Starting off on a bad foot because this is already late, but I also have to warn you not to expect a blog next Thursday either because next Thursday I am getting some work done.
The Cobra Superstar Oral and Facial Surgical Centre (not its real name) is just a few blocks from my house and offers everything from nose jobs to Botox injections. After an initial consultation and getting the right forms signed by a doctor, Jonny is driving me to and from Cobra Superstar for a brief procedure on October 3rd.
I could continue with this misdirection awhile because it’s fun, but truthfully I’m just getting some dumb operation done on my jaw because apparently (this is gross) there’s a tooth imbedded in there. I was hoping the tooth would be attached to one of those fetus twins but no joy. My dentist tells me that, while this imbedded tooth gives me no discomfort now, it will eventually hit nerves and the pain will be horrendous. The op is totally covered by my insurance combined with the Doc’s, so there’s really no reason why I shouldn’t get this troublemaker yanked outta me. If there are no complications and recover quickly, this procedure could open up a whole new world to me, and it might be fun.
Dream: Get extensive cosmetic surgery.
Goal: Achievable. Recently, I asked a friend, “If plastic surgery wasn’t at all stigmatized, would you do it?” She said, “Yes, totally. Wait, what did you say?” and I said, “If plastic surgery…” and she goes, “Ohh! I thought you said prostitution. But yeah. Yes to both” (she’s one of my best pals). And she’s right (about plastic surgery, anyway). If there was absolutely no stigmatization (and procedures were affordable and safe), wouldn’t many of us fix up our faces and bodies the way we get our hair cut or go to the gym? I know I would.
Plan: Make a list of potential procedures to undergo, assuming my rogue tooth is extracted from my jaw without causing me undue duress. Here’s what I’d fix if I could.
Ab implants. Would that be cool? I’m so tired of obscuring my pizza gut with big sweaters, Chinese dressing screens, and obvious props like a pregnant tv actress. I want to know what it would feel like to rub my hand on my belly and feel taut ridges rather than a hairy sack of gluten.
Face shortener. I have a longer face than a cartoon basset hound. I’m scared of ever getting a caricature done of me because I know it will just be a long bean riding a skateboard or something. What else?
Nipple sharpening. Just open cans of tomato juice instantly.
Nasal cavity widening. This will be a tricky one. I don’t want bigger nostrils, but apparently I have an irritating nose whistle. I saw apparently because I can’t hear it, but everyone around me can. In fact, I’m probably sending out a merry tune as I write, but I’m none the wiser.
Preemptive jowl filler. I know I should smile more to eliminate the future perma-creases on either side of my mouth rendering me a living Ben Wicks illustration. Actually, this has nothing to do with anything, but I read an article positing that facial fillers are a boon to AIDS patients. A small amount applied to either side of the face eliminates the gaunt, hollow-cheeked look common among sufferers. That’s a major downer, but the kind of thing one is tempted to trot out in defense of plastic surgery. Sorry for the AIDS digression.
Permanent hair. My hair has done me a solid over the years, can I get surgery to keep it on my head for the rest of my life? If that doesn’t exist, it should.
Finally, to steal a joke from Maria Bamford, what I’d really like to surgically alter is that part of my brain that cares what other people think. I’m not really considering any plastic surgery for myself right now, but I’m not one those people who casts aspersions on people who nip and tuck. A beautiful friend of mine confided that she had had a nose job in her teenage years and I stupidly thought, “But that’s impossible, your nose is so pretty!” But of course I’ve only known her with her current, pert and beautiful nose on her pert and beautiful face. Being (forgive me) nosy in turn, I asked if she had any other procedures done and she laughed and said, “No, I just had a big nose growing up. Now I don’t.” Simple as that.
Of course anything can be overdone and ghastly, and the effects of plastic surgery are permanent, but so are tattoos and we’ve become perhaps too permissible where those are concerned. All I would hope is that if I do ever seriously contemplate getting something done, it’s for my own peace of mind and nothing else. I hope I don’t age into Botox where a 60 year old James looks like a permanently surprised 70 year old James, or buy myself a new schlong for Christmas, but it’s my own damn business if I do. If there’s something different about me one day that you can’t quite put your finger on, don’t ask me to explain myself because I’ll probably just do what is advised for my recovery after next Thursday: keep my mouth shut.