To B(otox) or not to B(otox) – that is the question? Actually this is a surprisingly easy one for me and perhaps given my tendency to whinge at every possible opportunity about my wrinkles, my answer is surprising – no way, Jose! Just too scared to shove botulinum into my face and anyway I’m bound to be allergic to it. Look, I’m as sick as the next person of those sanctimonious people who bang on about growing old gracefully – as if – but equally I’m absolutely certain I don’t want to grow old looking either as if I am perpetually stuck in a force 9 gale or unable to lift my eyebrows more than a micro-millimetre (not visible to the naked eye).
Just because I’ve decided to grow old (dis)gracefully, does not mean that I am enjoying the inexorable disappearance of youth. Yes, it really narks me when some young whippersnapper on the makeup counter not only tries to sell me foundation which is nothing short of something more usually found on a building site but also suggests I try some fancy new night cream for women in their late forties/early fifties. “39” I want to scream and as a matter of pride, I ignore her advice and buy the night cream for women in the early stages of ageing (although I find it harder to ignore her expression which is clearly shouting at me – “too late for that love, more serious action required’).
Talking of building sites, do you remember when you would get a wolf-whistle when you walked past one? OK, so that stopped a considerable number of years ago for me although embarrassingly for the first few years after it stopped, I still found myself turning round when I heard a wolf-whistle (part habit, part hope), to then have to turn back abruptly, humiliated. In my twenties, I would hark on about how sexist it was, how degrading – blah, blah, blah…but you know what, I’d be thrilled now if someone wolf-whistled at me – it would put a spring in my slightly less sprightly step. It’s all symptomatic of the same thing – you never appreciate what you’ve got in life until you no longer have it.
There is no denying that some mornings my face looks increasingly like it has been through a shredder and other mornings, no amount of make-up can disguise the bags (more like over-sized suitcases) beneath my eyes but the truth is I’m actually much more content at this age now and I know this slight obsession with ageing is just a temporary phase for me, a reflection on the past and anticipation of the future at one of life’s landmark stages.
So keep your poison-filled syringes away from me – I’ll take the laughter lines (euphemism for wrinkles) and I’ll keep laughing – there’s no way back now! There’s no chance of ironing out my wrinkles but they are really just that – a minor difficulty/snag in life’s rich tapestry.