Do we dye our hair? Do we cap our teeth? Do we tan our skin? In many ways, some of us do our best to look good. And that is how I feel about cosmetic surgery – it is just another way of looking our best.

When I lived in the USA, no-one thought us terribly vain if we admitted to a small nip-and-tuck. Or even a bigger one. When I returned to Australia I discovered a different outlook. Women who indulged went to great lengths to keep it secret. I neither understood nor liked this attitude. Was it because they feared other women would make catty remarks behind their back? Possibly! But whatever, few women freely owned up to it Down Under.

Now Joan Rivers admits to over 400 procedures. Wow! That is a lot. But I for one, think she looks terrific. At her age, imagine how she would look without all that. Not a pretty sight for any of us. And I don’t give a darn about all that ‘aging gracefully c***. I’d rather be graceless and only wish I had the funds to follow in Joan’s footsteps…although, maybe not as many.

Now back to my heading;

Beautifying = Joann Rivers.

Horrifying= New York’s Cat Woman.

.                                                    Humorous= Me!

Well you might just wonder what is humorous about cosmetic surgery. Actually nothing. It was the aftermath that I found funny. This is not in any of my books and so I thought I would share it here. To hell with anyone who wants to whisper “I always KNEW she had some work done.”

A few years ago, before my books were selling well, (I’m STILL waiting) I was looking for a way to tighten my face a little without it costing an arm and a leg. (Get that?)

I discovered an Indian surgeon who had studied in the USA. His qualifications sounded good enough to inspire some confidence. It just so happened that I was travelling to India to meet my new daughter-in-law for the first time. One of my adopted, Indian sons had married her, and although he was back in the USA, she was still in India awaiting her visa. This first meeting with her and her family was important and I wanted to make a good impression.

I arranged my trip to arrive in Delhi two weeks early, thus allowing myself time to check into the Fortis Private hospital, get the job done, then travel around to the Taj Mahal and other exotic places while I healed. A different son, my youngest, accompanied me on my travels by private car with driver. And yes! I do believe I am a regular Auntie Mame, although  I must have looked a site myself with my face swaddled in bandages and a few inches of bruised skin peeping out.

We returned to Delhi and my bandages were removed. However, there were several strands of ugly black thread hanging from beneath my chin which did nothing to enhance my appearance. My doctor told me to return in a few more days to have the stitches removed.I was beginning to shape up and becoming quite excited about the impression I would make on these new family members – even though we had no common language.

Alas, my plans forever seem to go astray. I was not expecting the entire family to drive down from Punjab, an eight hour drive, to greet me and take me back with them – before I was ready. There they were in the hotel foyer, greeting me joyously and trying not to stare at the network of black wires which looked like horse-hair dangling from my flesh.

What to do? I could hardly ask them to wait two days until I was ready to have my stitches removed. (Especially as I was not ready to admit to such vanity which I doubted they would understand.) Of course not. So my son and I piled into the vehicle with them and returned to the small northern town of Raikot.

Days passed and so did the date for the removal of the horse hair. It was beginning to embed deeper into my flesh. The distance to Delhi was too great to run back for one day so I looked around Raikot for a clinic. Now there are no shortages of clinics throughout India – they are easily identifiable by the large painted red cross signs that sit high upon the roof tops. Dragging my reluctant, twenty five year old son with me, I went in search of a Red Cross sign. We dodged the heavy traffic on the dusty road, barely avoided a mound of camel dung and entered the long, narrow cement room. Along one side of the room, a row of old kitchen chairs sat against the wall. These were all occupied, mostly by elderly, bearded men wearing colorful turbans. Against the opposite wall, within an arms reach, was a battered iron bed covered with a graying sheet. At the very end of the small clinic was a desk and a recognizable doctor sporting the usual stethoscope. Thankfully, he spoke English.

Taking my place on a seat among these silent gentlemen, I waited my turn, just slightly out of my comfort zone. After quite awhile, the doctor beckoned me over to the un-screened metal bed. I hopped up and lay down like a good girl – grateful that I was wearing jeans. Just then the power failed. This apparently was not unexpected because within moments the nurse appeared with a flashlight. Both of them peered at me as I turned my head this way and that, allowing them to inspect the black stitches almost hidden in my swollen flesh. With the beam of the flashlight glaring in my face, I closed my eyes and gritted my teeth. No matter how much those darned threads hurt as they were dragged out – no way was I going to yell and moan and let down the white women of this world. No indeedy!  I could show them that we were tough!

At last it was over and I opened my eyes. What a surprise! I was encircled by a sea of wizened, curious faces, some only inches from my own, as their white beards swept over me and a sea of colorful turbans bedazzled as the lights came back on. Not a man had remained sitting but I suppose I had given them something to talk about that day.

And that’s what I love about travel…we just never have these experiences at home.

Top that one, Joan Rivers.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rose Siva
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 21:50:23

    Great story June! Really enjoyed the read! Do you have more?


  2. robin
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 14:44:31

    Ms. June you totally rock a story! I so enjoy your style of humor & living in the moment. Keep writing :O


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