So, there I am occupying my 3 1/2 year-old son in the sterilized pre-op holding room, wearing a paper suit and booties, waiting to hear Brian’s name called for his very first surgery experience. Granted, tonsillectomies/adenoidectomies is not a particularly dangerous surgery but… surgery is surgery and includes anaesthesia and cutting and all that scary stuff… on MY child. So, here I am fighting that anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach as I push Brian around on a large, motorized Harley Davidson motorcycle. Finally tired of the Harley, he spies a bookshelf, selects a Wiggles book and we cozy up in a big-enough-for-two easy chair to read.
“Good morning, Doctor” (not ours)! In what I believe is the off-duty doctor uniform complete with blue blazer, white button-down shirt, no tie, khaki pants, brown loafers and, you guessed it, no socks, a tall, grey-haired, few-years-past-middle-aged man winks at the nurses and eases himself into the empty seat between his first “client”and Brian and I.
“Look at the arch in those eye brows. Beautiful! I know a lot of women who’d kill for that arch!” he says to his client. A man! I stifle a laugh and watch Brian give him his best “what in the heck are you talking about” sideways glance. Something my kids are famous for. The nurse asks, “What’d’ya got today Doctor?” To which he replies, “I’m lifting eyes, tucking a chin and fixing a pair of feet.”
Ahhhh! The plastic surgeon! Now the scene makes sense to me, if not to Brian!
Not surprisingly — because Brian is an absolute vision of adorable in his hospital gown, feigning interest in his book while secretly watching this exchange — the doctor turns his attention to us. Mostly to Brian, thankfully. Because, at 46, I certainly don’t want a plastic surgeon sizing me up. Trying hard to engage, Brian wasn’t having anything to do with him… immediately associating the good doctor with whatever “bad” stuff he sensed was about to happen. (Namely, the surgery.)
So the doctor decides to recruit me to his cause. There I am, up since 5AM, barely slept a wink, stressed out — which we all know, does wonders for a woman’s appearance — and wearing a paper suit with just my BIG, OLD FACE hanging out the top. I think you’ll all agree — my sister confirmed this would have been her reaction too — I suddenly felt quite self-conscious about my head’s appearance. My grey hair, wrinkles (Yeah, when you’re NOT in the presence of a plastic surgeon you can call them “laugh lines”), droopy eyelids, hanging chin, blotchy complexion…. OY! You name it, I was self-conscious over it. So, I raised my eyebrows in a look of surprise, opened my eyes as wide as I could, lifted my head to pull the hanging skin under my chin taut, half smiled so my crows’ feet wouldn’t rear their ugly talons and feebly tried to entice Brian to talk to the man so he would PLEASE STOP LOOKING AT ME!
Thankfully, Brian complied and held the man’s rapt attention for a good 5 minutes before the nurse interrupted and told us it was our turn. Can you believe I was thankful for that? We waved “bye bye”, blew the good doctor a kiss — without puckering lest he see those wrinkles all around my mouth (is there a nice name for them?) — and moved on to the real crisis at hand.
Honestly, he was a very nice man. And, for 46, I don’t think I look so bad for my age (even without make-up). Still, I hope I never have the pleasure of being up-close-and-personal in the presence of a plastic surgeon again. I’m not sure my fragile, aging self-esteem would survive (LOL).