subtle and no-one will notice”, but the results are awful! It’s like half my nose is gone. And the tip is pinched. It looks completely different. Trust me – people notice.
The impact on my life has been devastating. I’m having trouble at work and in my marriage because I cry so often. My self-confidence is destroyed. I cringe when I look in the mirror. And I’m scared to death of getting a fix in case it comes out even worse. How am I going to move past this? How can I forgive myself when I feel like I destroyed my face? Should I risk a second surgery when it was messed up by a professional the first time? How am I ever going to like what I see in the mirror again? – DEVASTATED BY REGRET, SHAME AND GUILT Miss Regret You’re blaming the wrong person! If the doctor made a bad job of it, it’s the doctor’s fault, not yours. Send me photos and let me take a look. Noses take at least a year to reveal their shape after surgery, so we won’t know for certain for seven more months. Until then, I advise you to say “to hell with it” and stop looking in the mirror. Enjoy looking at your husband for a change, and your co-workers.
The other day I somersaulted over my dog, Lewis Carroll, and broke my own nose. It was two days before I saw my black eyes and the magnificent aubergine bulge on my schnoz, because I was on the greatest road trip of my life and filling my eyes with everything but myself. When I did notice it, I nearly crashed to the bathroom floor laughing, took about 180 pictures and sent them to my friends with captions that I cannot quote in this elegant magazine. My nose used to go to the left, now it goes to the right. So what? Nobody cares about my freakin’ nose.
I have sent you the name of the best plastic surgeon in my city. Seven months from now, if you still think your nose is “awful”, come here and we’ll drink oolong tea and eat little cakes. I’ll be liking my nose the way it is, you’ll be liking your redo, and together we shall present an appearance highly becoming to the beauty and wit of each.
PS: I have just seen your photos. My God, woman! I want you to see a therapist asap. Not only are you beautiful, but you also possess a very beautiful nose. A few sessions with a counsellor will help you see yourself as you really are.
LOOKING FOR HAPPILY EVER AFTER
I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years – the happiest of my life. But when he started talking about buying engagement rings, I excused myself, stepped outside, called my old love, flew to his city and spent five days in bed with him! Now both men want to marry me! Who do I choose? – AM I TOTALLY INSANE? Insane, my love Why pick immediately? Let them fight for you. And enjoy them both as you make up your mind. (It may turn out to be neither chap.) – RAVISHING REGARDS, E JEAN E Jean! I was feeling panicked to decide straight away. Thank you for reminding me – giving me permission – to take my time. – GRATEFULLY AND HOPEFULLY LESS INSANE
TAKE THAT, ELITIST BOYFRIEND
My boyfriend is shocked when I don’t know a 17th-century historical event or an 18th-century philosopher. He sometimes belittles my taste in books and movies. Other times, he simply outshines me. We both took exams to get into law school, for example, and he scored far better. He also landed a more lucrative job than I did upon graduating.
We’ve been dating for a year. Since we met while we were studying – the occasions I have mentioned excepted – our relationship has been wonderful, respectful and loving. Yet I’m feeling a lack of confidence in my intelligence and accomplishments. Is it rational to feel this insecure? Or is my behaviour petty? – WHO IS SPINOZA, AGAIN? Spinoza, my sublime woman Of course your “behaviour” is “petty”. My God! Whose wouldn’t be? I, myself, am petty enough to bring the Advice Columnist’s Curse down upon your boyfriend. “Belittles” your taste, does he? Fie fie! May his jaws lock when he mocks your choice in books! May his bowels loosen when he hoots at your choix de films! May his nose run when he speaks to the boss at his “lucrative job” and finds he has no monogrammed hankie!
You know 10 times more about certain topics than he knows (and 20 times more than I do – I looked you up, Miss Honours student!). The secret to gaining equal footing is to control the topics that you talk about. Next time the lad is shocked that you don’t understand one of his references, blast his frontal lobes with information about Mary Wollstonecraft or Artemisia Gentileschi. The insufferable twit only flits like a butterfly (and you only crawl at his feet like a caterpillar) because he controls a larger number of topics you discuss together and you’re a tad too concerned about appearing intelligent. Don’t be afraid of losing your dignity, and jump on him! Your confidence will come roaring like a polar bear.
ASK A QUESTION Tweet @ejeancarroll