To B… or not to B…?


Wrinkles (Photo credit: scoutjacobus)

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.

The clock is ticking…

teeth whitening

teeth whitening (Photo credit: torbakhopper)

27 days, 9 hours and 3 minutes until the end of my thirties.  Ok, so I’m going to have a party, celebrate (what exactly?) and I’m sure I’ll feel no different to the day before.  But something has changed, is changing…ever so subtly.  The signs are there: my obsession with “what to do next?”, my over-interest in the yellowing of my teeth and the deepening of the wrinkles on my forehead and the hated frown lines – to name a few of the subtle shifts in my perception of the world and my place in it.

Look, I’m not going to get all philosophical.  Ageing is rubbish and we all know that – well at least those of us approaching 40 do.  So today, I am going to get my whingeing out the way – I’m going to address the physical imperfections which are bugging me most and then going forward, I promise I’ll mention them only rarely (or at least not daily!)

Let’s start with the yellow teeth.  Someone said to me today that when they moved back from Australia recently, they noticed how yellow the Brits’ teeth are compared with the Australians (and of course the Americans).  I’ve never really given my teeth much thought until recently, but about a month ago, I started to obsess about their colour – everywhere I turned there was a mirror of sorts reflecting back to me this familiar face with these grotesque yellow teeth – like the archetypal witch in scary childhood fairy tales.  So I acted and I’m currently undergoing whitening courtesy of some deeply unattractive plastic moulds of my teeth and some chemical which I can’t help but think is not something you should have in your mouth.  I have taken to wearing these new accessories in the evening which has a surprising and not altogether unpleasant side effect – I put them in at about 8pm and from then on I can’t drink (wine) or eat anything, a bonus for both my middle class alcohol problem (if the newspapers are to be believed) and for my ever-increasing nearly-middle-age spread.

To those who have not tried the delights of whitening, let me explain…when you put the trays in your mouth, you are unable to speak without lisping; your children look at you with genuine fear; you obsessively measure the whiteness of your teeth in all manner of lights, hoping to see some radical change in colour. I’m sure my teeth are whiter – or less yellow – than a week ago but it might just be wishful thinking…

My other physical obsession at the moment is the wrinkles that are appearing at an alarmingly fast rate on my face.  Ok so I’ve always liked the sun – so part of the responsibility is mine.  However, if one more person tells me that they are laughter lines or the lines add character, I will not be responsible for my actions.   Please explain to me how one gets laugher lines on one’s forehead and above the bridge of one’s nose? Or what kind of a character my lines show me to be?  A miserable, grumpy, frowning sod I can hear you say – again, quite possibly this does apply to me…however, I can’t change the habit of a lifetime now and every day the lines get deeper, more entrenched and more difficult to disguise – I can’t even fill them with foundation now (like some plasterer’s job).  And as for the horrendous discovery last week that my lipstick had “bled” into micro-lines around my mouth….well, frankly, it is more than I can take.  I finally have to accept that not only do I have to use lipliner just to keep my lipstick on my mouth and not half way up my face but also I have to accept that lipliner is not one of those airy fairy, waste of money products that painted dragons on cosmetic counters always try to persuade you that you need.

Feel better now…although I do need reassurance that I am not the only person who feels like this…comments please.  Anyway, must dash I’ve got teeth to whiten, lips to line and frowns to fill!