I stared at an old woman
took note of her nasolabial folds, the creases forming an accordion on her upper lip, the stab marks of her frown and remembered something that happened to me sometime ago.
I’m not supposed to call it a wrinkle.
My girlfriend, a Botox/derma-fillers/fat-transfer/implant veteran tells me it’s called the nasolabial fold.
“You have a fold not a wrinkle,” she tells me as she stretches the right side of my face. When she does, the wrinkle disappears and I’m young again.
“See? Folds are reversible. Two shots of Juvederm and you’ll be like new.”
This particular day, we are afflicted by a sort of Latin melancholy and decide to hit a salsa club nearby. I have second thoughts as I look at myself in her bathroom mirror. The skin in my face wasn’t sagging yesterday, I'm sure; it started sagging five minutes ago as I watched her struggle to tuck her brand new breasts into a tiny bustier. Her skin is flawless and the Botox has paralyzed some muscles just enough to keep her face looking natural. Her body is taut from cosmetic surgery and long hours in the gym. She’s older than I’m and wrinkle-free.
"You don't have to look like crap just because you are old," she says and I wonder if she means that I look like crap. She hands me a business card.
Botox Parties When you Want Them, Where you Need them.
“Repeat after me,” she says. “I don’t have a wrinkle. I have a fold.”
Tonight, all the beautiful women in the world show up at the club, a dizzying parade of rock solid bodies, cheeks bursting with collagen, curves and dimples. No nasolabial folds in sight. I tap on my newly found wrinkle after the first mojito, follow its crease all the way from the tip of my nose to the corner of my mouth. It’s not so bad, I think and I treat myself to a second drink. By the third mojito I’m definitely digging the wrinkle. It separates my cheek from my upper lip. It’s got purpose. I need this wrinkle, I say to myself. Then I order another mojito. -------- -------------
I hope this beautiful old woman doesn't use euphemisms to describe the evolution of her skin. I hope she looks at her nasolabial folds and says, I've earned you wrinkles; I hope she doesn't freeze the deep stabs of her frown with botox. I hope she goes to some Amsterdam centrum bar and has many mojitos, not to forget how old she is, but to celebrate it.