Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Motherplucker

I am somewhat obsessed with my eyebrows.

Let me just say in my own defense, that I do come by my various aesthetic obsessions honestly...my mother was a cosmetologist for thirty plus years. My entire childhood was an exercise in vanity.

As soon as I sprouted hair it was in rollers. And I loved every minute of it. My mother often describes how even as a toddler I would sit absolutely still while she rolled, pin curled, teased and tormented my thick shiny baby locks into helmeted grown-up lady confections.

In my kindergarten picture, I am wearing a flip that easily rivals anything Marlo Thomas's Anne Marie could whip up. I was a pint-sized That Girl. A living breathing Barbie head and nearly as compliant.

Because I am naturally and surprisingly hirsute for someone so milkily complected, I did and always will require routine maintenance to keep the sideburns, moustache, chinny whiskers, and stealthy eyebrow hairs from overtaking my face like the kudzu that swallows everything that cannot fight or flee in this godforsaken place.

But I never thought much about my eyebrows and neither did my mother. I realize now that is because my brows have a nicely defined natural arch. They are, in their natural state, thick, but not unruly. I never touched them, other than to remove a few stray hairs on the bridge of my nose to keep the unibrow at bay.

Little did I know that I was going through life looking like the Geico caveman's bitch.

Now...I know how to shape and wax brows.

I watched my mother fry her lids with hot wax at least once a week for eighteen years. She would emerge from this process with splotches of fiery red skin adorning either eye, and a her top lip aglow with an angry rosiness, creating the impression that she had blown her nose something like...4,000 times without benefit of Puffs.

I watched her rip stiff yellow strips of hardened wax from the lips and brows of various aunts, cousins, and girlfriends, who, would stoicly stifle their inhuman shrieks of pain and blink furiously to keep the tears of agony from streaming down their cheeks.

In my junior year of high school, I decided that eyebrow waxing would make an interesting, unique and dramatic topic for a demonstration speech.

It was dramatic alright.

The unsuspecting classmate that I had talked into being my victim model was terribly brave when I spread the blistering hot wax onto her already perfectly attractive brow. She gasped in shock, and tears welled in her eyes, but she bit her lip and soldiered on as I repeated the process on the opposing brow.

When the moment of truth came, I ripped the wax from her skin with a flourish and tried not to be disconcerted by the rending sound.

When my mother did it, there was a soft, short "zhhhzip". This was a rather loud and dismayingly prolonged "RRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP!!!"

I held the strip aloft triumphantly, displaying the hair embedded in the wax. It wasn't until I saw that the entire class was frozen in shock that I looked at the strip myself. There I saw a profusion of ash blonde eyebrow hairs, perfectly shaped and disconcertingly complete.

I had removed her entire. Friggen. Eyebrow.

I looked at the teacher who had her hand over her mouth. Her heavily mascarad eyes were astonishingly wide and her face was completely suffused with blood. I wasn't entirely sure if it was mirth or horror that had caused the trasnformation, so I simply continued.

To her credit, my model's smile never wavered, even when her fingers stole to her now naked brow and encountered...nothing. She made a small sound in her throat, that was kind of like "snerk", but otherwise maintained her composure.

It took six months for her eyebrow to grow completely back.

She was an amazingly good sport about it. She had one of those swooping 80's hairstyles wherein the bangs nearly obscured one entire eye, so she simply reversed her part and was really none the worse for the experience.

My mother informed me that my error had been in removing the hair against, rather than with the growth of the hair. It was a rookie mistake, one she had made herself in the early days of beauty school, along with a misguided attempt to color her hair auburn over platinum blonde, which resulted in a beautiful shade of cotton candy pink.

So I learned from my mistake and surprisingly, earned an A on my speech.

Nevertheless, I wanted no part of such barbarousness.

But a couple years ago, I happened to see a picture of myself that was taken at unusually close range because I was holding my newborn son. And I thought...

Holy caterpillar Batman...why didn't anybody hand me a weedwhacker or something and tell me to mow those fuckers down??

I don't know if it was hormones or what...but I was looking decidedly Australopithecine.

(Heh. Hominid humor. How very "highbrow" of me. HA! Goddamn I slay myself.)

I decided it was time to give nature a helping hand, and I set about shaping my eyebrows.

I discoverd then that I have an unusual growth pattern, and thus, a hair that I thought to be growing in one direction, was actually growing the opposite. Plucking it resulted in a disconcerting gap. To rectify this, I plucked more and more in an effort to effect a shapely and uniform brow.

