I’ve always had trouble pronouncing the word hirsute. It sounds like “here-soot”, but I want to say “hair-suit”, which I think makes more sense. Thankfully I never had to use hirsute in a sentence that described myself. For those that haven’t cracked a Merriam Websters in a while, hirsute refers to excessive hairiness or as Wikipedia so eloquently puts it, “excessive and increased hair growth on female humans in locations where the occurrence of terminal hair normally is minimal or absent. ” Think Barnum and Bailey’s Bearded Lady or perhaps the cafeteria lady that dished up your Taylor Ham & Cheese lunch in elementary school. You get the idea.
Now, I have to admit, I have been pretty negligent about my eyebrow maintenance as of late. I’m getting a little Frieda Kahlo to be perfectly honest. Co was out of school the other day for a teacher in-service so it was her dubious pleasure to accompany on this little junket. I knew I didn’t have a whole lot of time as I spent the better part of the morning working off those Reese Cups from Halloween, so I opted to hit up the little nail/waxing hut in the mall.
I’ve got Co strapped in the stroller, plied with Goldfish and apple juice and we make our way past the nail tech benches and rows of pedicure chairs. The young lady directs us into the waxing room — more like closet — and instructs me to lie back on the reclining chair. Co has been wheeled and parked out of the way on the left hand side of the chair, but she is in an excellent spot to see what’s going on and throw out two year old questions and concerns about my welfare.
Now, you all know I’ve got big hair and often times the curls fall forward onto my face. The tech brushes my hair off of my forehead and then turns to get her wax applicator (I’m being generous here– we all know it’s a Popsicle stick). When she turns back, the hair has moved back to my forehead. She turns and puts down the wax applicator, turns back, pushes my hair aside, albeit a little more forcefully, and then turns to get the wax. Guess what happens with my hair. Seriously, when she turned around again, I swear she gave an exasperated sigh before using both hands to push and scrunch my hair away from my face. I think she put her foot against the wall for leverage.
With my hair semi-secured off of my face, she begins to apply the wax and the strips. Co cranes her head around, straining against the stroller straps to see what’s going on. With every step of the wax and rip process, she wants to know:
“You have a boo boo?”
“Ow, Mommy. Ow, ow, ow, right?”
“Your face is hurting! Your face is hurting!”
I assure her that I’m fine, though ripping hair off of one’s face using hot wax is probably about as far from fine as you can get. Part of me wonders if exposure to this beauty regimen is going to burrow into her brain and then when she’s 11 years old, she’ll have brows and a ‘stache like Madonna’s daughter and demand electrolysis.
Speaking of mustaches, I never likened myself to Tom Selleck before, but the waxing tech must have thought he and I were twins separated at birth. As soon as she finished my brows, she asks, “You want me to get your mustache, too?”
My hand flies to my upper lip, fingers probing around expecting to feel an outcropping of hair. “What?!,” I stammer “Get my what?”
“Your mustache,” she says, waxed covered Popsicle stick poised and ready to go. “I can take care of that.”
I grab the handheld mirror lying on the counter and look at my face. It’s bad enough that the ripping of the wax from my brows has raised puffy red welts around my eyes and along my brow bone. Forget about my hair preceding me when I enter a room; now my inflamed brows had that pleasure . Did I really want to add a pink puffy upper lip? No, not really.
So, I thanked the tech, tucked my chin down to my chest, pulled my curls over my brows and wheeled us out of there. As we boogied on out of the mall, I ended up walking past several of those kiosks that sell skin and hair care products, including as kiosk for threading. The young man was holding some thread between his hands as he leapt out at me. “Excuse me, Miss? Can I just ask you a question? You look really familiar.”
“No,” I said striding past. “I am NOT Tom Selleck!”