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My Name is Margaret

A short story about looks, body image, aging and plastic surgery

San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon Amir Karam
CC Best In Plastics on Flickr

My name is Margaret. Some people try to call me Maggie but I insist on Margaret.


It’s Midsummer and it’s hot and humid. The alarm has just gone off. It’s 8 o’clock. I’ve been daring. I slept naked on top of the sheets with a gentle breeze from the open window caressing my body. I still feel groggy but I am enjoying the view of my firm breasts. They don’t seem to belong to me but hell they look impressive. The tummy too is nice and taught. And those legs – men have said they go right the way up to my ass. They’re lightly tanned and varicose vein free – perfect pins.


All in all my girl, a bloody good body for a 90-year-old!


But oh my god, what have I let myself in for today? How long can I keep up this surgery, strict diet and my cute personal trainer? It’s not that I want to live for ever. Oh no, definitely not. They say it’s because I want to keep him, Richard, my 70-year-old toyboy.


Part of the problem is too much money. After three generous divorce settlements I have acquired a new Georgian mansion in Cobham and a villa in Antibes.


Am I doing it to keep Richard? No surely it’s the money that keeps us together.


Without the money Richard would definitely be buggering off with 50 or 60-year-old floozy.* Is it pride? I was always known as the pretty one, the gorgeous one. It’s who I am.


But today. I don’t know. I’m tired of the pain. I can cry off. I can say I have a cold. They will operate if I have a cold. This is dangerous enough at my age. What will I say to Richard? Perhaps I could go through it one more time. It’s not just the pain, it’s hiding away for weeks on end until the bruising goes. Who am I kidding? My hiding doesn’t fool anyone. I’m just saving face (ha ha) in more ways than one.


We could still go to the villa – whatever.


If I do chicken out will he stop loving me – if he ever did in the first place? I don’t mind. I don’t want to be alone.




The mirror tells me I am getting jowly again and Richard made some snide comment about it too. There’s a knock at the door. It’s Richard. “Come in darling”.


He is dressed in the black silk dressing gown I bought from Harrods. He looks gorgeous and sexy with his sleek silver hair and beautiful blue eyes. He kisses me on the lips and his eyes scan my body. Is it paranoia or did he wince?


“Margaret, I have something to say to you...”

Robert Owen

About the Writer

Dr Robert Owen has over 20 years' experience as a psychotherapist and group facilitator and is a quality assessor for a national counselling training organisation. He works from home in Strawberry Hill as a one to one therapist and couples counsellor and also co-facilitates personal development groups (a type of therapy group) at the Twickenham Therapy and Counselling Centre.


Until recently he taught the theories of groups, transactional analysis, emotional literacy and positive psychology to MA students at Brunel University. Husband, father and grandfather, he is passionate about yoga, mindfulness and healthy living & ageing. His short story, Bristol Bomber Boy - From  Bedminster to Bomber Command, is based upon his father’s experiences as an RAF pilot during World War II and available here in Kindle format. Robert's website is here.


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