“The Jones Nose.” That’s a thing we talk about — and not fondly.
Meaty and bulbous, it’s the nose a child makes from a big ol’ pyramid of Play-Doh to stick on a sphere that acts as head — both geometric items approximately the same size. It’s a Shel Silverstonian creation.
It’s not the kind of nose that outsiders look at and think, “Jesus, that’s big,” though. I’m no Cyrano. It’s an unassuming big nose, one that blends in fairly well when plopped in the middle of a rather large face and head.
But — and I say all this in all honesty and not with self-loathing or an overly critical eye — the thing is big. If there were some kind of ratio formula that declared the ideal acreage your nose should occupy on your noggin, something like the Vitruvian Man, but for women and faces, I could prove to you without prejudice that my schnoz is oversized.
So when I got to the point that I had enough money to do somewhat-frivolous things, I found an Upper East Side plastic surgeon and decided to take the plunge into rhinoplasty.
Not surprisingly, I kept it really hush-hush and primarily only my closest friends knew. I took 10 days off work, figuring (correctly) that everything would be ok enough to head back to the grindstone (visually and otherwise) after that amount of time. But I did slip a few times and tell folks outside my tight inner circle.
The most common and funniest and mildly offensive commentary I got when I told people I was having my nose done was: “You don’t need a nose job! Why don’t you have your boobs done instead?”
See, this is why we have fucked up body images if we’re not careful. I think my small chest is cute and practical — even lovely. But apparently there’s still a part of society that thinks bigger is better, and it’s a pretty prevalent one. Better except when it comes to noses, I believed.
“The most common commentary I got when I told people I was having my nose done was: “You don’t need a nose job! Why don’t you have your boobs done instead?”
Now, a few facts before we go on: I didn’t do much research at all in choosing my doctor. I think I got one recommendation. Also, when I saw the doctor, he didn’t provide nor did I demand a rendering of what my new nose might look like. He would craft the right nose for my face, he promised. Despite my misgivings, I went along with it because I didn’t feel like rocking the boat. It’ll be ok, I thought. Plus, I liked him and his southern accent.
Surgery day arrived. I checked myself in to the hospital, and my friend Julie waited to take me home afterwards. I wasn’t scared; I was excited.
I was ushered quickly from the waiting room to the prep area, in which I changed into whatever I wore during surgery and then laid around and waited for the anesthesiologist.
Ten… nine… eight…sev… and I was out. They said the surgery took about an hour and a half. I was high as a fucking kite when I woke up (I believe they actually gave me cocaine). I vaguely recall Julie coming in and nervously laughing while telling me to quiet down. Julie is the queen of inappropriate, so I can only imagine what I was saying.
The after-surgery plan was the best part of the whole ordeal. Julie and I checked in to the Waldorf Astoria — just a few blocks away from the hospital — so I could begin to recover. We got to our suite, put on PJs (mine had to button up the front; nothing could go over the head for a few weeks) and ordered mac and cheese and burgers from room service.
There was a big, solid tent over my new nose. I tilted my head up to look at my healing nostrils in the mirror no fewer than a thousand times that weekend. I though it was strange that one side of my nose looked dissimilar from the other, but I understood that there’s no normal to swelling patterns.
Or was there?
I went back to see the doc a week later to get the primary cast off. The great reveal revealed my nose to be lopsided…still. The doc ooohed and ahhhed, saying how beautiful I looked. He said it was still very swollen, but it would heal perfectly.
One-month checkup = a still lopsided nose. It would be healing for almost a year, he said.
So, it has been seven years. My nose is still jacked up. And I never did anything about it. Never told him I was dissatisfied, never asked for an adjustment surgery, never even Yelped his practice. I don’t even have a good reason why, except that I kept hoping it would even out. And, also, I didn’t want to feel stupid.
What the fuck is that shit?
It’s some residual part of the girl who was afraid to say no when a mom asked her to babysit a stupid kid. The girl who wouldn’t tell people they were saying and spelling her name wrong (it’s not JUDY; it’s JODY). The girl who assumed she was wrong or at fault in some way and just didn’t want to rock the boat.
So I’m stuck with this uneven nose. I’m sure the warranty has run out, and it’s too late to do anything now. I try to think of it as reminder to keep growing wiser as I grow older and stop doing stupid stuff at my own expense.
And as a reminder that I’m still a Jones, no matter how hard I try to adjust the defining characteristics.