While I was home over Christmas, I had my yearly facial with the awesome esthetician I’ve been seeing since I was 15 (15, and then in the throes of dermatological unpleasantness). She is the mistress of the art of extraction, and my first visit to her was as much a cultural touchstone of my entry into modern womanhood as my first trip to the gynecologist. Though no less painful than my first pap, at least the esthetician rubbed my face and shoulders down with essential oils, and I had glowy skin a week later, once the zits she coaxed to the surface and the redness had subsided. The gyno just poked me with a metal spatula and gave me the pill… which made me break out. (Sudden stroke of brilliant idiocy – spas that also offer pap smears! I am trademarking that business idea right now. Whole Women’s Health & Beauty sees you inside and out!).
Sadly, after treating my skin for almost 15 years and my own mother’s for 30, our esthetician was hanging up her tweezers, imported creams, and bug zapper to retire. This would be the last proper facial I will have in a while, as I’ve yet to find anyone half as good.
Lying back in the chair, listening to Enya, snuggled in my quilt, wholly safe in the hands of a professional, I was sad, and wanted to mark the occasion somehow. What about… a lip wax? I’d been annoyed at the downy hairs on my upper lip for some time. Terri is the only person I would let wax and pluck my eyebrows, given her skill, and the only person I trusted to tell me if an upper-lip wax would be a terrible mistake, or a bold move forwards.
Under the magnifier and light, she looked me over. “A wax would be good, as you do have a lot of hairs. They’re soft and pale, but you have a fair amount. Also… I should really pluck your chin a bit.”
BACK THE TROLLEY UP. I have sporadically bleached my ‘stache for ten years, as the bit on the lower left seems to grow in dark, while the rest is white peach-fuzzy (WHY? BODY, WHY THESE THINGS?). I didn’t volunteer to turn 29, okay, and the indignity of adolescent spots coupled with late-twenties’ soft wrinkles is enough to contend with, without throwing in old-lady chin whiskers. I may have knocked off my cucumber-slices when I half-raised out of the chair and said something along the lines of, “what the fuck?”
“It’s fine, very normal,” she assured as she pressed me back into the chair and make a couple of swift jabs at my chin. Unsettled, we agreed on a lip wax (which was excellent, actually, and the new hair growing in has been contended with via tweezers or bleach and is none the worse for wax). I’ve not even bothered to refresh it, because it’s still decent over three months later.
However. Four weeks ago, I also found a chin hair that was a full half-inch long. I was so horrified I showed it to Boy Person after I plucked it. I realize this is a huge no-no, but I HAD to show SOMEONE the freak hair. From whence came this fuckery? I tried to take a picture to send Kadinsky, but it didn’t work, so I was forced to drag Boy Person into it. I needed a witness. As a result, I am now checking my face in my hand mirror for at least 10 minutes a day at work (the only place I have decent natural lighting) and actually shaved my chin while half-drunk and in a panic (probably a bad idea, as I swiped my forehead too and took out an important sliver of internal eyebrow). Whisker Watch 2011 has been activated.
During this time, I noted that I could not stop eating cheese (if you rolled over one of those wagon wheels of cheese my direction, I would have happily lain on my couch and whittled it down to a thimble), and was also feeling what the British call “broody.” This means that, whilst I am not sure I want to gestate and birth a tiny human, I would like to eat one made of cheese. I was all, “Bring me the cheese baby so that I may snarfle it!”
In conclusion, I have found no more freak chin hairs, despite ample study, and my cheese and baby consumption is down to a normal rate. I guess that hormones were dancing a jig in my cranium, or something? Am I on the verge of some second adolescence (please, god, no, I served my time)?
I am only one woman. And I am a woman who needs olives right now.
(Image via Imadeyouabeard on Etsy).