Nearly a year ago, a local plastic surgeon offered me essentially any medi-spa service I could dream of gratis, simply in exchange for writing about the experience. A pretty good deal, no doubt, but a seriously intimidating one for a woman who had never considered fillers as anything but a punchline. I came home to my husband and gently broached the subject.
“It was so crazy — they said they’d do anything I wanted. Botox, fillers, all that stuff … “ I told him tentatively, just putting it out there, crossing my fingers he’d respond with indifference. He didn’t.
“You’re not really going to do those things, are you?”
Dammit. I shrugged. “I dunno. No. I mean … I just … it’s kind of tempting to think about.”
He was basically shocked and appalled. I couldn’t blame him. We’re not those people. I mean, sure we live in LA, but we’re natives. We’re not those overly polished perfect people who come out here by the busload in search of stardom. We’re townies. We keep it real. Eventually, my husband whittled it down to this:
“Look, it’s your face. It’s my issue. You should do whatever you want. I’ve just been making fun of people with Botox for so long and I’d feel like I had to stop. And I just might judge you. I just might not be able to help it.” I laughed and agreed (I’d done it too) and I’d definitely have to switch gears to adjust to myself but I was still kind of tempted.
As I thought about it more, I decided I didn’t really want to be beholden to broadcasting my every medi-spa visit on the Internet. I took advantage of a few obscure treatments I thought would be cool to write about and called it a day. For a while.
Six months later I was sitting in the office of a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon (go big or go home, right?) with my friend and Botox guru, EJL, discussing whether I should be getting 20 units of Botox to paralyze my overactive eyebrow or 16. Wait, what?
Somewhere between my husband saying “It’s your face, it’s my issue” and arriving at the office on Roxbury Drive all those months later, I had read a piece (I only wish I could remember which and link to it) in which a woman in her sixties admitted to withholding from her husband any minor enhancements she underwent. This was based on the simple premise that he saw her as youthful and beautiful no matter what, so why should she ruin that for him with her own insecurities? Having been with my husband since high school, I could get on board with that. Plus, I really really wanted to get Botox for my crazy eyebrow and this philosophy allowed me to do so with the least amount of domestic disruption.
So one evening, I told my husband I was going to a party at a friend’s medi-spa (true) without ever specifying why I was going in the first place. I shot sixteen units of Botulism into my forehead, and I liked it. Then I carried on with my life.
The thing is, my husband is my best friend. I don’t mean that in the obnoxious doubles tennis playing holier-than-thou way. I mean we both work from home, we met as teenagers, and we actually enjoy each other’s company. We get each other and talk to each other in a way that we just don’t with anyone else. Call it love, call it osmosis, either way, it’s been our dynamic through good times and bad. And for fifteen and a half years, I’ve never kept a secret from him.
Until I got the Botox.
Three days later I woke up to discover I had no movement in my forehead whatsoever. It looked pretty good, but HO-LY was it a weird experience. My first reaction was to run in to Scott and make him poke my forehead and watch me try to raise my crazy eyebrow. But I couldn’t. Because I’d lied by omission and I was in it to win it now.
The worst part was, my secret had me so pent up I was spilling it to anyone who would listen. Which made Scott not knowing feel that much weirder. I made it about a month before I finally blurted it out to him one night while we were getting cozy at a party. “Why would you tell me that right now? Do you feel better?” he responded. He was right. I’d chosen the worst possible moment to crack under the weight of the secret.
The thing is, my husband does think I’m beautiful no matter what. He also never noticed that I had frozen a quarter of my face. But now that he does know, our trust has been damaged. He can’t believe I would have gone and done something like that without telling him, and honestly … neither can I.