Things Fall Apart.

So this is how my Dryanuary is going:

Last Saturday was so mild here on the north shore of Long Island that Top Cat and I took his convertible with the top down to our favorite beach and we did our belated Winter Solstice Happiness ceremony. That’s not ginger ale in my glass. You can’t toast the Winter Solstice with ginger ale. Duh.

Yesterday was my birthday and I was for sure NOT going to spend the day sober so, again, my cup did not runneth over with ginger ale.

Two out of seven ain’t bad. Although I could use me some of this today:

The famous Korean Hangover Soup, which everyone in Korea has their own special recipe for. The fact that they have such a thing is, to me, more proof that it must be a shit load of fun being Korean.

Lately, it has not been a ton of fun being me. I do not like getting old, nope, not one bit, and I don’t have a single good thing to say about it. Even if Trump were to die tomorrow, the fact is that the future would still look bleak for yours truly. In a mere six years I will be 70 and that’s if I’m LUCKY. I mean, what can suck worse than that? It’s a wonder that I’m not mainlining vodka 24/7.

But I’m not going to whine about it here. I’m here today to tell you a story.

I have a friend who for the last five years has been complaining about her weight. She’s about 70 – 100 pounds too heavy for her height and when we get together she usually complains about how everything makes her feel terrible about her body and she’ll say to me, It must be so nice to  be skinny.

Some of you readers might remember that six years ago I changed my diet (I stopped eating cake and potato chips for dinner) and started going to the gym and I lost 30 pounds. This is a picture of Fat Me:

This is me, 30 pounds lighter:

I prefer 30-pounds-lighter me.

Well, this time when my friend said something to me about being thin, I said to her, I have to admit, it’s awesome. She wasn’t expecting that.

I told her that if she really wants to get rid of the extra weight, she deserves to experience for herself the difference it would make in her life. I said that we’re all going to die but nobody should die never knowing what it would feel like to be her best self. (I’m not saying that say friend is not her best self now; in fact, she has a great career that I envy. But she is ALWAYS talking about her weight and I know it’s an issue that makes her unhappy.)

I told her that if she can’t diet, for god’s sake get the gastric bypass surgery. I always say that if you have a problem that money will solve, SPEND THE MONEY.

She made an appointment with a gastroenterologist the next day.

I listened to my own advise about solving the best-self problems that money will solve and I made an appointment with a plastic surgeon to talk about getting a facelift.

Yes, I did.

The hardest part about talking with a plastic surgeon about getting a facelift is when he makes you hold a mirror up to your face and you have to tell him what don’t like. These days, I don’t look at myself in the mirror much, and I keep the drapes drawn in my house because light is not my friend. In the plastic surgeon’s office, the lights were really bright, and the mirror was really big.

Turns out that my brow line is still pretty good and he’ll leave that alone, but he will lift my eyes and the bottom half of my face and tighten my neck. It will cost $19,000.

Saying you’re going to get a face lift, and getting a face lift require two different mind sets and I’m still working on the latter. It’s also a lot of money, but do you really want to bargain-shop a face lift? (The answer is No.)

I would look a while lot better with a tighter face, but it’s surgery, with cutting and stitches and recovery time, and I am a huge coward when it comes to pain, although I was told that the pain will be minimal. Minimal compared to what, I don’t know. But then I think about turning 70, and how much better I will look at 70 if I get a face lift now (have you seen Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in Grace & Frankie???) and I feel like getting it done tomorrow, which makes me a bit queasy because of the cutting and the stitches.

And then I think about turning 70 and things get ugly. Entropy, our sun going all red giant, the end of all life, the pointlessness of it all. The usual.

Since the universe is going to deny me ever having a Korean husband (on account of the one that I already have who I like quite a lot), the least it can do is let me have a face lift, right?

Please let me know if you have had work done, and your advise.

On a related topic (the topic being Stuff That I Think About When I’m Not Thinking About Dying or Koreans), there’s this:



International climate change activist Greta Thunberg has a new, affectionate honor. The charismatic activist has had a “gritting” truck named after her in Scotland: “Gritter Thunberg.”

Naming trucks that clear snow and spread abrasives in Scotland is popular, with contests for the most clever name, and Greta’s was chosen by school kids. Some previous winners include “Spreaddy Mercury,” “Gritney Spears,” “Sir Salter Scott,” “Brad Grit,” and “Gritty Gritty Bang Bang.”

Awwwwwww, that’s really cute. Thumbs up, Scotland.