I hadn't intended to alter the shape quite so much, but overall, I was pretty happy with the results. Unfortunately, plucking is like anything else...too much of a good thing can be disastrous. I became obsessive about stray hairs and a sloppy arch. I plucked ever more ruthlessly. And over the years, my brows became not so much thinner, as...nonexistent.

I should explain that I have very large and somewhat protruberant eyes. Every single time I go to the eyedoctor she asks me if I've had my thyroid checked recently.

Like my ass would be this size if I had a thyroid problem.

But anyway...

After looking at pictures of myself from a recent trip, I realized, that like a bold painting or a stark photograph, my eyes need strong brows to frame them and offset their...bulbousness.

So of course, it was with some dismay that I realized I look a little like this:



Or this...




Or even this




While I'm sure these creatures are the very model of sexual appeal in the animal kingdom, in the realm of human sexuality....not so much.

So I decided I needed to grow them out completely and start over. I bid my tweezers and my trusty nail scissors a fond farewell.

For several weeks I was a paragon of self-restraint. While they were short, the stray hairs were easily concealed by my eye makeup. But as they grew longer, I began to feel a little...unkempt.

But I was strong. I employed all kinds of cosmetic trickery and for several more weeks, I convinced myself that I looked, if not perfectly polished, at least presentable.

Until this morning. Bleary eyed and groggy, I stumbled into the bathroom to put the first of my twice daily doses of Restasis into my eyes. When my vision cleared, I confronted this in the mirror:




I snapped.


Fortuitously, my mother had recently sent me a lovely basket of cosmetics, implements and unguents for my birthday, in which, was a wickedly sharp and beautifully gleaming new tweezers.

I tore the package open with my teeth and got down to business. I may or may not have been making simian like grunting sounds while I worked.

Thirty minutes later there was a small but satisfying mound of eyebrow hairs on my bathroom counter, some with the bulbous follicle still attached, so ruthlessly had they been ripped from my flesh. My cheeks were peppered with stray hairs as well, and I blew them away impatiently.

There on my face were two semi-spherical, perfectly shaped if once again maniacally thin eyebrows. I felt clean and new and unemcumbered. My mother always said that shaping one's brows is the quickest and cheapest face lift money can buy, and she was right. I looked amazingly refreshed and extraordinarily alert.

Marlene baby...you set the bar and I faithfully follow in your stilletto clad footsteps.



You can't buy glamour like that. But...you can rip it out of your epidermis by the roots.

Hello...my name is B.A. And I...am a motherplucker.

27 Comments:

  • At 9:19 PM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    very funny. and the title reminds me of a tongue twister that goes like this: "I am not the pheasant plucker, i'm the pheasant plucker's mate, and I'm only plucking pheasants 'cause the pheasant pluckers late." Say that a few times fast. :)

     
  • At 9:21 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    My name is flutter and I worship at your altar.

    My best friend in HS SHAVED off her brows and pencilled them in ala Marlene, it was just...wrong.

     
  • At 9:54 PM, Blogger Blogversary said…

    I had a college friend over for dinner tonight and we were talking about women who are motherpluckers or just pluckers.

    Loved your story.

     
  • At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I laughed out loud!

    (Didn't cry or just smile).

    Mary I.
    (also a plucker)

     
  • At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Kvetch said…

    Oh I am so not one. But you wrote it so well that I had to hold my eyebrows as I read -- you know - the transference of pain through cyberspace and all, you've heard of it, right???

     
  • At 11:52 PM, Blogger Lara said…

    ha! you crack me up, lady. my mom worked for mary kay for a lot of my childhood, so i know what you mean about growing up around vanity. i get really into experimenting with eye makeup.

     
  • At 7:45 AM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    Laughing out loud over here.

    You took out her whole eyebrow! In front of the class! Bwahahahahahahah!

    Thanks for the funny on a Sunday morning.

    And, of course, for the picture of Marty.

    Good God.

     
  • At 8:38 AM, Blogger Oh, The Joys said…

    Your poor mother! That is really funny!

     
  • At 11:55 AM, Blogger sheilah said…

    I am waaaay too lazy to pluck anything. I am lucky if I get the legs and underarms shaven.

    Vanity, thy name is...nah...not me.

    (but you are hilarious!!)

     
  • At 11:59 AM, Blogger creative-type dad said…

    You're funny.

