June 20, 2008

The knife and me

Living in a country where you live and breathe architectural and cultural beauty every day, you find yourself nudged toward the quest for the Holy Grail of Grace and Glamour. When you embark on such a beauty quest after the age of 50, you know that massages, face creams and spa treatments are not going to do the trick. It’s got to be the sword, er, knife. Yes, it all gets down to the knife . . . "going under the knife."

I’m one of those people who turns pale at the smell of alcohol and faints at the sight of a needle. A simple blood test is a major ordeal for me. Surgery and I do not get along, and therefore we’ve kept our distance for most of the last 50+ years, with the exception of a tonsillectomy, a wisdom tooth extraction, and a couple of broken wrists. The very thought of subjecting myself to surgery for VANITY’s sake is more than anathema, it is pure insanity.

Yet, in spite of my fears, the prospect of cosmetic surgery was beginning to formulate in the back of my mind. Like pasta in Italy and politics in France, it was raising its knife-and-needle-filled head in conversations with my female peers on my annual trips to the U.S. It was THERE, dormant, awaiting the catalyst that would bring it out of the dark recesses of my increasingly wrinkled face.