And now for the regularly scheduled Fuck Trump and All Republicans programming:































Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes. I might loathe getting another year older, but it means a lot to know that you’re rooting for me to have a few minutes of joy on a dark, dark day.

Have a great weekend, everyone.





13 Comments, RSS

  1. Kirra

    Cheers for the winter solstice and your birthday Vivian! Sorry you don’t like getting old, I guess I can’t offer any advice being in my 30’s but personally I would not volunteer for any type of operation, I’m very squeamish.

    The Scottish really are pretty awesome with their new truck name.

    I am baffled sometimes how you manage to live through US elections, with all the pre-selections and rallys before the election. And you need so much money to be a candidate. I wish you luck getting rid of Trump but I’m a bit pessimistic after the British voted idiotic Boris back in.

    Hope you are some tasty birthday cake?! Since there’s no Korean hangover food.

  2. Casey

    Funny. You 30 pounds slighter is funny. And yes by all means, spend the money on yourself. Good luck to your friend. We all deserve to feel beautiful on the outside and the inside.

    Hmmmmm…..a facelift? Why not? You’re braver than I am, and I hope you’ll blog about the whole thing.

    Oh, and Fuck Trump.

  3. Marg-o

    No, do not bargain shop for a face lift. What does Top Cat think about it?

    We all could use a friend that speaks truth to us. I also finally lost those ten pounds I’ve been complaining about for 20 years (I counted calories and kept a food diary) and I have to say, it’s one less thing to beat myself up about. Being human is hard. Know what i mean?

  4. Melissa Elliott

    Here is what sustains me: If they prove Pence knew all about it, and manage to figure out a way to make him go as well as the Liar in Chief, then according to the sucession, Nancy Pelosi will be the president until we elect a new one. How’s that for a cheery prospect to wake up to?

  5. Alex

    Well, the fact that people sometimes *die* during elective surgery would be enough to stop me. Also, I remember what Mae West looked like at the end…SCARY stuff, that.

    I celebrated my “Welcome to Medicare” birthday last fall and yeah, there are wrinkles, or as I refer to them, “character lines.” It’s fine. I remember taking portrait drawing classes in an earlier millennium, and how dull and boring the young models were — too smooth and perfect and completely uninteresting to draw, while the older models were tons more fun with all that experience and *life* showing clearly on their faces. I want people to see me the way I am — unvarnished.

    But what the hell, it’s *your* money. Every time I balk at spending $$$ on frivolous things, my 90-year-old mother tells, me, “SPEND IT! Enjoy it while you can!”

    So those are pearls of wisdom from the Aged.

    And yeah, FUCK TRUMP and the WHORE HE RODE IN ON! Pretty pretty puhleeze!!!!

  6. Penny Herrington

    Happy Birthday seems the wrong thing to say given your present mindset. I do want to send my good wishes your way and wish I could reassure you about the pleasures of growing old. There isn’t a good way to view yourself falling apart one day after another. I think the worst part is the way society views us as we age. We are generally ignored or pushed to one side. The ego takes some beatings and comes out bruised. Face will never be young again. And it sucks.
    Alcohol will speed up the process at a remarkable rate and take depression to a whole new low. A downward spiral that is hard to pull out from.
    You will look marginally better after surgery. For about six minutes. Unless it goes badly and you look like a cockeyed old lady.
    Perhaps consider throwing some money at a rehab and get sober. I am not trying to be insulting or mean. Your world will look entirely different afterwards and then if you still want a lift or two after being sober for a month, it will be a well considered choice. All jokes aside, if you can’t get sober for three days on your own, you need help. There is no shame in asking for it. And counseling helps as you come to terms with being a fun old lady. I wish you nothing but the best.

  7. BUNNY

    I agree with what Kirra said, about not volunteering for “elective” surgery. I’ve had a crick in my hand for over 10 years, my ligaments have scrunched up my pinky on my dominant hand, but I’ve not lost any strength, or use, so unless I do start to lose some of the functionality, I’m staying out of the operating room.

    And, I’ve been bald since my mid 40’s, and remember when my father would glue his toupee on his bald dome, it didn’t change the person he was, to me, it was strictly a cover up (no pun intended). And in a strong wind, talk about a wardrobe malfunction!!! My baldness has never bothered me or made me consider “surgery” or any other action. It was the reality of my world.

    I say stand up for who you are, what you are, not what you look like. I think you still look great!

    And, also agree with Alex, about being unvarnished, although I think I may have said, untarnished.

