So, on Friday, I wrote a rush-job post about a strange woman who looked me right between the eyes and asked:

“Have you ever thought about getting a Botox injection?”

You can’t make this stuff up, right?

But there was more. And some context might help the perplexed among us (except probably not).

I was in the small reception area of a local salon waiting to get my eyebrows waxed (which I’ve never done before, but with my oldest daughter’s upcoming wedding in June I thought it might be nice to see if a professional could do something with the hot mess over my eyes) . . . where was I? Oh yeah. There was another woman also waiting for an appointment. She was thumbing through Us Weekly when she turned to me, looked at me carefully, and possibly thought I was there for Botox, right? Except they don’t do Botox at that salon. Just nails and eyebrows. I asked. (No, I didn’t.) (Yes, I did.) (But only because I was wondering after the strange woman’s question.) Anywho.

You might be wondering why I kept answering her after the initial Botox question besides the fact that I’ll always whore myself for blog fodder. You know how the freeway slows and you see flashing lights ahead? And you know how you get annoyed because the slowing is due to rubbernecking? And you know how you vow not to look when you pass by the accident, but then you peek ever so quickly? This conversation was like that for me. I knew what was ahead, but I just had to hear it anyway.

Here’s how the entire conversation went:

Strange Woman: “Have you ever thought about getting a Botox injection?”

Me: “Um. Oh. Uh. I don’t know.”

She went back to her magazine. And then . . .

Strange Woman: “Do you live in Rancho Santa Fe?”

(Note: Rancho Santa Fe is like the Beverly Hills or Bel Air of San Diego.)

My thoughts: WTF?

Me: “No.”

Strange Woman: “Oh. Where do you live?”

My thoughts: WTF?

Me: “XYZtown.”*

Strange Woman: “Oh. XYZtown is nice . . . if you’re by the beach.”

(Note: I don’t live by the beach.)

Strange Woman: “Do you work?”

My thoughts: WTF? I have an iPhone, a laptop, and HDTV, why would I want to work?

Me: “Yes.”

My thoughts: Holy crap. What have I done? Now she’s going to ask what I do.

Strange Woman: “What do you do?”

My thoughts: WTF do I say now? I can’t say writer because I’ve been paid exactly zero in the last three months. But even when I’m not paid, I do write. Sometimes. Crap. I hate having this why-can’t-I-say-writer conversation in my head, particularly right now.

Me: “I’m a writer.”

The strange woman looked right at me. I’m sure that if she could have raised her eyebrows she would have. Then as she opened her mouth to speak . . .

My thoughts: Holy crap. Now she’s going to ask me what I write. She’s already dissed my face and where I live. What the hell will be her response if I just tell her I’m a blogger? But what if I don’t say blogger? An idea formed quickly beneath my wrinkled forehead and unkempt brows! What if I pretended to be Barbara Kingsolver? Surely this woman doesn’t read anything other than reception-area magazines, and even if she did, would she even remember the author’s profile picture from the jacket of the last Barbara Kingsolver book? I bet I could get away with it! Think of the blog fodder that would create!

Receptionist: “Cheri? Lindsay is ready for you now.”

Saved by the brow.


*I’m using a fake town so the person who came to my blog last week by searching “fat black tranny mom” can’t find me. (I’m not making this part up either.)

27 comments on “What Else Not to Say”

  1. Don’t say you are Barbara Kingsolver, you say you’re a ghostwriter working with Barbara Kingsolver on her latest work. It’s more believable and impossible to verify.

    Hello, my name is Kate and I am currently working on a project with James Patterson. Yes, it is good work, we’re working on some ideas for a new series of thrillers featuring a curator at the National Archives. I’m heading out to DC tomorrow for about six weeks to do some boots-on-the-ground research. What do you do? Oh, you work in a shop in Rancho Santa Fe. How cute.

  2. At first I though you were going to say that the woman WAS Barbara Kingsolver, and I was going to curl up in a ball on the bathroom floor and cry for the rest of the day from the sadness that I would feel if she was really that way because, hello, I LOVE her. AND!! I love even MORE that you were going to pretend to be her! Next time? Do it. Or do Kate’s idea, because that is REALLY good too!

  3. So… if you ever really do get the Botox, can you tell me how it goes? ‘Cause, honestly, I have these divets in my forehead and the Downy is not working for me either.

    Also, when people keep asking me a lot of questions, I like to say I’m unemployed because I just got out of prison because I poked someone’s eyes out for asking me too many questions.

  4. Me thinks the Botox was injected just a little too deeply.

    I am totally going to say I’m a ghost writer. Then when someone asks who for whom, I’m going to say I’m not at liberty to say.

  5. Wow! I think I would have gotten up and walked out. I hate nosy people. But! I like the ghost writer for Barbara Kingsolver idea. Even more than that! I love you.

  6. “I’ll always whore myself for blog fodder.” Best line ever.

    And I love The Poisonwood Bible by BK.

    And … you have a pretty forehead, partnered with a brilliant, hilarious and witty brain underneath. It’s enviable!

  7. I think you should have told her that you are Chelsea Lately, and said that her Pikachu smells like a crab cake and to fuck the fucking hell off anyway.

    And don’t get Botox. Sheesh.

  8. I just can’t stop wondering what you would have done to her if you hadn’t been open to the possibility of blog fodder. (I’m not going to ask what a fat black tranny mom is, but I will say that I’ve never seen anyone who looks less in need of Botox than you, darlin’.)

  9. You’ve had a hell of a week. I think you may need to move outta that area. I wonder how that would impact your career as a writer? No more hawt doctor stores (for surely there are no other hawt doctors that I’ve ever seen); reduced access to Adam; perhaps fewer weather warnings (or at least different kinds of weather warnings)?

    I suspect you may just have to grin & bear the insulting questions from your region. The advantages appear to outnumber the stupid people.

  10. She is a little foolish and shallow. You should have told her you write astrophysics books in Cantonese and are a best seller among the Chinese science types.

    …or that you write about the risk factors associated with botox!

  11. I so wish you had said you were Barbara Kingsolver. Except that would have been ruined when you were called in for your waxing. Kate of course has a good idea. It sounds like she already had the whole scenario planned out just in case it ever happened to her.

    Maybe that’s what she was thinking about the other night in our huge marital bed when she wasn’t paying attention.

  12. wow. some people… its funny though. i made a rule for myself after having someone ask intrusive odd and stupid questions like that – just because someone asks a question doesnt mean i have to answer it. and if i feel like it, which i usually do, i just make up some crazy nonsensical but possible answer and deliver it with a straight face. Like, i’m visiting from the outskirts of alabama where botox was invented by my uncle Ted, he works in a carnival now and i’m a plant whisperer. also, i never turn my head to look at accidents! Its so dangerous!

  13. I would love this story even more if I had been in that waiting room with you. Or even better – if Kate & I both had been there with you. 😀

    P.S. You’re beautiful and a brilliant writer.

  14. i didn’t know you were barbara kingsolver! i love your books!
    oh god oh god oh god, you don’t need botox.
    i’m sorry for asking you all those questions. i was just making conversation.
    can i have your autograph? can you sign my unibrow? if you sign your name backwards, i can read it when i look in the mirror.
    i’ll never wash my face again.

  15. Hilarious. I used to hate being trapped in inane intrusive conversations with these people…. UNTIL I started my blog, that is. Like you, everything is now PBM (Potential Blogging Material). Loved this post. Hysterical. 🙂

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