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Along with the newspaper today came an insert, a glossy multi-paged advert (complete with discount coupons) from a local spa. Oh, no, I stand corrected…it is a ‘Medical Spa’. So now I know what I want (or need) for Christmas.

The opening gambit hooked me right away: “Tired of being asked if you’re tired?’ That is so me…with the slight change that I am the one asking myself that. I look in the mirror (no more often than I have to) and see not only lines, small wrinkles and massive under-eye bags, but thin lips, a bit of a double chin and furrowed brow. Having always looked somewhat younger than my age (it annoyed me when I was in my late 20s and still being carded at the liquor store), it has come as something of a shock that reality sucks. I am a senior with a face to match. And I know Gill will say I still look good (she doesn’t need to add ‘for my age’ but I know she’s thinking it), but it still bothers me. And I know I’ve always said to her that it’s the inside that counts…but really, is it a crime to have a little vanity about one’s appearance? Okay, perhaps it is, but if so, throw me in the clink now.

Even though I know Gill, L’il Sis and Crazy D would balk and throw a fit if I asked for the spa special as a Christmas gift, I’m sorely tempted. I don’t worry about the smaller wrinkles…except possibly the over-the- lips ones or the furrowed brow (I wear bangs so I’m the only one who can see them), but the under-eye bags and sags bother me. When I have to go out (for a special evening) I use the old cucumber slice and/or ice cube trick beforehand. These aren’t as reliable as they once were. My god, even the cucumbers aren’t what they once were! And I have tried every brand of cosmetic cover and ‘ageless’ makeup on the market. And, sorry Ellen D, I love you but even your latest Cover Girl product doesn’t cut it.

Which brings me back to the Spa ad. The spa is having a ‘Holiday Botox and Filler Party’. Sign me up! Well, perhaps I could skip the Botox (although if they injected it in the right spot, it might be a twofer — hide the wrinkles and get rid of the headaches). And I admit to being a wee bit terrified of injecting a chemical that might freeze part of  my body(although it might depend on which part). Yes, Gill, there is a limit to my acceptance of chemicals. But the idea of ‘fillers’…now that has some real appeal. I’m not sure how good I feel about a ‘party’ of similar clients – unless they serve vast quantities of wine at the event– but there’s a first time for everything.(Actually, if I’m truthful, I suspect it would simply end up being a party of many of my neighbors! I’ve SEEN the lineups at the local ‘facial improvement’ place.)

Then I checked out the ‘special prices’. That stopped me in my tracks. As did the small print admitting that the fillers might last for mere months. The effect MIGHT last years, but since my lottery tickets haven’t won me much lately, I’m guessing the odds are stacked against me. And I’m not sure how I feel about the ‘rebates’ offered. I still haven’t gotten around to sending in the rebate form for my furnace and air con unit that I purchased last spring. And realistically, at my age, I could be dead before I get the rebate. Not likely, but…I’m still feeling somewhat glum about Trump’s election. Haven’t quite lost the will to live, but if things take a turn after the Inauguration, all bets are off.

So, with all the genuine, worthy pleas for support around at this time of the year, I know my kids would much rather spring for the donation of a goat or chickens to women in Africa, a cheque to support the Guardian newspaper or the New York Times, Planned Parenthood, or the ACLU. And, I concede, those are much worthier causes than my under eye luggage. I guess I’ll just have to slap on more ‘face spackle’ and move ahead, satisfied in the knowledge that I’ve made it to this age and don’t look too much worse for the wear.

So Gill, not to worry…I will strive to elevate my aspirations and Christmas expectations.