Vanity Fare

Contrary to my Jersey girl heritage, I don’t have long nails or airbrushed designs or little rhinestones on my fingertips. I just get a layer of acrylic and polish piled on top of my real nails to make me less likely to bite them. (Yes, I’m 23 and I need to make my fingernails extra-toxic to keep them out of my mouth.) And I like having painted nails, it makes me feel pretty when I’m typing or playing Megatouch or working on the mosaic or anything else I’m doing.

So yesterday, as the manicurist is painting the white part of my French manicure (Yes, I pay money to make my painted nails look like real nails) she asks if I’m going to get my eyebrows done too.

Did I mention that I have a giant zit? Big and ugly enough to make an average teenager cry? We’re talking Vesuvius here, on the middle of my cheek, and she’s noticing my eyebrows? They must be truly terrible. I said ok.

She led me into a back room, with a couch and a recliner. Reminiscent of an opium den, at least to those of us who read a lot of Sherlock Holmes when we were little girls. The smiling Asian lady who promises “Won’t hurt… Look so pretty!” just adds to the scene.

I need to take my glasses off for this. Ug. This is like asking Superman to slip into these nice Kryptonite boxers. I can’t seen a bloody thing without my glasses, I can’t even find my glasses without my glasses. I’m told to lie back and relax, as warm goo is smeared around my eyebrows. I suddenly remember an image from my Clifton childhood, a neighbor who plucked her eyebrows off and then drew her eyebrows back on. I’m wondering if Stick and I are at the relationship stage where he can say things like “Where’d your eyebrows go?” And then YANK! It’s off.

Some years ago, when I went to get my ears pierced, I almost left with only one hole because I couldn’t sit still, knowing that I was about to have another hole punched in my ear. Obviously, I got over my needle-phobia, I’m now the proud owner of two sets of ear piercings and a frequent blood donor. The trick is not to look at the syringe. YANK!

I put my glasses back on, and check myself out in the mirror. With my Coke-bottle glasses on, I can’t see a change, but without them I look gorgeous. I bat my eyelashes at myself until I steam up the mirror from standing too close.

In the grocery store later that day, I check out every woman I see. No one has a massive unibrow or other telltale signs of the lack of wax. Does everyone get their eyebrows shaped? Have I been the only one with huge caterpillars on my face and no one’s told me? Or is it, as I’m starting to suspect, that there’s no noticable difference between shaped and natural eyebrows?

My roommate Kristine was home when I got in. “Hi Meg. Why are your eyebrows all red?” was her greeting.

At least it took the focus off my zit.

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