I've Bitten Off More Than I Can Chew
Doncha hate that?
Since this has resulted in the boys' bathroom being out of commission, and since I am not interested in sharing mine one nanosecond longer than necessary....most of my time this week will be spent trying to finish up.
So, I'll be reposting some things throughout the week to keep you entertained. Today I've chosen "Motherplucker", because I am not one of the truly funny bloggers and it's only rarely that I write something that I think is laugh out loud funny. So I like to milk those posts for all their worth.
Enjoy, and please bear with me until bathroom zen is restored to my world.
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
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. Fucking. 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.
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:
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:
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.