When it comes to my face, I could retire in what I've spent over the years in tonics and potions to undo the sun damage I amassed as a teen. I developed some brown spots around my eyes a few years ago, and since then I've been a woman posessed. Mind you, these areas are places only my dermatologist and I would ever notice, but nonetheless, I have made it my mission to get rid of them. I've tried bleaching creams, retinols, and I exfoliate to a point where facial muscles should be exposed. The spots have slowly faded and though they are not completely gone, I feel better about them. At some point along the way, however, my obsession extended to my forehead, and the fine lines (emphasis on the fine) upon it.
And so, after saving my pennies, I bit the bullet last month and paid someone to shoot poison into my face.
Before I go further, a quick side note: I love, love, love the Botox commercials. Whoever did those ads MEANT that shit. The blatantly obvious consumer insight? Women are afraid if they get Botox, they won't be able to make facial expressions. The solution? A montage of women making the most over-the-top facial expressions imaginable. Expressions only mimes would ever make. Seriously.
Anyway, I wish I could give these ads credit for my decision, but alas, it was good ol' fashioned vanity. But there are side effects of Botox never discussed in the ads. No, I can't make the same expressions I used to, but I have yet to find someone who doesn't think I'm pissed when I am because the area between my eyes isn't wrinkling up. When it comes to making expressions, the only thing I find annoying is not being able to make crazy expressions just because I can. I generally don't have a need to look overly surprised at something, but that I couldn't make that over-the-top expression if I wanted to, no matter how hard I will my forehead to do so, is something I find a little irritating. I'm big into doing things just because I can. (It's why I spent four hours last Saturday in pajamas eating gummi bears and playing Super Mario Bros. 3.)
The worst side effect of Botox, though, is something they don't ever tell you. Since I had my forehead paralyzed, I easily spend a collective hour each day examining the foreheads of everyone around me. Newscasters and actresses on TV, co-workers, neighbors, my friends, people in bars, etc. I don't waste my time on baristas, because let's be honest...how many Botoxed baristas could there really be. (Particularly in Austin.) But outside of my trips to the Whole Foods coffee bar, very few are spared my critical eye. I've even found myself trying to provoke people to get them to make expressions that would give them away. I just can't help myself.
And I'd frown on my own ridiculous behavior, except luckily enough, I can't make that face anymore.