So you wake up one day and you notice you have a few wrinkles around the edges of your eyes and you decide to do something about it. You call a plastic surgeon. You go to a consultation and the doctor assures you he can have you looking 20 years old again in no time (the doctor himself looks about 93 years old, but for some reason this does not alarm you in any way). You have the surgery and you do not look 20 again. You look like you were caught in a wind tunnel or like you were the victim of a very bad car crash and doctors scrambled to fix your face.
You regret your decision, but honestly what can you do now?
You walk into a high-end kitchen store and you tell the perky salesgirl that you are just browsing. You don’t really need anything, but maybe if you shop for a while you can forget how bizarre your face looks and that you actually paid money to look this way. You pick up a few Christmas items that have just been marked down and you notice the salespeople at the counter are laughing about something. You assume they are laughing about your face and you become hyper-aware of your appearance.
You ask yourself why you did this, why you thought that you could look 20 again, and now you are questioning why anyone would ever want to be 20 again, wasn’t once enough?
You walk to the register with a Christmas spatula with a reindeer printed on it and some angel cookie cutters, you think you might make some cookies for your neighbors, the same ones that fed your cat while you were at the hospital. The girl at the register perfunctorily asks if you found what you were looking for? and you hesitate, and then you tell her no, no, you did not find what you were looking for.
She seems surprised and confused. Apparently no one says this to her, they all tell her that yes, they did find what they were looking for.
“M’am, what exactly were you looking for?”
You were looking for youth, for beauty, for what-you-used-to-look-like years ago. The wrinkles have been erased now, but in a fake and glaring way. The dollars fill in the cracks and crevices to give you a smooth waxy exterior.
The girl is still waiting, waiting for you to tell her this mystery item you were looking for so she can miraculously find it for you. She is staring at you now (you think she is staring), she herself is maybe 40 years old, so not really a girl, she has some small wrinkles too, you notice.
You want to lean in and tell her don’t do it, don’t get Botox or a facelift or an eye-lift or cheek implants or collagen injections. You want to ask her how she can look in the mirror and see these little imprints of time and not be alarmed, how these small etchings have no effect on her or her self-image or self-worth.
But you don’t. Instead you say does this spatula come with a picture of a snowman on it? and the girl laughs and says wow that would be cute but no we don’t have any with a snowman on it.
You pay and leave, disappointed again.