There is No Such Thing as Natural Beauty

On Friday morning, as I stumbled from the bed to the sink, I noticed a little mark on my lip.  Frankly, I wasn’t concerned at all.

On Saturday morning, it was still there.

On Sunday morning, right in the middle of my shower, when I was clearly NOT following the full lather, rinse and repeat directions on my bottle of shampoo, but was, instead, simply lathering and rinsing, I was struck with horror as the mark’s name popped into my mind.

I’m sure it was the devil, sitting right there whispering at me, and I tried, people, to reject what I was hearing, and then there was an enormous disturbance in the Force at the Jedi Manor, because listen!

I think the little, quarter-of-an-inch-long mark on my lip is probably a LIP WRINKLE.

I know!  The thought nearly buckled my knees in the shower and made me ache for a 1-800 hotline number that I could call for emotional therapy at 7:30 on a Sunday morning  while my hair was full of lathered shampoo.

Later, as I was examining the tiny beast with a microscopic eye in the mirror, I turned to Hubs and announced, “Do you see this?  I think it’s a wrinkle!  I think it’s the beginning of the end, when my lips decide to pucker in a mass of permanent old lady wrinkles.  What do YOU think it is?”

Hubs looked at me, and then he said, “There is no safe way for me to answer that question.  I refuse to talk without my lawyer present.”

After staring at myself for another five minutes in the mirror, and twisting my lips in every odd contortion imaginable, I finally announced, “Be prepared for some debt on your credit card.  I’m going shopping online for the best anti-wrinkle cream money can buy.  I’m not taking my chances with what Wal-Mart can offer me; it’s Estee Lauder or bust.”

And then I spent the next two minutes caking Clinique foundation into the quarter-of-an-inch-long canyon, in an act reminiscent of a road crew repairing a small pothole.

Months ago, my darling friend Elaine made the comment that Botox might be something she’d consider after all.

After all?  After what?  I told Elaine at that time, “Really?  You would stoop to using Botox?  You wouldn’t just age gracefully, like Delta Burke and Nancy Reagan?”

Elaine was fully on board any train that was heading full-steam toward a plastic surgeon’s office.  She said that she’d finally reached a point in her life when she understood why women made such appointments.  I thought Elaine, who has beautiful skin, was drinking a cup of hot crazy, but that was months ago, when I, myself, was firmly in the grip of Young Skin and deluded by the thought that I’d always have fantastic skin, since my own mother’s skin was a walking advertisement for Oil of Olay.  All of my life, my friends have always commented, “Your mom’s skin is incredible!”  Pridefully enough, I believed that I’d inherited it, but apparently all I really got was her tendency toward having chapped hands in the cold winter months.

On Sunday morning, I told Hubs, “I may just skip the anti-wrinkle creams and go straight for the Botox.  I mocked Elaine’s mind frame of thinking that facial injections are okay, and now I need to humble myself before her and let her know that I’m considering such foul play myself.  I think I’m actually okay with paralyzing part of my face in the name of vain beauty now; I actually think that Elaine was on to a brilliant idea, and I didn’t realize it, because the topic came up when my skin was smooth, but Elaine has always been ahead of her time where beauty is concerned!”

(Hubs wanted to know if the paralyzing injections could be given to the vocal cords, in addition to the tiny wrinkle.)

Apparently, when you’re twenty years old and riding the college high in a pair of outstanding Guess overalls, no one tells you that you’ll eventually be a slave to Facial Grooming down the road, and that every new morning has the possibility of bringing with it new facial problems, in the forms of itty-bitty wrinkles and hairs where they are most definitely not supposed to be.

Just this morning, I was applying wax strips to my lip at 6:30, so that Hubs wouldn’t find Tom Selleck in our bathroom when he got up, because Facial Grooming has become as common as vacuuming these days.  Facial Grooming requires time and energy and dedication and a big magnifying glass.  It is not for the weak.

When I bragged to Hubs about my high tolerance for pain, since I had just endured ripping dried wax off my lip (which I believed he was fully incapable of doing), just so that he wouldn’t face Magnum, P.I. this morning, he told me, “Honey, you don’t look like Tom Selleck at all.  Maybe the little video game character, Mario, but definitely not Tom.”

I’ve got a pile of blankets ready, so hopefully Hubs should be comfortable on the sofa tonight.

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