Subourbon Mom

PSA – You Don’t Want Princess Leia Ears
October 22, 2019, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , ,

Like many middle-aged women I know,  I recently had to get yet another piece of my face removed because I used to lay out on the roof with tanning oil, sauteing myself for future meals made of  wrinkles and regrets.

This time, however, it was a basal-cell something or other, and not just a precursor to skin cancer.  And, since I’m vain and didn’t want my dermatologist to cut a Franstein-looking chunk out of my face in an effort that may or may not get it all, I opted for undergoing the MOH procedure. In the MOH procedure, the dermatologist/plastic surgeon numbs you up, cuts one layer at a time, bandages you, tests it to see if they got it all (this takes about 2 hours per slice), and repeats the process until they know it’s all gone.  This can potentially take all day.  It has something like a 99% removal success rate, and these surgeons also tend to leave less scarring.

The process for me was a one-shot deal – we didn’t have to repeat the excision, and it was pain-free. However, there were a couple of things I didn’t anticipate:

First, HOLY SHIT WAS IT EXPENSIVE!! Even with insurance…so investigate before you get your vanity on.

Second, I was the youngest person there by 30 years.  The only people my age were the ones helping out their parents for the day.  I felt like a toddler.

Third, it looked like a Leper colony had taken up residence in the waiting room. These folks didn’t just have a cute little bandage on the sides of their faces like I did.  The men had great, whopping bandages covering their ears, like old, weather-beaten Princess Leah drag queens.

And/or they had giant bandages over their noses and on top of their heads. It was like sitting in the aftermath of the best geriatric bar brawl ever. (I’d post pictures but HIPPA frowns on that, so I didn’t take any.  You can Google it, but it’s pretty gross.)

And finally, I had no idea what getting your face stitched up feels like.  For the record, it’s weird, and I felt like I looked like Heath Ledger’s Joker afterward (it actually looked pretty good).  Since mine was by my ear on my jawline, the internal stitches were deep and right by the jaw hinge.  As the doctor was tying the internal stitches, it didn’t hurt, but I could feel her tugging hard – MY WHOLE FACE MOVED.

I finally had to say something: “You know that’s my face you’re pulling on, right?”  She replied, “Yep. It’s the face lift you never wanted.” To which I said, “Well, just make sure it’s even.” Afterward, I has to ask:  “So is that my future sitting out there? I’m not a big Princess Leah fan.”

“Oh honey, no,” she said. “Those are the guys who’ve had a bump on their nose or scabs on their ears for years, and finally decided it’s not a cut or a bug bite.  or their wives finally made them come in. You come in every year, so you’ll be fine.”

You can imagine my relief…so consider this your Public Service Announcement: Go to your dermatologist, even if you think you don’t need to.  Chances are you won’t need to have this procedure done, but let’s face it – not everyone can look as beautiful as Ingrid Bergman with a face bandage.

A Woman's Face 1







Mirror Mirror, On the Wall
May 16, 2013, 11:22 am
Filed under: Exercise, Middle Age | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Like many women, I have toyed with the idea of “getting some work done.”  There are so many options available! You can inject things into your face to get rid of the wrinkles. You can make your lips fatter, your bottom rounder and your thighs skinnier. You can even take fat from one part of your body and put it somewhere else.  But none of those things has ever really appealed to me. I have found a much cheaper way to make myself feel better about the toll time has taken on my face and body.


I recently heard a speech/performance by Canadian poet Shane Koyczan, about bullying (you can watch it by following the link at the end of the post.) There were many phrases and ideas of his that resonated with me, but the one I want to share is…


“If you can’t find something beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror.”


So I did.


My new mirror isn’t anything special.  I got it at the Dollar Store for, well, a dollar. It has a white plastic rim, and for the moment, doesn’t have any water or toothpaste splotches.  The glass doesn’t really magnify anything, but it did show me some things in a much different light.


The crow’s feet around my eyes come from years of squinting at diamonds on turquoise seas and Virginia mountain sunrises, and from searching for the Daughters #1 & #2 as they shot a goal or cantered over a jump.


The bump on my nose that makes my glasses lopsided is a reminder of my love of sports, although playing soccer might not have been one of my better choices (I broke my nose by kicking the ball into my own face. Try it at home—I dare you).  Running, jumping, kicking and throwing—what a way to celebrate the body I was given!


The wrinkles on my forehead are the marks of a mother who worries about her family—are they doing okay in school? Will we have enough money for college?  Do I still make Hubby happy?  It is a miracle to have those things to worry about.  Why would I erase them?


Even the wrinkles on my upper lip are testimony to the years of clamping my mouth shut in twenty years of marriage. I finally learned that not every opinion needs to be voiced—even though mine is usually better.


The freckles and age spots on my hands come from hours of driving my children to and from school as we talked about our day, from driving across country with Hubby, and riding horses as often as I could.  Sure, I could get them lasered off, but why? I don’t want to look like I never had any adventures.



My hips and stomach are no longer flat or small. They shifted and made room for two daughters. No, I don’t have the body of a twenty-year-old anymore—I have the body of a mother, of someone who has survived my babies’ colic, teething, first steps, tantrums, first day of school, and first dates.


None of this is to say I’ve totally accepted this body I’m living in. I still highlight my hair every two months to cover up the gray, and I struggle to fit into jeans that I probably shouldn’t. But when the mirror on the wall in my bathroom isn’t making me happy, I try to remember to get the other one out, the one that says “You’re beautiful because of those lines, and wrinkles and sagging parts. They are the result of living your life, of all the things that have made you who you are.”


The erosion of the walls of the Colorado River could have been viewed as a tragic invasion of pristine countryside—instead, we now see the Grand Canyon as a wonder of the world.  Why can’t our bodies be the same?


To see Shane’s performance, go to

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