    But I wholeheartedly agree with Penny about alcohol speeding up the process of aging, and adding to depression, how people get into vicious cycles in their lives, and quite often are unable to break a habit that is self debilitating, and harmful.

    And, I agree with F*ck Trump, i do think that the impeachment is obviously partisan, and the likelihood of getting any support for the Republican Senate is slim-but maybe four or five will come to their senses, at the liberals have gone on record and this will be an asterisk for future generations. The real story, however, will be this election cycle, and how that will play out.

    Its extremely hard to believe that he could be reelected, but then again, I didn’t think he had ANY chance 3 and a half years ago! The Democrats seem to be in a quagmire about who can defeat Trump, but the process will take time: the next couple of months should be interesting.

  8. Adrienne

    Happy Birthday!!
    With regard to birthdays, turning 60 was difficult. I could barely say the number. It is the only birthday that has bothered me. But then my best friend’s husband died at 57 and I reminded myself of all of the people I loved who didn’t have the luxury of getting old.
    As for facelifts, I’ve seen a lot of bad plastic surgery and that has scared me. (Google celebrities who have had work done and you will see what I mean) But if you think it will make you feel better, then you should do you.
    Look at all the great stuff you have done with your life and think about all the other things you want to do.
    And please please please can you start painting again? I was just looking through your books and you are so great.

  9. Wow! You are old! Smiling! As I am much older than you, almost 77 and still going strong. Now I must live to see that bastard out of office and to begin to heal the country. Oh and to take a trip to India in the Spring. Might be nice to lose a few pounds too. No face lifts, but could dream. Happy celebrating your birthday. I celebrate for at least a month. We deserve it.

  10. You worked hard for your face. Celebrate it! I’m not an advocate of elective surgery, especially at nineteen grand. I’d rather go to England. And with that I could add the rest of Europe and probably Japan. Well, maybe not all of it — but a lot. But as others have said, it’s your money, your way to spend. Just remember the pain, know that you may or may not turn out the way you planned (I’ve seen both happen).

    I loved being 64. But then I love being 68. I don’t much like the thought that there’s less time left on the continuum but that won’t stop me from grabbing every day like it’s the last and love it!

  11. I wouldn’t dream of getting a facelift. I wouldn’t even consider botox. I can’t afford either, so that’s one reason. But there’s another (besides not putting myself through surgery or needles).
    I’m turning 61 next week and ever since turning 40 it has often been unsettling to look in the mirror. Worse to see myself in photos. But then I never liked myself in photos even when I was 20 so that tells me something: it’s not about how I look, it’s about how I see myself. Looking younger isn’t going to fix that little fact. My challenge over the past 20 years has been to practise not letting how I look dictate how I feel about myself. It doesn’t get any easier as I get older, either.
    Over the years I’ve found myself focusing on different areas of my body and finding them lacking, imperfect. If it were me getting a facelift, for instance, afterward I’d look at my neck and be chagrined. Then it would be my tits. Then my ass. Then my upper arms. Then my earlobes. There would always be something to find wrong about myself. Why do I care so much how I look as long as my body is healthy and fit? I know better, and yet … .
    Whatever you do, and it sounds like you know what that’s going to be, I hope you’re happy about it afterward. All of us naysayers with more sags and wrinkles will be envious, even if we won’t do it ourselves.
    I’ve gone from being shocked at my face in the mirror to laughing at myself. Laugh or you’ll cry, isn’t that the saying? I completely understand the urge to do whatever it takes to look more like one’s “old self” again. It’s so weird to see this strange face looking back at me. I don’t recognize myself anymore. Someone yesterday insisted I don’t look a day over 45 and asked me what I eat and do to stay looking that way. I know she was just being sweet but it felt good to hear it anyway. Is it possible that learning to like oneself makes you look different to other people than you appear to yourself?
    I think you look gorgeous in your most recent photo. -Kate

  12. Leslie

    Dear Vivian, I went to a fabulous exhibit of Georgia O’Keefe art, wardrobe and portraits. The beauty of the lines etched in her true face, not fake bullshit, radiating straightforward intelligence, and the wisdom of experience, inspire admiration and even awe. An artist who appreciated that the presence of her self in the world was an aspect of her oeuvre. I have been thinking of your stunning announcement last week of your intention to have plastic surgery, following the example of Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Vivian – be bold! Be YOU! You have earned the beauty of your years (your hair, your skin). Don’t hide – rejoice!
    And, not for nuthin’, Top Cat seems to find you compellingly attractive in your natural state.

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