This post takes place in Beverly Hills. I’m just going to tell you right now that I go there to get Botox. If anyone is surprised, I’ll be surprised. The path to self-acceptance is paved with injectables.
Step 1: Try to change yourself.
I was going to write a big post about how I’m confessing to getting Botox and then I thought better of it, that it would make me look too old. Then I thought maybe it’ll make me look rich. Because honestly, Botox is really expensive and it’s not just Botox but also fillers. I don’t even know what the brand is. I just go to the dermatologist and say “make me look younger.”
Well, actually it’s not the dermatologist. It was the dermatologist in West Hollywood but then she found Jesus, which I am not opposed to. After all I married a guy who dumped me because he’s a Born Again Christian and I’m not. Jews in general are not militant about religious decisions because if we were, most Jews would not qualify as practicing Jews and then the religion would be .02% of the world instead of 0.2% of the world.
So my dermatologist found Jesus. Fine. But then it wasn’t fun anymore to talk with her about bulimia. Bulimics are like alcoholics—you never stop being one even if you are not practicing at the moment. So while she put needles in my wrinkles, we’d talk about how nice it is to come home at the end of a hard day and throw up.
But then she found Jesus and we had to talk about that instead.
Step 2: Deflect self-criticism onto other people.
And then she got a divorce. And she has twin girls, and I know you already know what I think about divorce. But besides being immature and selfish and awful for the kids, divorce is so boring. All divorces are all the same.
So all we had to talk about was how much she hates her ex-husband. I nodded sympathetically because, after all, I’m depending on her to make me young and I don’t want uneven lips. But if I were single I’d date him.
So now I don’t go to a dermatologist. I go to a nurse practitioner. I like talking to her.
She put fillers on the bridge of her nose so glasses don’t slip off. But I don’t notice her wearing glasses. I asked where else people get fillers. She said there are lots of places to put fillers but the most surprising one she has done is knees. If you are a movie star and the director tells you your knees are sagging and you don’t have time for surgery before filming starts, then you can do fillers to fix your knees until you have time for surgery. She says, “The best thing is to do surgery proactively so the sagging never happens.”
I slip back to thoughts of dating my ex-dermatologist’s ex-husband because he’s a plastic surgeon.
Step 3: Focus on demographic trends instead of personal tendencies.
This is a good time to tell you that I think nurse practitioners will revolutionize health care. Doctors hate being part of a system that is inefficient, litigious, and rife with liars and cheats. Doctors want to go off on their own, but the skills that made them ripe for medical school make them terrible for entrepreneurship. So doctors sit where they are, in their hospital-affiliated jobs, moping about the system.
Nurse practitioners, on the other hand, are corner cutters—after all, they didn’t go to medical school—and they are great entrepreneurs. They will change how medical care is administered 85% of the time. Because most medical care is not in a hospital. We can do things differently. Nurse practitioners will lead the way.
For now, it’s in Botox. I like my nurse practitioner for Botox.
So I was in Beverly Hills for Botox but I was early, so I wandered around feeling fat and poor, because that is the only way anyone can feel in Beverly Hills. How rich you feel is relative to your surroundings. If I had enough money to buy clothes in Beverly Hills I would not be shopping myself. I’d send my stylist. Which makes me certain that every single person walking the streets of Beverly Hills feels fat and poor. Well, maybe the stylists feel less fat, but they feel more poor so it evens out.
I took this picture at Cartier. Isn’t it cool? They curled paper clips into gorgeous shapes and hung them in a spotlight so the shadows spell phrases like, “To be irreplaceable you must be different.”
Step 4: Buy things.
I said okay because I want to be cool and I know Warby Parker is cool. I never actually knew they sold glasses. I didn’t know you could buy glasses online. I think I thought it was pens. You know, Parker?
But then it turns out that you can’t get bifocals on Warby Parker.
And of course then I feel like I’m going to die if I can’t buy anything on Warby Parker because who wants to say they are too old for Warby Parker? So I buy frames for the Farmer. He refuses to wear new glasses. Melissa’s frustrated sigh rings in my ears.
So, I walk into the glasses shop and say, “My assistant says these glasses aren’t stylish.”
I tell him “my assistant” because I never know what to call Melissa. “Friend” seems too casual and distant to me. I want the guy to know that I’m talking about someone I’m really close to.
The guy is tall dark and gay so I trust him to dress me, and he says, “Your glasses are on trend for your age,” and then he shows me a photo of Diane Keaton or someone who looks like her, wearing the exact cat-eye glasses I am wearing.
The woman in the photo looks like she needs fillers.
Then the guy says, “Your assistant must be in her 20s.”
I say, “Yeah, she is.”
He says, “I bet this is what she wants you to wear.” And he hands me glasses that are exactly what Melissa wants me to get: Square, heavy frames.
I send a photo. Call her to get approval.
She says, “What brand?”
“I don’t know.”
I ask him. “It’s Oliver Peoples.”
“Great,” she says. “Buy those.”
And she tells me only a Gen Xer would not know the brand of glasses they are trying on.
In the past I’d have told her only a Gen Yer would care. But today I am tired of being old and I am willing to be a brand whore because in the era of Gen Y, that’s what being young means.
Step 5: Accept shortcomings, one narrow arena at a time.
In order to write this, I had to call Melissa to find out how to get something to write with on the laptop I’m using because there’s no Word and there’s no Internet to write in WordPress or gmail.
“Command space bar.” she tells me.
Do you work closely with people twenty years younger than you? Because if you do then it’s certain they bemoan your technical skills behind your back. If you know what they say then you are a step ahead of your demographic.
I know, for instance, that Cassie and Melissa can’t believe how often I call someone instead of texting them. But it’s hard for me to hear because I was the girl so ahead of everyone else that I got paid $75/hour from a Fortune 50 company to launch their website by hand-coding HTML. I was the Lewis and Clark of online technology.
Ten thousand years ago.
Now I am the Lewis and Clark of bringing Botox to rural America.
Melissa says, “Why aren’t you posting?”
“I don’t know. I hate the pictures I take.”
“You sent me really good pictures.” [This is Melissa talking as my photo editor.] “Stop paying people to take pictures of your life. Only you can take pictures of your life. Only a Gen Xer would pay someone to take pictures of their life.”
I think of all the Gen Y wedding pictures that annoy me. “What about weddings?”
“That’s the only time Gen Y hires a photographer. Go look at the photos I edited. You’ll be happy. It’ll make you want to write.”
“Okay. Send me a link.”
“Send you a link? What are you talking about. They’re in the Picassa folder.”
“I can’t do shared folders on my phone. “
“You mean you can’t do shared folders anywhere.”
“I’m sending you my favorite one in email so that you want to write a post to put it in.”
I check email. The photo is good.
I am happy that I can take pictures like Gen Y even though I’ll never be as technically competent.
And to be honest, it’s harder to admit to that than to admit to Botox.