Wednesday, September 17, 2014


These moles are cuter than mine.
One of the more obvious signs of aging is the gradual occurrence of moles and skin tags -- those little clumps that look like pieces of earwax that appear one day and never go away. 

That's the problem with having grown up in a beach town. It was a time when every kid would return home cherry-red after being outside all day. The mothers would say, "A little sunburn won't kill you!" Ha! Good one, mom!

The only thing more disgusting than these splotches is how you look in the immediate aftermath of getting them removed, when you have to go out in public with your face bandaged like you just got shaved by a blind man with one hand and three fingers.

It was my turn yesterday. Not that I really noticed those little clumps. I mean, I don't have to look at myself. My wife, on the other hand, has no choice. And now that our daughter's away at college, she has one less person to focus on. 

It looks something like this.
But there was one other facial matter that my wife really had enough of, and it had nothing to do with ultraviolet rays. For many years I've had a line -- make that a groove -- no, canal, approximately one-inch long running vertically between my eyebrows. I'm not saying it's deep, but I could use it for a piggy bank. Again, I never thought much of it, but my wife certainly has: "Unless you're smiling, you always look like you're mad at me!" She always sounds mad when she says that.

The only cure for that epidermic aqueduct, she believed, was a shot of Botox. Yes, Botox. You know, short for Botulism Toxic. Right between the eyes. So strongly did my wife feel about this, she was willing to pay for it. This is like covering the jail's electric bill when your husband gets the chair.

Darn! And I could have looked as good as him.
Yesterday, I visited the dermatologist. She sliced off two of the moles -- really, I could have done it myself -- and burned off a third -- which I could have done as well. But I was told that Botox would do nothing for me except prevent me from frowning; the line would remain, albeit not quite as deep. And I would have to return every three or four months for another injection at four C-notes a pop. 

However, there was something else that would plump up the skin and eliminate the line completely. But she wouldn't inject it in that spot due to the possible side effect of blindness. 

I could hear my wife's usual response: Now wait a minute, let's think about this. I knew I was taking a terrible chance, but decided right then and there that continuing to look mad was a price I was happy to pay, if it meant keeping what eyesight I have left.

Unlike the old guys I see on the subway who go through similar procedures, my bandages -- on the neck, face and collarbone -- were small. Even better, my wife was OK with me not risking blindness to make her happy (for now). The little scabs, almost unnoticeable, will heal soon, leaving me looking at least six months younger. 

Now all I need is a couple of pieces of invisible tape to pull back the skin above my eyebrows, and my wife will be able to look at me without confusing me for a running back for the NFL.


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