A friend of mine who shall remain nameless has been considering a face lift. I thought you’d enjoy this email I received about making the decision:

I had a consult with Dr. Fleury this week and am contemplating which kidney to sell to finance the still hypothetical procedure.

Dr. Albert Fleury, a cosmetic surgeon I highly recommend.

Dr. Albert Fleury, a cosmetic surgeon I highly recommend.

After arriving at the doctor’s office, when the nurse walked me down the hall to the examining room, she said, “What brings you here today?” Sheer vanity, I thought, but then answered aloud that I was interested in having some extra skin removed. It seemed more plausible.

The actual expectations are not that I will look younger but that I will “look good” for my age. Mary the Arranger thinks that’s realistic. If I can get the money thing nailed down, and get a firm grip on finalizing the decision making process, I hope to have the surgery in December.

So now I must convince myself that I am not an old fool. Inevitably since the consult, every glance in the mirror fosters the argument that my droops and folds and hollows are getting larger. The doctor even used the word “jowls” when describing what might go. It’s a word I associate more with walruses. Quelle horreur. Plus, there’s that pesky wattle. Gobble gobble. Should I have it pierced?

I’d probably need to have it done at Sibley Hospital. I’ll need to spend the night. Adds $800. There’s a list of hurdles to get through with primary care physician exams, an EKG, and so on.  And the surprising realization that I do care what others might think and prefer to keep the whole thing a private operation and not let anyone know it has been done. (If I get it done.)

As you can see, the process of self-convincing myself of the necessity unfolds. “My, you look tired,” has not been said to me but they did say it to a friend once, and she found it useful as an argument. In the mirror of my mind I say, “My, you look tired,” to myself and began to massage the other reasons for getting what I want. But the money. The money. Spent otherwise, it’s a substantial down payment on a car. It’s food for one-hundred children for three years. (Small children in Bangladesh.) But I don’t need a car right now and the children are in Bangladesh. Personally speaking, I don’t need jowls, wattles, an extra yard of skin, or the lack of adventure the denial of such an experience would bring me. Self convincing gets convoluted.

And the upshot is…my friend is booked for surgery in December.