‘I want to have – oh my God – everything done?’ Honor goes. ‘My chin, my nose, my forehead, my lips’

Honor calls me the cool parent and asks if she can get Botox. At the very least, I’ll turn a blind eye

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Ross O'Carroll-Kelly: Honor. Illustration: Alan Clarke.

Honor has been walking around under a bit of a cloud ever since a dude by the name of Jonah – Wesley College, before you ask – friend-zoned her. Yeah, no, everything that I said to her was met with the same response – unprintable here – and even though that would be considered pretty much por for the course for teenage girls in this port of the world, I have to admit that I was actually becoming a bit concerned about her.

But then on Thursday morning, while we were out in the cor, she storted to finally come around.

“I want to have work done to my face,” she went.

I smiled. I was like, “You’re back talking to the old man, huh?”


She was there, “Oh my God, you are such a focking norcissist!”

I was like, “Norcissists – what do they do again?”

“They have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance,” she went.

I was like, “Probably what made me the number ten that I was, Honor. Probably what made me that player.”

“Anyhoo,” she went, “like I said, I want to have – oh my God – everything done? My chin, my nose, my forehead, my lips. I want to go back to school in September and I want everyone to go, ‘Oh! My God! Have you seen Honor O’Carroll-Kelly?’”

I was there, “Like Sandra Dee at the end of Grease?”

“Yeah, everything is not a focking film, Dad.”

“It is a good movie, though, in fairness to it.”

“So I’m going to need some money for a few things. I’ve decided that I’m going to stort off with some Botox, some lip filler and some Profhilo.”

“Er, right.”

“Are you okay with that? And the reason I’m asking you is that you’re, like, the cool parent?”

“Do you genuinely mean that?”

“Er, yeah? But then your competition is Mom, so – you know – don’t stort getting ahead of yourself.”

“The cool parent. I love that.”

“So you don’t mind me, like, totally reconstructing my face this summer?”

“At the very, very least, Honor, I’ll turn a blind eye to it. How does that sound?”

“Thanks, Dad.”

“Hey, it’s just great that you’ve finally snapped out of that mood that you were in.”

We arrived home and into the gaff we went. I found Sorcha in the living room, sitting on the edge of the sofa, the weight of the world on her face.

I was like, “Have you been crying?”

She went, “I found these while I was cleaning Honor’s room,” and she handed me a stack of what looked very much to me like brochures?

“Cleaning Honor’s room?” I went. “What about what’s-her-name?”

“Can you not stick to the point, Ross? Look, she’s been doing research on Botox, lip filler, Profhilo – then all these surgeries to her nose, her cheeks, her forehead. Are you not worried?”

She’s not going to win him over by changing absolutely everything about her face. I mean, is it even legal to Botox a child?

I was like, “Er, should I be?”

“Ross, our daughter is so unhappy with her appearance that she wants to change absolutely everything about herself.”

“Yeah, no, I suppose when you put it like that.”

“This is about that boy – the one from Wesley.”

“The famous Jonah. He’s, like, way out of her league, Sorcha. I said from day one that she was pissing into the wind.”

“Well, whether that’s true or not, she’s not going to win him over by changing absolutely everything about her face. I mean, is it even legal to Botox a child?”

“I’d have to ring Hennessy. Find out the exact legal position.”

“I just think this is a road she does not want to go down. As a matter of fact, I was thinking we should maybe try to scare her straight.”

“Er, how exactly?”

“I was thinking we could call into your mom’s house one morning before she’s put her make-up on for the day.”

“Jesus, you don’t want to frighten her too much, though. That could scor her for life.”

“Well, at the very least, we need to have a chat with her.”

“Er, we?”

“Yes, Ross, you and I.”

“Even though it sounds very much to me like a mother-daughter thing?”

“This is a time for parental solidarity, Ross. We need to show a united front on this.”

So – yeah, no – up the stairs to Honor’s room we trudged. Sorcha knocked on the door. And after Honor responded with her usual, “Fock off and leave me alone!” in we went.

Sorcha was like, “Honor, I found these – while I was cleaning your room.”

Honor went straight on the defensive. She was there, “You don’t clean my room. Ewalina cleans my room. You were in here snooping.”

Ewalina – that’s it!

“I’m not going to apologise for taking an interest in what goes on in my still teenage daughter’s life,” Sorcha went. “If this is about that Wesley boy, Honor, let me tell you now, he’s not worth this.”

He is a good-looking dude, in fairness to him.

Sorcha went, “If this is a boy worth knowing, then he’ll accept you for who you are. It’s not what’s on the outside that’s important. It’s what on the inside.”

Again, I tried to keep my face neutral.

“Oh my God,” Honor suddenly went, “you are such a focking hypocrite. Look at your face. You get Botox.”

Sorcha was like, “No, I don’t,” even though she does.

Honor was starting at me like she was trying to come up with a way to kill me without it looking like murder

“You focking liar,” Honor went. “You get Botox. You get Profhilo. You’ve got Invisalign braces on your teeth. You won’t go to the gym without a full face of make-up. And you’re telling me with a straight face – not a focking wrinkle on it, by the way – that it’s what’s on the inside that matters?”

Sorcha turned around to me and went, “Ross, can you please talk to your daughter?”

And Honor was like, “We’ve already talked. He said I can get whatever I want done to my face.”

Sorcha was like, “Excuse me?”

“I think what I said was that I’d turn a blind eye to it,” I went. “It’s not exactly the same thing, Honor.”

Sorcha gave me the side-eye – absolutely raging with me. She went, “Yeah, no, thanks a focking bunch, Ross,” and she stormed out of the room.

Honor was starting at me like she was trying to come up with a way to kill me without it looking like murder.

I’m there, “Honor, I was just trying to play both sides – keep in with you both.”

And she went, “Yeah, great focking parenting, Dad. Get the fock out of my room.”

Ross O'Carroll-Kelly

Ross O'Carroll-Kelly

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly was captain of the Castlerock College team that won the Leinster Schools Senior Cup in 1999. It’s rare that a day goes by when he doesn’t mention it