No birthday has caused me more palpable dread than my 35th.
In the past, as soon as the new year begins, I've always said I'm the next age I'm going to turn; but this year, I just couldn't bring myself to round up. I was 34--both in actuality and in conversation-- until this past Saturday, when I officially turned 35.
Aside from some annoying Bensonhurst kids taking over my favorite bar--I asked them why they were wearing green paper crowns and one shouted, "It's my friend's birthday, and they're green because POT!"--nothing catastrophic occurred. The weather was beautiful, and I explored the shops in my neighborhood. The cashier at my bodega gave me a free Reese's Big Cup. Life went on, and it was pleasant.
I don't know why this age has been so hard for me to warm up to. I didn't feel this way about 25 or 30, and I'm not particularly scared of getting old; but something about 35 just feels Officially Grown Up. I get the sense that I need to start adulting better.
Feeling like an Official Grown Up also comes with a newfound feeling of independence when it comes to making decisions. I've long been in the understandable habit of consulting my family and friends about potentially controversial choices, but turning 35 has given me an inexplicable surge of autonomy, especially about my body.
Among the corporeal decisions I finally feel like I have every full-grown right to make are three things involving needles.
I've been talking about getting my first tattoo forever, and the longer I wait, the more ideas I come up with, which just leads to me feeling overwhelmed because I don't know where to start.
I'm currently a nine on the one-to-ten obsession scale over the idea of getting a tiny star under the lower left side of my right pointer fingernail. It's my way of interpreting a song lyric that means a lot to me. I'm a little hung up on finding a "cute star," though, and tattoo veteran Beth tells me that finger ink is prone to blowout, so I've been sitting on my hands somewhat literally.
I've also been thinking about getting this vintage (or maybe it's just retro--I don't know how old it actually is) illustration of a robin, though I'm not sure where. My forearm? If so, what direction should it face? Maybe an ankle instead?
I know it may seem like I'm still on the fence about the whole tattoo thing, but I really do want these (and a few others). I just need a little expert guidance, which is a totally OK thing for a grown-up like me to ask for. (It's a sign of maturity.)
BOTOX FOR HYPERHIDROSIS
One treatment I'm definitely not hemming and hawing over is getting Botox injected into my pretty little armpits.
Although it's best known for its wrinkle-paralyzing use, Botox is also FDA-approved to treat severe sweating under the arms, which is one of my two sweatiest body parts. (The other is my face, but I'm not about to ask a doctor to immobilize my whole punim.)
I've always been an excessive sweater, but in the last couple of years, it's gotten out of control. Over the winter, I made the mistake of purchasing a puffy coat in a color other than black. Despite below-freezing temperatures, I would sweat all the way through the down filling, saturating and staining the coat, which I'm sure was a lovely site on crowded subway trains when I had to hold one of the bars above my head.
It's incredibly uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally, and I think I deserve a more comfortable Official Adulthood.
Are you done gasping in horror?
I've wanted lip injections for freakin' ever, and quite frankly, I'm not the least bit ashamed of this wish. (No one should ever feel ashamed for wanting a cosmetic procedure, FYI. As long as he or she is approaching it from a mentally healthy, well-researched and responsible place, it's the patient's own damn business and no one else's.)
I like the shape of my lips, but I think I'd really like how they'd look if they were fuller. Think Geena Davis in A League of Their Own, not Goldie Hawn in The First Wives Club.
The latter look portrays a common misconception about lip injections, by the way. In the '90s, collagen lip injections were a relatively new treatment, so many women ended up looking a bit like fishy hotdog-mouth beasts; however, in the last 20 years or so, techniques and fillers have come a long-ass way, and I plan to go to a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist who uses a hyaluronic-acid-based filler like Restylane or Juvederm.
It lasts about six months--long enough to enjoy it if I love it, but short enough that I won't feel the need to telecommute for eternity. And hey--if it's awful, we can all lovingly make fun of me. Win-win-win.
Obviously, I'll be reporting back to you about all three of these procedures as they occur. In the meantime, let's talk about beauty and needles: what sharp, pointy treatments have you gotten or considered getting?