I am trying to age gracefully, largely because I do not have the money to do so any other way. But in a fit of depression about the marionette lines developing from my nose down to my chin (think Angela Merkel, who has a lot more on her mind than I do), I decided to have a consultation with a doctor about getting Juvederm injections. The consultation was free and you did not have to commit to anything, so I figured, “information is good.” I had been told by a friend of mine who has used the product that Juvederm, sold by the syringe, can make a huge difference in one’s appearance and that one syringe, at $500, could soften lines (the effects of which had the added benefit of lasting over 18 months).
What follows is a from-memory (obviously, I didn’t tape the conversation) transcription of my meeting with this doctor, who was an attractive Russian lady with a very no-nonsense way about her.
Doctor Russian Lady: Please to be telling me what you wish for.
Me: Well, I am wondering about using a filler, and I just wanted to know what the least amount of it I could use is, I mean, the least amount that would make a difference and that wouldn’t look freakishly unnatural. I don’t have a lot of money, so I was thinking one syringe maybe and…
DRL: (Frowning, staring at me, pulls out pad and pen and writes a bunch of stuff down. Shows me what she has written, with the number $1900 at the bottom.) First I am using Botox on gigantic wrinkles on gigantic forehead, and then three syringes of Juvederm on deep creases on face. You are having uneven creases, so I will to be using more on left side of face than right. Also you are having jowls, which I will help prop up and then you are needing injections on thin lips.
Me: (Feeling suicidal, having been previously unaware of just how hideous I am.) Well, um, first of all, I really don’t want to look unnatural. I don’t want puffy lips. And I mean, yeah, they’re thin, but you know, I mean, er, I make jokes about having lips like Heinrich Himmler, but I really don’t think I do. Do I?
DRL: Lips are not like lips of Heinrich Himmler or any other person from Third Reich. By the way, my grandfather died at Stalingrad fighting German devils.
Me: Wow. Well, bless him. My uncle, too. I mean, not at Stalingrad, but…
DRL: Yes, was hero in Great Patriotic War. But the reason you are needing fuller lips is that you are having gigantic forehead and face does not look balanced. Fuller lips will balance gigantic forehead.
Me: Well, I just don’t want those fish lips you see on ladies.
DRL: I am not to be giving you fish lips. Full lips. Like Angelina Jolie.
Me: Well, hers are kinda fishy. Anyway, she’s Angelina Jolie. That’s different. And I really don’t think my forehead is gigantic.
DRL: Yes, is enormous. You are looking like Tweety Bird.
Me: (Close to tears, trying to form sentences…)
DRL: (Sensing, finally, that I am upset.) No! No! Gigantic forehead is good thing. When I was student at V.I. Lenin Institute of Neurology for the Great Soviet People, we were being taught that big forehead is meaning big brain.
Me: I don’t know about that.
DRL: But you are just needing some balancing with fuller lips.
Me: Yeah, but you know, I really was just concerned about my marionette creases. I’m starting to look like Angela Merkel.
DRL: (Stares in disbelief.) You are looking nothing like Angela Merkel. Angela Merkel is dumpy German lady with bowl cut.
Me: Right. Well, I’m glad I don’t look like that, I guess, but I just was trying to make a little joke, you know.
DRL: Ah. Is humour?
Me: Yeah. I just was trying to give an example of someone with those marionette lines. I mean, I feel bad saying that because she is way more accomplished than I will ever be, and she certainly has a lot on her plate and…
DRL: Yes, yes. So $1900 you are looking fresh and with full lips and not fish lips and with no wrinkles on gigantic, enormous forehead.
Me: Right. Well, that is a bit out of my price range.
DRL: I can give 10% discount.
Me: I need more like an 80% discount.
DRL: Please to be leaving.