Plastic surgery comes up more and more with moms, no matter where I show up these days. At the preschool farewell dinner, the dance studio, the local pool, online in blogs and articles by women wanting "Mommy Makeovers." (I hate that term, by the way.)
Is it because I'm in Los Angeles? Or is it because we're all watching too many Real Housewives episodes?
It's probably because my husband is a plastic surgeon.
I listen to the conversations and often get asked lots of questions about things I'm expected to have answers to. And, yes, I sometimes sense scrutiny (hidden by smiles) from new acquaintances trying to keep a close eye on my forehead to see if it moves when I laugh (you know, to figure out whether or not I've dipped into the sauce).
"Do you get free Botox? How much and what have you tried? What's the deal with cool sculpting? Does he know Dr. Nassif from Botched?" they all ask. On occasion, I even get the passive-aggressive inquiry of, "So where do you live?" It's a sneaky attempt to figure out if our house is comparable to Heather and Terry Dubrow's famed digs.
Being married to a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon is complicated.
But I'm here for you and ready to answer the questions I know from years of experience you all have. In no particular order:
I don't get free Botox all the time
In the words of my husband, "That stuff is expensive! I'm not going to order it special for you to use a little bit and then have the rest go to waste!" (Because yes, we still have to pay for it.)
Thanks to random samples leftover for months in his office, I'm able to score some about twice a year (just before the contents expire) in an effort to "not waste" what's in there. Totally fine by me, because, honestly, Botox kinda freaks me out. Not to mention, my husband sometimes gets annoyed giving it to me, because I wince and whine and micro-manage the process. (How much are you doing? Is this the same amount as last time? Don't do too much, I still want my forehead to move!) Call it a waste of resources, but injecting needles into my forehead is something that pretty much goes against everything I believe in—besides the "looking young" part.
"BE CAREFUL AND DON'T HURT YOUR HANDS!!!" I cry.
Oh yeah: I don't do fillers. I tried 'em once and thought they were awful, fake and were even more super-painful to inject than Botox.
I got the Rolls Royce treatment for my C-section scars
Now THIS was a major perk! C-sections were not necessarily in my plans, but they happened. Since my husband swears that a plastic surgeon's stitch is more refined than a general Ob-gyn's, he took it upon himself (with my permission) to call his best plastic-surgeon buddy to come sew me up post-delivery—because hospital regulations prevented him from doing it himself. To be clear, this was NOT a tummy-tuck, rather a more delicate incision-sewing that healed impeccably.
Thanks to my husband's brilliant trick of using 3M micropore paper tape over the stitch for a full two months afterwards, my scar is virtually invisible—you have to really, really look to find it. (I explain this wacky-but-effective technique in my new book for first-time pregnant moms. You don't need a plastic surgeon to do it!)
I worry about my looks, and whether or not I should take advantage of his services against my fears
Most every woman I know starts noticing her looks a bit more as she ages (yeah, yeah, I try to fight it and know it's wrong). But being married to someone who is passionate about—and makes his living by—improving appearances (whether for reconstructive or cosmetic purposes) can be unnerving.
My face is changing as I age (all of ours are). As someone who had her nose corrected at 19 (yes! I did!), I've noticed that it's starting to cave and have a weird bump on one side as the elasticity in my face changes with age. Does it secretly bother him to look at it? He says it doesn't, but he also says he could probably fix it if I wanted to. Does he really want to fix it and he's just not telling me because he loves me anyways?!
And then there's the question of breasts: Should I get them because they're "available" to me? I find myself thinking more about my looks because I'm married to what many in Los Angeles think of as THE perfect husband's occupation. (For the record, I'm too damn scared, at this point in my life, to go under anesthesia to do something that isn't going to make that big a difference one way or another.)
I buzzkill his hobbies like a bitch
My husband has very cool interests, like hanging out in the garage to rebuild his classic car, doing handiwork around the house, climbing into the attic and drilling things and, by himself, installing our new outdoor fountain (while I kept yelling at him to stop before he dropped the damn thing on his foot).
If even one tragedy hurts his hands, we're done for.
Contrary to what reality shows make it seem like, not all plastic surgeons are sleeping in piles of money.
"BE CAREFUL AND DON'T HURT YOUR HANDS!!!" I cry. And don't get me started about his habit of throwing a tortilla straight onto the stove (to toast it) and then picking it up with his bare hands because it's "easier" that way. My nagging drives him crazy and always kickstarts some kind of argument. But I'm looking out for you, babe! Last time I checked, burned fingers are difficult to operate with.
We're not rich
I love my home (it is nice), but it is remarkably average in size, layout and design. It needs a paint job inside and out. And all the pipes under the kitchen need to be replaced. The guest toilet whistles when we flush it, and the air-conditioning broke last week (which leads me back to buzz-killing my husband's hobbies, because, of course, he fixed the scorched wire with a pair of pliers and his bare hands. Contrary to what reality shows make it seem like, not all plastic surgeons are sleeping in piles of money.
Sorry to bust the silicone wide open. But this plastic wife tells the truth.