Facing the truth

A few days ago, my friend Jonnie and I were discussing facelifts.  We have a mutual friend here who has had quite a bit of plastic surgery done and now looks really good.  During our discussion, Jonnie mentioned that she had heard that a nice face tightening, complete with eyelid lift, only costs about $4000US here in the highlands of Mexico.

“$4000!!”, I exclaimed.  “If I suddenly got $4000 dropped into my lap, the last thing I would think about would be plastic surgery!” 

But I think I may be in the minority of women my age.  Or at least in the minority of women my age around Lake Chapala.  Particularly in Ajijic, an expat enclave down the road from me a piece.  Ajijic, the artist’s paradise on the lake.  Ajijic, the pueblo through which I drove my son when he visited a while back, and about which he queried me, “Do any Mexicans live here?”  Ajijic, where it’s not uncommon to see women at the weekly tianguis with post facelift bandages on their faces. 

But that sounds like I’m casting aspersions and I’m truly not.   Well, okay, kinda.  But, hey, anybody’s money is theirs to do with as they please.  Including mine.  Of course, I need all my money just to get by….even in Mexico.  But I’m still a lot better off than some of my friends NOB who are upside down on their mortgages and can’t even afford to retire at all. 

They’re stuck with a house that they can’t sell or with car payments or credit card debt that they can’t pay off.  I never thought I would say it, but sometimes it’s good to have been poor for so many years.   Because I was poor for so long, I’m used to living on cash and not buying things that I couldn’t afford right that minute….like a house.  Besides which, home ownership would have tied me down.  And I do like to move when I want to. 

But let’s go back to the facelift thing.  I have never been anyone even approaching cuteness.  I’m not saying that I’m ugly; I’m just saying that I’m rather “plain.”  Nothing special looks wise.  Just totally average, albeit way too fat these days.  I probably would have made a great private investigator.  Not only because every aptitude test I ever took said so, but because I really do blend in [except, of course, here in Mexico with my pale skin and light hair]. 

However, for many, many years I’ve said that I would have enjoyed just one day of looking like Elizabeth Taylor in her glory years.  Just to see what the power of beauty would be like.  And when I said looking like Elizabeth, I meant this: 

Good lord, what a fabulous looking woman!  I can’t even imagine what it would be like to look like that! 

We all know that she had a tough life and that being that beautiful didn’t protect her from misery, but I’m totally convinced that her beauty did give her a lot of power.  And, thank God, she used those powers primarily for good and not for evil.  The media has rhapsodized over her involvement with HIV/AIDS patients and the raising of money therefor.  And they should.  How many other screen goddesses have allowed their names to be associated with any “controversial” issue? 

Bless you, Elizabeth, you were one of a kind.  And an extraordinary beauty to boot.  Maybe it wasn’t such a bad wish to ask to be as beautiful and powerful as you. 

So maybe a facelift would give me a lot of power.  But actually that’s just a moot point since my finances don’t allow for such extraneous things.  I truly am gonna die with the face I earned in this lifetime.  It wasn’t great to start with and it’s a whole lot worse now. 

But that’s okay.  Besides, when I take good care of it, I still have FABULOUS hair!

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About Barbara

in april of 2008, i moved from the united states to mexico. during my working days, i held lots and lots of jobs....almost all chosen because they were fun or interesting instead of how much they paid. when i started thinking about retirement (in my 40s), i realized that i would never be able to retire to a country where english was the native language. and although i had traveled to every state in the US -- and lived in lots of them -- i had never been outside the country with the exception of canada and mexico. and since you now know that i could never afford to retire in canada (even to the french-speaking area), mexico won by default.
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6 Responses to Facing the truth

  1. Leslie Limon says:

    I’ve heard that plastic surgery is much less expensive here in Mexico, as are other surgeries like gastric bypass. Aside from the fact that I would rather use that money for some other purpose, if I had it, I have a fear of going under the knife. That’s one of the reasons I decided against tubal ligation.

    Besides, I’m not THAT vain. I don’t mind getting older, nor do I mind the lines that are showing up on my face. But I was a little embarrassed when my dentist pointed out just how many gray hairs I have.

  2. Wyotoad says:

    While I agree that going under the knife is a decision each must make for themselves, I applaud anyone who decides that the sags and wrinkles are part of their being and proof of having lived. I’d rather be with friends that show the passage of time, than be with some of the nipped and tucked artificial persons that abound in this age of superficial surface “beauty.”

  3. Kathi says:

    Some of the nippers and tuckers of Ajijic look SOOOOO good ie. very natural. But, then you see them walking into a restaurant or a party with this OLD GUY….and you think, “Oh I guess she’s with her father.” And then your realize she’s with her husband…..AARGH.
    The men have to get with the program !!! Or the lake ladies have to get a younger guy.

  4. Barbara says:

    Leslie, like you, i’m terrified of being “put under” and not coming back up. that’s probably another reason i wouldn’t even consider plastic surgery. every surgery i’ve ever had in my life, and there have been several, were emergency surgeries. when it’s absolutely the only alternative, i’ll take it….but not otherwise!

    Orr, i wish i could say that i would never, under any circumstances, change the face that i was born with, if i had a lot of money, i don’t think i’d be quite so cavalier about it!

    and, Kath, you’re right. a lot of the women look great….for instance, our mutual friend. and, as i told Orr [above], i wish i could say that no matter what, i would never alter my appearance. but i am so shallow, that i probably would! it’s hard to be so young inside and so old outside!

  5. Gigi says:

    I just wanna know, why is it that I can admire the lines on another woman’s aging face and see her as beautiful, but not necessarily so on mine!! Some day’s it’s just fine. Some days YIKES!

  6. I am so glad I found your site. I am putting it on my blog. Love it. Patricia

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