It happened one particularly rough morning after a girls’ night out.
I leaned over at the waist to change out of pajamas and into my activewear. Normally, I’d glance in the mirror at my frame—inured to any lack of natural elasticity that existed before gravity took its toll.
But this particular morning, my gaze fell upon, well, my gaze. In spite of my best efforts to stave off years of abuse to my skin from lying out in the sun slathered in baby oil and “sink or swim” nights that ended at a Denny’s, my twenties lifestyle had finally caught up to me in my forties.
This sudden discovery had been a long time coming. I mean, who the hell did I think I was living in Florida and shirking sun block and umbrellas because I wanted a savage tan? I was now obsessed with the wave of wrinkles that seemed to spread across my cheeks like ripples of water disturbed by a pebble.
Enter Botox: the elixir that would send my wrinkles on vacay for about six months. After researching the side effects and reading a few horror stories, I doubled my investigative efforts toward finding a reputable place that would inject my face with botulinum toxins instead of concrete. (Yes, actual concrete injections have happened.)
I decided on the office of Dr. Broadway (his real name… I asked twice) and made an appointment.
My consult started with the instruction to frown. My grimace yielded 1,377 wrinkles that exploded across my forehead which, it was decided, needed 34 units of Botox at 11-bucks-a-pop. This caused me to go from my normal state of RBF (resting bitch face) and straight into to my ugly crying face. Here’s a visual for you— picture James Van Der Beek’s Dawson’s Creek cry.
That afternoon I decided that I would need to take to the streets to score and pay for my wrinkles to disappear.
I dove head-first into my son’s toy bins and sifted through a collision of remote control cars and Lego Minifigures separated from their $70 sets.
Next, I went to work on my daughter’s room digging through mounds of forgotten wide-eyed stuffed animals. These stuffies actually had the nerve to peer sadly at me after already extorting enough funds when they were first purchased. I’m talking to you stuffed toy manufacturers — that replicate the sad, injured kitten eyes in every animal you make and market.
For the record, never try this when your kids are around. They will throw themselves between these items and the doorway with the same passion as a Greenpeace demonstrator protecting a 300-year-old oak tree.
Next stop—the kitchen. Grandma’s chipped china set will live to see another Thanksgiving out of good ol’ fashioned guilt but that ugly-ass cheese tray with the shaky hand-painted grapes just had to go. My final stop was my husband’s boneyard of obsolete cords that would serve the higher purpose of powering and paying for a toned face.
One week of advertising my sale, hanging tacky poster boards, organizing my wares in the garage and I was finally ready to open for business. First, I advertised the higher priced items on Craigslist because I am not interested in haggling over a purse that I clearly think is ugly but is still worth the cost of a meal out at Applebee’s, not a quarter.
Second, I tracked down a large box and filled it with those Sarah McLachlan SPCA commercial-reject stuffed animals and pushed it near the curb where kids could see it and moms would have to stop and stay.
And one lost weekend later and I had collected enough dough to pay for 34 shots of Botox to my forehead and 3 shots out at Applebee’s. SCORE!