Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Botox, Birthdays, and the Critical Mom

I'm turning 56 and thinking of botox.  Anna Quindlen did it.  Said all her friends had too.  Just saw a photo of a high school classmate who looks not one nanosecond over thirty-two and a half.  How does she do it?
She joined the ranks of Kim Catrall, Kim Kardashian, Linda Evangelista, Jennifer Aniston, Simon Cowell (who says it's "like toothpaste") Courtney Cox and . . . most folks.  You do need a disposable, or discretionary, or somewhat surplus, income.  Eight hundred bucks every three months (and really, it should be every two months) is what it takes.
Between you, me, and the fencepost I don't have an income.  I have an outgo.
How well I remember, in the days before botox, my mother's facelift.  She was a few years younger than I am now, and booked herself a room in a little hospital somewhere on the Upper East Side where, by the time I was allowed to visit half a day after the operation, the machine that was supposed to suction gook out from under her facial skin had malfunctioned, pumping it back in.  That had apparently been sorted out by the time I arrived, but she looked even purpler and greener and yellower and but-I-made-the-other-gal-look-worser than I had expected.  She had, of course, been strongly advised to remain in bed.  She vaulted out of it while chatting with me, swung a suitcase out from under her bed, and began packing for a lakeside vacation, not wanting "to scare the doormen" in our apartment building.
What about me?  Please get back in bed, Mom.
She kept packing.  And she had a lovely vacation, and the skin around her chin looked the way it might have looked with botox today . . . this was back in the late seventies . . . and if you looked very closely you could see faint white scars up around her ears.
There's no stopping her.  At 89, she didn't like her neck.  Move over, Ghost of Nora Ephron.  Mom had a necklift done, and should get a Nobel prize for being the oldest recipient of plastic surgery except, oh, yeah, Phyllis Diller once upon a time.
I'm sticking with cucumber slices, ballet class, and horizontal gymnastics.  Happy Birthday to me.

P.S. For an interesting perspective on German women and Botox, see


  1. Happy Birthday critical mom!!!!!

    I hope you have a wonderful day with lots of presents!
    And btw you look like 32 so your routine works perfectly and is so much cheaper than any surgery ;-)

    three brats mom

  2. The friend who sent this blog entry of yours to me tells me that you live in Germany. I'll be moving to Germany in September. I also blog, just to friends as far as I know. If you'd like to check out my blog, it is on Blogger, "And Still I Rise". As to your blog, I'm grateful that I'd rather just look my age. I'm fifty. I don't want to look (and be treated) 30. Just a thought.

  3. I agree, Laura Rose! Not thirty. But, have to admit, I think "36" is a nice round number, and perhaps I'll stay that age for several birthdays. Whatever I do to look younger won't involve any chemical other than hair dye. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Your description of botox was clearly lifted from the magazine article that you recommend, but you do not credit the author.

  5. Ah, well, that is because the author and I are the identical.
    It's just that I do prefer my blog to be anonymous. Here, I'm The Critical Mom.