In my twenties it was well known that I had a penchant for younger men. They were all I was meeting at the time through my work managing fine dining restaurants. Of course I could not be labeled a cougar as I was only four or five years older than the guys and thankfully that label did not exist then. Why is it that society cannot wait to label women? Is it yet another attempt to demean us and keep us in line through an embarrassing name and context? A cougar implies a woman on the hunt for her prey, an innocent young man for her to conquer and kill. How about a label for the men who have for years sought the company of younger women? Their’s is the word letch, but you don’t hear it used very often and you don’t hear men calling other men letches. Also the definition of letch is a sexual desire or craving; in my opinion, a much more flattering reference than cougar. Even in the older man younger woman scenario, many times society again allows the man to be the victim. Well, she (younger woman) went after him and tried or did break up the marriage. Remember Monica Lewinsky? Why are women many times the first to place such labels and participate in this sort of gossip about each other?
Fast forward, on my road to becoming a real housewife, I dated men who were either my age or a few years older. My current husband is three years older than I. But herein as they say lies the rub. He looks ten years younger. How do I know this for certain, you ask? Well, I have a photo of us above my desk at work and have several times been asked the following question: “Kay, is that your son in the photo?” Each time the innocent question sends chills through me. I gather my composure and politely respond, “No, that is my husband and he is fifty.” This produces surprised responses and a couple of times has elicited a shocked expression or two.
Thankfully, we happen to have very soft lighting in our master bath. This is great to have as you age. I believe it is a necessity. You don’t see the wrinkles and lines that tend to develop and since I color my hair I never see the gray. When we traveled this summer my young looking, baby faced husband noticed a few more gray hairs developing. This was hard on him. He, like myself is vain and we both like to look and feel healthy, trim, and I’ll be honest, young. (Come back next week for my blog, I married my mother.) When he was at work a few weeks later he mentioned seeing the gray to one of his partners who deadpanned, “Great, now you will look like a gray haired teenager.”
Is it any wonder that I am preoccupied with my aging appearance? Of course the women on the Bravo Real Housewives show are always discussing their own or other women’s looks and plastic surgery. They look young because they pay to look young. These women have stylists, personal trainers and personal plastic surgeons, just like many of the hollywood stars who inevitably must depend on their looks to survive in the industry. We are a youth focused culture and I am no exception. I am easily influenced by fashion trends and the media. My long term plan always has been to have some sort of work done at 50. However, the lines developed sooner than expected and I married… well you know.
Now my plan had always been Botox, but Myasthenics cannot have Botox. There is a risk of permanent muscle weakness and ptosis. Well, I already have both and the fact of the matter is that no reputable plastic surgeon is going to inject me with Botox. The damned MG was once again getting in the way of my plans. First my career and now this, how much am I supposed to tolerate? I realize it sounds incredibly petty to read this, and believe you me, I feel tremendous guilt in writing it. The Jewish and Catholic influences in my life have produced enough guilt to go around. Another reason that I continue to keep my non-real housewife job is so that I am able to give back to patients and families with much larger concerns than mine.
So that left Juvederm or surgery or both. Well, I was relieved to find out that my plastic surgeon thought I should wait a bit for a surgical step, a bit meaning at least mid-fifties. I have enough lines to make me look older than I am, but not enough to qualify for anything drastic. I decided on Juvederm which works as a filler, mainly around the mouth and the creases that develop between the eyebrows. The physician or in my case the physician assistant, injected liquid filler into my creases to fill them in. I found the idea fascinating, and the reality painful. Although I used ice during the procedure to numb my face, when my face was no longer numb it throbbed. It also hurt to laugh or look surprised for several days. My mouth felt as if I had been to the dentist for major drilling and injections of anesthetic into my gums. As time passed and the filler smoothed out and the swelling went down, I must confess that I was incredibly pleased with the result. One friend noted that I looked ten years younger, and she is a friend who would not hesitate to tell me never to waste my money again. My gray haired teenage-looking husband did notice the difference and while both his and my friend’s comments made me happy, I think what really mattered is that I felt younger. I am no longer cringing when looking at my face in harsh light. So I guess that in a year (as that is how long the filler is supposed to last), I will go back in and brace myself for another injection from the fountain of youth.
Have you ever thought of having a cosmetic procedure to change your looks? Write me and let me know.