    I don't think I've ever seen a close-up of scorsese brows (or animal friends)

     
  • At 12:23 PM, Blogger InfertileMadWoman said…

    OMG, I have read you for over year now, and this has got to be the best of the Funny Posts that you have done.... I was laughing so hard that I almost wet my pants!! You are so good at putting things into words and making them downright hysterical!! I sooo needed to read this today as I have been contemplating the shape of my "catapillar" this week... thanks for letting me know that it is ok to be a "MotherPlucker"!!!!!

     
  • At 12:38 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    Oh, my GAWD. I love this post. I really feel like you and I are connected, sister. Connected. Why? Because I'm obsessed with plucking my eyebrows too. Oh, the stories I could tell you...I mangled my eyebrows in high school (don't do drugs and pluck, kids) and they have just now grown back into normal-looking brows. I sported eyebrows that looked like apostrophes for several years.

     
  • At 2:47 PM, Blogger Lucy's Mom said…

    You make me laugh out loud and I love you for it. Everybody needs a good laugh on a regular basis.

     
  • At 2:59 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    The whole eyebrow!?!?! Eek!

    I just started getting my eyebrows 'done'. No one can tell but me, but I kinda like it.

     
  • At 4:39 PM, Blogger liv said…

    Ahh...you must now understand my obsession with plucking. Every day I must pluck the eyebrows. No one else shall touch my face, but I must pluck! Must!!

     
  • At 6:52 PM, Blogger nina said…

    *snort* jeez baby you are funny! I think my eyes teared over just reading about your unintentional assault on your friend. These days you would have probably been suspended and sued. whew! Thank goodness for the "good old days".

    And as always you added something for the token lesbian here... a Marlo Thomas reference!

    nina

     
  • At 8:31 PM, Blogger laundrylessons said…

    Scary that I was a plucker and now my daughter, at 13, is too. Something about controlling the shape of the arch is addictive. Unfortunately, now at 42, my brows don't grow in thick anymore. Maybe too much plucking. Now I want them thick...I'll have to live vicariously through my daughter's thick brows!

     
  • At 9:00 PM, Blogger jen said…

    this is hilarious. and timely b/c i just jacked the heck out of my own brows this week.

     
  • At 9:31 PM, Anonymous jennie said…

    For months now I've been working to correct the job that some crackpot waxer did on my eyebrows, leaving me with two nicely shaped brows - that did not match each other. One a little thicker, more of a swoosh. The other thinner with a defined arch. Both were okay, just not as a pair. When she was done and I looked at my brows through bleery, watery eyes. I was so pissed. OBVIOUSLY.

     
  • At 10:08 PM, Anonymous WhyMommy said…

    Loved this post. Not least because I'm a plucker too. Love the tamed brow look. At least what for me is a tamed brow -- for just about everyone else it must be normal eyebrow hair.

    Here's a quandry for you, though -- how did you resist the plucking? I still check mine every morning and night as I get up and go to sleep -- and I'm freakin' BALD from chemotherapy already!

    Luckily the brows are still there -- but don't you think I should leave well enough alone?

     
  • At 9:02 AM, Blogger Miguelina. said…

    Funny! I'm also obsessed with my brows, I so GET IT.

     
  • At 9:39 AM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    *snort*

    Too funny. The first time I plucked my eyebrows my mother had a fit. How could I do that to my barely 14 year old eyebrows?

    Of course, a few years later my very hairy mother was going to electrolysis appointments.

    As was my sister, four years my junior.

    Thankfully, I'm not nearly as hairy as them. I need to pluck and have occasional waxings but I don't have to be zapped with a laser. I think.

     
  • At 8:50 PM, Blogger Mamma said…

    I can't believe you ripped her whole eyebrow off!!!

    I love my esthetician. No one touches the brows but her. Especially after they were lovingly described as two caterpillars in heat in middle school.

     
  • At 9:57 AM, Blogger jchevais said…

    Your hominid humour slays me too.

    V. funny!

     
  • At 1:39 PM, Blogger Lisa said…

    I laughed at this post so hard I have tears in my eyes.

    LOVE the way you told this story. Now am off to e-mail about a thousand people the link to this post.

     
  • At 4:36 PM, Blogger Cathy said…

    I've been hunched over my desk at work, cackling over this post.

    Confession: I have NEVER plucked/waxed/tinkered with my eyebrows. Of course, they're blond and damn near invisible, but still...

    ... I'm quite sure they need shaping of some sort. But too little time, too much trouble, that sort of thing.

    Great post.

     
  • At 10:07 AM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    My niece did the whole eyebrow thing, too - well, she had it done, though not in front of a class - and was left with two eyebrow-shaped scabs that took forever to heal. The things we do for beauty.

    I just wrote a post about plucking and some horrors I found while doing it.

     

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