“Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m 64”

I was 8 years old when the Beatles released that song.  Of course, I thought being 64 was ancient.  I pictured 64 year old people as using walkers, wearing hearing aids, sitting in rocking chairs reading newspapers, and watching old movies on television.  People who are 64, I thought back then, were wrinkled, and bent over.

How is it that I am now 64?

And how is it that I just let a doctor inject chemicals into my face so I would not look like I am 64.  I remember first hearing about Botox and fillers decades ago, and swearing that was not something I would ever succumb to.  I have never been much for makeup and generally prefer a natural look.  But the problem is for the past few years, when I looked in the mirror, I did not recognize the saggy, lined face staring back.  I already endure hair color treatment once a month.  Many of my friends did allow themselves to go gray post-Covid, but my mother still colors her hair a light brunette at the age of 90, so I figure if it is still good for her, I will follow suit.  Agreeing to get facial injections was a whole other dimension.  There were, though, a few things that helped persuade me to join the dermatological wagon.

First was the fact that my thirty-something daughter and many of her friends have already discovered Botox and swear by the results.  Thirty-something! To me, these woman are still young and their complexions flawless, but that is not what they see when they look at themselves in the mirror.  If these youngish women are on board with fillers and injections, then I suppose I am out of step with what is now considered acceptable beauty treatment.

Second, life expectancy for women has gone up.  According to the US Census, in the time since the Beatles published When I’m 64 to now, the life span of a woman has increased by almost a decade.  That means doing something to make myself appear younger is a better investment now since I will be living longer. 

A third factor is simply that our culture values the youthful look, and many women my age and older are still flaunting midriff tops and tight jeans.  It seems if I want to measure up to society’s ideal of attractiveness, I have to get on board with these aids.

Finally, I have always had a natural sneer; really more like a permanent squint.  Even in my toddler pictures, you can see me with one eye open and the other closed, cute at the age of 3, but not a look you grow into.  You can imagine how a squint for over 60 years can result in a permanent etch mark. So, I was desperate to erase the impact of the “if you make a funny face, it may stick with you” lecture from my mother all those years ago.

My husband and I went out to dinner with two other couples recently.  One friend whispered to me about the other friend that “didn’t she look great?”  I took a furtive glimpse.  “Why, did she do something?” I whispered back.  Apparently, unbeknownst to me, she had her eyes “done.”  That is the verb they use to describe cutting the face and moving the skin around the eyes enough, so it sort of lifts them up, removes the blob underneath, and gives a tight appearance to the face.  I gave a good stare, and couldn’t see any scars.  I have to say, she did look younger and more awake.   I revealed to them that I was scheduled for my first Botox treatment, happy to be a member of the club of women of a certain age trying to look younger.  “You should have your eyes done!”  my friend exclaimed.  She began to describe the ease of the whole process, pulling her phone out, and swiping through an evolution of photos that showed bandages, swelling, some stitches, and an unhappy patient.  “You look like this was torture.” I tell her.  “No,” she says “It only hurt a little bit, and only took a few weeks to heal. I would definitely do it again.”  I thought she looked like a mug shot of someone who had been injured while being arrested for rioting.

The Botox treatment really didn’t hurt that much.  It hurt about the same amount as the two small tattoos I have.  Or like the COVID vaccine and boosters.  It is a pain that you feel only when the needle goes in. 

The doctor held a hand mirror to my face after she did her work, and I could immediately see the results.  I looked less tired and squinty.  A happy look.   I scheduled a visit for five months later.  It is official.  I am addicted and just like with my hair color I plan to continue to do it for decades to come.

However, I think I may just stop at that.  I do not want to endure having my eyes “done.”  The thought of a scalpel to the face rather than needles is just too much to go through even though I have a lot of eye puffiness it is supposed to correct. This is my thinking at 64.  But you never know. 

Reasons to Make a Change at 64 was last modified: by

Sharing is caring!