You could have knocked me over with a feather the morning I opened my SLC Trib and read this headline in the Trends section of the paper: IN SLC, MAYBE LOOKS are EVERYTHING, Study Suggests. The first line jumps out at me: Salt Lake City is the vainest in the nation when it comes to an American Society of Plastic Surgeons Study. Then it goes on to tell that, according to Forbes Magazine, SLC is the vainest in the nation, with 45 surgeons and an average of six surgeons per 100,000 adults.
For five years or more, Hubby kept a calendar in his office that kept up a daily countdown until his birthdate in 2005, at which time he hoped and planned to take an early retirement. The nearer that time came, we discussed where we should settle down for our old age. The longer we were in Las Vegas, as much as we’d loved living there, the more we knew it wasn’t the best place to grow old.
Las Vegas is growing so fast that it can’t seem to keep up with enough doctors, enough hospitals, enough everything to keep everybody happy. At the same time it attracts both the best and the worst the country has to offer in almost any area you think of. The trick is to find the good without going through long lasting consequences sifting through the bad. Every time something terrible happened in any part of the country, and the perpetrator got away to disappear, likely as not he or she would eventually pop up in Las Vegas. We began to expect it. Even the September 11 terrorists came there.
The more homes that popped up, seemingly overnight, the hotter every summer became, the more I watched water wasted every day pouring down street gutters from some landscape or other’s broken water spouts, and the more tight faces I saw–on men as well as women–everywhere about me trying to deny the fact that growing older is the natural thing to do, the more I decided I didn’t want to stick around and grow old there.
So I was sitting in a trendy little restaurant one day when we were visiting our daughter sometime in 2005, and as I looked about me I saw women my own age and older, shades of white and grey hair, with faces not too different from mine that showed character that age brings with it. That’s when we began to think maybe we’ll move to Utah in spite of the cold and the snow. We could at least grow old with the grandkid (only one at the time) where it’s apparently okay to not only grow older, but look older too.
So I have to admit it was a little disappointing to learn that we’re number 1 in the nip and tuck set, even above New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Las Vegas didn’t even make the top 10! The one thing that helps is to remember that Utah’s School of Medicine offers residencies in plastic and reconstructive surgery. I guess they’ve got to practice somewhere.