Truly, being “Gray in L.A.” is often fun. I like the adventures I get into – even the predictability of some of them. Here’s the latest.
I had an appointment with a dermatologist, and as it had turned out, practically every one of them in this town (L.A.) is also a self-proclaimed wizard in plastic surgery.
“Oh, this will be fun”, I thought, “I know exactly what will happen”, because women of my age group are the perfect victims of over eager charlatans and beauty terrorists. (I’m not disputing that there are fine and decent plastic surgeons).
After sitting in the waiting room for a while, two very busty, very young, rather short women who looked as if some of the many Khardashian females were their role-models, left his office, smiling. I was next.
He was rather young, skinny and looked a little like Putin which isn’t looked upon favorably in most parts of the world. After my lengthy description of a strange skin reaction to something I couldn’t track down, he seemed disappointed in the triviality of it as in, “What? That’s all?”
I was sitting while he was standing in front of a large collection of liquid breast implants in all sizes laid out on a table like a buffet with snacks from outer space; for me a sight so bizarrely funny that I snickered. Was I supposed to be tempted, grab a few sizes and slip them into my simple cotton bra, and forget what I really came for?
He asked about my age; late sixties I told him, and he mumbled rather reluctantly, “You look good for THAT age.”
“Oh, jeez, thank you ever so much!” I blurted out (I still haven’t learned to always act ladylike instead of a rambunctious teenager.)
I tried to bring his attention back to the mysterious allergy. But the doctor with the unspeakable foreign name had zero interest in my itchy skin condition. But that didn’t mean I was off the hook. He scanned me with his beady radar eyes and was breathing hard. I could almost feel his calculating review of this silver-haired lab-rat in front of him. Where someone else might see a really attractive older woman, he saw potential as if I were Frankenstein’s Bride ready to be re-done and stitched together to a newer, tighter, younger person.
He might have sensed that I wasn’t the breast-implant-type, but he couldn’t contain himself.
“How about the eyes? Have you thought about that?” No, I hadn’t. They seemed fine, have a nice gray-blue color, I don’t even wear glasses, except for reading small print.
“There’s loose skin on your lids and that is obstructing your view, no?” he tried. Not really. I always use an old trick (no joke). I’m very good at raising my eyebrows – and there are very many reasons for it, too – and that takes care of the loose skin. In fact, this was exactly the moment where my eyebrows popped up in puzzlement.
But this wasn’t a certified plastic surgeon for nothing, not one who’d let an old woman escape his office without landing a few fillers or a fattened lip. I expected him almost to whip out handcuffs, a syringe and a scalpel, and imagined myself waking up as Silver Barbie (Mattel, take note!)
But there was also a fair amount of anger and aggression rising in me. How dare these people force their distorted ideas of beauty and validation onto every female there is! And why do so many women fall for it? So, as a last resort, I let him have it by hitting him with one of my confidence-declarations I’m good at and would even say if I had my doubts. This, for example, is very effective:
“You know, I’m a lost cause for you. I’m such a gorgeous creature, why would I ever have anything artificial done to me?” I said with a soupcon of arrogance. He was silent and stared at me.
“What’s wrong with the world”, he probably thought, “Since when does a woman go to a Dermatologist/Plastic Surgeon without secretly harboring dreams of nose-jobs, big boobs, tummy tucks, pouty lips and cheek implants?”
As for me, I realized something. I truly wasn’t really tempted at all. If I could shave off 10 real years, sure that wouldn’t be bad, but it would be all about having the gift of extra time, not about less wrinkles.
I left the puzzled Doc with a boring prescription for a lotion and felt strangely high-spirited as a newfound “conscientious resister” when I hit the streets of Beverly Hills. My phone rang and my best girlfriend who knew about my whereabouts giggled, “So you still have your droopy eyes, your age spots, your turtle-neck and all?” she joked. “Yes”, I almost yelled, “Resist and rebel!” That’s my new philosophy. Should be yours, too!
You can find more from Sabine at http://grayinlosangeles.blogspot.com