Charmed Life

The words `can you move a little closer, I'm rather short sighted' do not sit kindly on a plastic surgeon's lips. After a succession of `smile!', `grimace!', `smile!' he excused himself, and I sat up on the bed scanning the room for instruments of torture

My appointments on Monday read something like this: am: plastic surgery, pm: blind date. An outsider to my cramped little Filofax might be forgiven for thinking I was having plastic surgery in order to be chosen on Blind Date. But no, the two were not linked. Well they were linked, but only in that neither of them happened. I had been psyching myself up for plastic surgery for a whole two weeks.

I arrived at the overheated, over-priced private hospital, only to be told that Mr X was running late. This was a blow - I had almost got killed racing to the hospital. It was not the NHS and I had been foolishly telling myself Mr X would be waiting, on the dot, brandishing his gleaming scalpel.

The waiting room had no coffee machine, no water machine and no glossies. The only form of distraction was the sports section of a newspaper, which I might have been forced to leaf through in desperation, but that was being read by the man sitting opposite me. I stared at him. What was wrong with him? What was he having removed, enhanced, reshaped? I looked at his nose, eyes, chin - nothing untoward. It must be something under his clothes, I thought. I really couldn't begin to imagine what horrors were nestling beneath his city suit, so I gave up and went to the loo. Now, in this loo there was no lock on the door and no mirror. What does that say? How about this scenario? Patient leaves surgeon's room after plastic surgery, goes to loo, sees face in mirror, then locks herself in loo never wishing to come out again. Well, that's what it said to me.

At that point Mr X, apologising for his lateness came to escort me to his room. We got off to a bad start. The words "can you move a little closer, I'm rather short sighted" do not sit kindly on a plastic surgeon's lips. After a succession of "smile!", "grimace!", "smile!" he excused himself, and I sat up on the bed scanning the room for instruments of torture. What was I going to look like in an hour's time - this short- sighted, tardy man held the destiny of my face in his hands.

I had warned my lunch date that I might be a little bit, well - bandaged. He seemed to think that in true Hollywood style I should stay in self- imposed exile in a hotel for six months with my bandages, big dark glasses, a kimono and a bottle of vodka.

Anyway he didn't do it. Mr X didn't have his magnifying "loops" with him and he wanted to do a neat job on me. His parting shot was "Do you ever appear on television?" "No" I said, "but don't let that stop you doing a TV-standard job".

Then I remembered - that night - blind date. That didn't happen either, but that's another story.

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