Earlier this year I had a “woulda-shoulda-coulda” phase, as K8 would say. I must explain.
All my life when people greeted me, they said ‘Gosh, you are so like your mother!’ And I was! At her funeral 11 years ago, a man I had not met for twenty five years walked up to me in the graveyard and said “You have to be Grannymar! You are so like your mother”. Alas, at that point I had not erased the image of a very tiny, fragile and wasted ill old lady from my in-most eye. I had a hard job to smile and not show the shudder that ran through me.
A similar thing happened at Elly’s wedding in June. A cousin who lives in New Zealand that I last met in the late 60’s greeted me on her arrival with the same familiar phrase. My brothers always called me ‘Skinny’ or ‘Drip-dry’ when I was young. I may be long, lean and like a beanpole but now my hair is grey and my face and neck have more lines than the map of Ireland.
In her young days my mother was a beauty with shoulder length dark hair. I inherited thick auburn tresses from both sides of the family a generation further back. None of my siblings had hair my colour, although if my brothers sported sideburns or a beard it grew a light ginger colour. My father always told me that my hair was my ‘Crowning Glory’. If that was so, then in my eyes, pale skin with large dirty looking dark freckles did not do my hair justice.
Now back to the face like a road map, and the “woulda-shoulda-coulda” question. With Elly’s wedding in sight I pondered and agonised about looking well for my Mother-of-the-Bride role. Since Elly is my one and only and cameras don’t lie, I needed to really think this one out.
Research was necessary so I scoured the ‘Net’, and read every written article I could lay my hands on. My eyes were closing with all this reading. Then I found a book that opened my eyes forever!
Mirror, Mirror (Confessions of a plastic-surgery addict)
Terry is someone who has experienced dozens of different kinds of plastic surgery at the hands of surgeons on both sides of the Atlantic and who tells the truth about each procedure the discomforts, results, costs and all. If you have ever contemplated going down this road I strongly recommend you find a copy of this book.
My final decision was made when I read the following story:
A 45 year old woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital
While on the operating table she had a near death experience.
Seeing God she asked “Is my time up?”
God said, “No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live.”
Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have face-lift, liposuction, breast implants and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change her hair colour and brighten her teeth! Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it.
After her last operation, she was released from the hospital. While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance.
Arriving in front of God, she demanded, “I thought you said I had another 43 years! Why didn’t you pull me from out of the path of the ambulance?”
God replied: “I didn’t recognize you.”
My face is still like a road map, but Toy-boys remember that:
A Lady who has no lines
Is a Lady who never smiles!