I was trying to take a flattering selfie for the ad I plan to run in the local paper about my new book, Deadly Winds…available on Amazon. But something about the picture wasn’t right.
I took several in different locations with various lighting until I finally realized that the problem was my nose. I could swear it’s getting bigger with each passing year.
I’ve never liked my nose. I remember complaining about it to my mother when I was a teenager.
“When I get old enough, I’m going to have plastic surgery and get a smaller nose,” I announced at age 16.
“Your nose is fine,” she said sweetly. Of course, she would say that. It was the mirror image of her nose. And she and my dad, who also had a prominent nose, weren’t prepared to bad mouth that particular feature on their faces.
She continued: “Anyone can have a small nose. When they get older it just melts into their face and becomes indistinctive. Barely noticeable. Leaves them without any character.”
Why can’t that “anyone” be me, I wondered. Sign me up for a face without character.
My mother, dear woman that she was, was not always sound in her thinking. For example, knowing that I was afraid of storms she once told me, “Wind from the east will harm neither man nor beast.”
I was probably clinging to her skirts at the time, fearful about being struck by lightning or whisked away by the tornado forming in the fierce thunderstorm outside.
I actually believed her so-called weather fact until I went to college. One day, I sought refuge from a storm in the library. It must have been scary because everyone seemed concerned. But I knew it would be fine because it had come up from the east. It was at that point that I calmly shared my mother’s weather theory to a small group of strangers.
As the people around me dissolved into mocking laughter, I vowed to set my mother straight on the weather — and the beauty of having a smaller nose. (I’m glad I never did.)
As I grew older the desire to have my nose diminished in size never lessened. Unfortunately, the mental roadblocks increased. Stories about the breaking of the nose cartilage and the packing after the surgery; the cost and what if someone botched the job? They all acted as deterrents to the fulfilment of my teenage dream.
Then there was Jennifer Grey, film star of the 1980s and still remembered for her role in Dirty Dancing. At the height of her career, she had a nose job and disappeared from the scene for a long time. Her nose, now cute and tiny, was so different that she was unrecognizable. Indistinctive, my mother would have said.
Luckily, my work life never hinged on my looks. Although as a reporter I suppose you could say that I had a nose for news.
It’s never too late to have your nose done, a friend of mine told me recently. She just had a facelift but left her perky little nose untouched. Yes, I suppose I could. And then I could also stop taking selfies.