deepening my eleven.

I'd already mentioned my interest in Botox to my dermatologist, the serene Dr L. , but I'd been too self conscious to spend the money. The miscarriage made me self-indulgent; around the same time, I bought myself a diamond pendant, without consulting my husband or thinking about it for longer than three minutes. A friend called me and asked if she could pick up my son from school, leaving me twenty minutes to kill before I had to pick up my other son. I was in front of a jewelry store, which struck me as a sign. Incidentally, it was the old-school, nice store where my Dad shops for Mom, so not my sort of place. When I pulled over and parked, I'm not sure I knew what I was going to do. I'm so not an impulse shopper; I obsess for weeks or months, wait for what I want to go on sale and sometimes change my mind at the last minute any way. I walked into the store, looked at four or five necklaces and picked my favorite and just...bought it. And that is the state of mind I was in when I made the appointment to get Botox.

When I first asked Dr L. if she did Botox, she smiled and answered, with a swirl of her finger, "All over my face!" She has a great sense of humor; you'd be surprised at how funny dermatology can be. She's one of those people that can make her post breast cancer reconstructive surgery sound like one of the most hilarious moments ever. I told her I was willing to spend about two hundred and fifty dollars on vanity and she said that would be plenty. She injected exactly two hundred and fifty dollars worth of high class, totally purified, all-natural toxin right into my forehead, told me to frown for an hour (apparently that helps it really get in there) and then enjoy my new look. It didn't hurt any more than acupuncture. In fact, Dr. L injected several units right into the Yintang point (right between the eyebrows), where acupuncturists insert needles to calm the mind. So there. Bye bye, eleven!

As I drove home, I frowned as hard as I could, as instructed, which didn't make me feel great. Apparently, the act of frowning can bring on a bad mood, just as smiling can bring on a good one. After my hour long frown fest was over, I relaxed, most notably in my forehead region. I tend to carry a lot of tension in my face and suddenly I...couldn't. I could still raise my eyebrows and furrow my brow, but the furrow didn't stay. I didn't even have to rub it to make it go away.

I didn't tell my husband I'd gotten the injections, although I'd mentioned I was thinking about it. He may not have heard, because he tends to tune out if I talk about shoes, furniture, beauty treatments, chick movies, people he doesn't think are cool, and so on. Over the next month or so, he commented more than once about how beautiful I looked. I think it was probably in response to my looking more relaxed and less pissed off at him.

And you know what else? A few days after the Botox, I GOT CARDED, for the first time in ten years. At a CHARITY event. No one got carded, not even the truly underage. I know it's ridiculous, but I really liked it. It was worth at least twenty five dollars of the two hundred and fifty.

I also noticed that any lingering malaise evaporated, along with its physical manifestation, my eleven. I no longer saw a sad, tired person in the mirror, so I no longer was a sad, tired person. It's true, what your mother said, if you act (or look!) like you're having a good time, you will!

I'm not so vain that I would inject myself with Botulism while pregnant (plus, I'm pretty sure Dr. L wouldn't do it), but now that I'm no longer host to the cutest baby ever, I've indulged once more. I went to a Yoga Philosophy, Pranayama and meditation class tonight. I usually have trouble relaxing, even at Yoga, but this time I was able to really let go. My thoughts didn't wander, I didn't fidget and I even stayed in a seated position while everyone else laid on their mats, because I was so comfortable. Perhaps I really did reach a new level of spiritual clarity. Or maybe it was the Botox.

Oh yeah, the reason I died my eyebrows last night was so if anyone notices my new look, I can attribute it to the eyebrows. Kind of pointless, though, since I just blaaaaaaaaaghed about the whole thing.

Namasté, y'all!

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