I have an eventful job at the best of times, but my latest case has been particularly challenging. My newest client came to me for help recently and she is sixty years old. You can tell that she was once beautiful and she can still be captivating, but the years have not been kind to her.
In my day to day work as a plastic surgeon, it is rare that I become so involved in a case, but there was something special about this one. (Note: Obviously I am not *really* a plastic surgeon, but if I wrote you an article based on what I currently do, you'd be asleep already).
When she first came to me, I told her that before I could do anything for her, I would need to discuss how she felt and why she needed my help. She was compelled to open up to me. In her youth, she was the hottest property around and everyone aspired to be her. Even into her late thirties, as competition heightened, she looked even better and still made everyone either love her, or be jealous of her. Then, although she still tried to look great, her rivals started to get all the success and for the last twenty years, no-one really paid her any attention.
Once she had been especially good up front, but once age started to set in, things really went south. Now several of her peers from those times were doing well for themselves again and she had even helped one of them out, without doing anything for herself.
I told her I could see how much it hurt her to see her light fade like this and asked why it had been so long until she got help. She told me that she had, in fact, had several different people over the years trying to save her. However, each of these people had made changes that were just cosmetic and not enduring. She would look good for a while, but it would only be a matter of time before staying that way became too difficult or painful a process.
First, she had suffered through a period where she saved up for several years, during which time she had looked terrible, only for the expensive treatment she had hoped for not to be available once she had enough money and so she had to obtain inferior treatment from an alternative source, which ultimately proved unsuccessful. Then, she sought help from a reckless egomaniac, who looked to provide a quick fix, only for things to start falling apart in the long run. Finally, she approached an eccentric scientist, whose experimentation relied on the elements and the necessary presence of a lightning rod, a venture which once again fell short of expectations.
"Lots of people still care about me," she said, "but I can tell how much it hurts them to see me the way I am now." She also felt ashamed that those too young to have seen her in her prime would never know how attractive she once was.
I told her that I knew I could help her. Beauty was only skin deep. If Elizabeth Taylor comes to a plastic surgeon, they don't try to recapture what physically made her so popular, but they take her back to basics and make use of some of the other aspects of her individuality. Her class, her style, her confidence, her swagger, her personality, her character. I told her that long ago, she must have possessed all these traits herself and that these were the things she could not afford to forego, if she were to be viewed in the same way she once was.
"You have the potential to be as beautiful as you ever were," I said, "it's just that you've been trying to attract the wrong sort of people". I said she should look to those who have stuck with her from the start. They would be there no matter what, and by just being herself, everyone else would also be drawn to her.
I don't know if she listened. I suspect she knew what I told her was true, but would find it hard to go back to her old ways. Even though it might bring about the end result she was working for the whole time. Mind you with the current state of the industry, I'm not even sure this could happen...
Now this clearly has nothing to do with Celtics basketball, but it really made me think...
The Celtics are lucky to be rid of the likes of Carr, Pitino and Wallace, but the NBA is in such disarray, that it is losing its most loyal fans. What I'd love to see the Celtics do - even if just for one night - is as follows:
1. Turn off the jumbotron, so the crowd can decide on their own when to "make some noise".
2. Get someone in to play the organ, preferably whoever did it "back in the day" and if anyone complains about the lack of entertainment, give their tickets to someone who would actually like to see the game.
3. Give Lucky movie tickets and tell him to go and have a good time and then wait and see if the crowd can respond to stimuli themselves instead of having to comply with some contrived chant.
4. From start of timeout to end of timeout, let the crowd cheer and see if the players respond better to that than they do to trampolining clowns firing t-shirts into the crowd.
5. Let the Celtics Dancers sit in the crowd so they can get goosebumps with the rest of us.
6. Kidnap Andy Jick from Boston College...I shouldn't get my biggest Celtics nostalgia pangs from watching BC Eagles games.
I don't know if the Celtics would listen to this advice. I suspect they would know what I told them was true, but would find it hard to go back to their old ways. Even though it might bring about the end result they were working for the whole time. Mind you with the current state of the NBA, I'm not even sure this could happen...