Thursday, January 8, 2009

Waxing Poetic

I always wanted cute eyebrows like the other girls. You know -- the kind that curve and then come down perfectly in just the right spot. But no. My eyebrows wander haphazardly across my forehead like a village of lost caterpillars.

“Don’t do it,” my friend Amy warned when I told her I wanted to fix my brows. “Don’t touch them.”

Amy and I have been friends since we were 3 years old. She has seen the effects of my impulsive self-makeovers.

“Do you not remember the perm that made you look like Richard Simmons?” she asked. “Or the rub-on tan that turned you into a crunchy carrot stick?”


“I’m telling you,” she said. “Leave this to the professionals.”

“Leave this to the professionals,” I told myself as I walked into the salon. “Leave this to the professionals.” But somehow placing my fuzzy face into the hands of a stranger with hot wax was not comforting… no matter how professional that stranger was.

“Waxing?” the man at the counter asked when he took one look at my caterpillars.

“Yes. How’d you…”

“Right this way.”

What happened next is a secret every salon guards more carefully than the government guards its most filthy dirt.

“Lie down,” the woman with the hot wax said. That’s right. You read that correctly. She told me to lie down.

“Excuse me?” I said. “What is this? Minor surgery?”

“No speak English,” she said. “Lie down.”

I made her job easy, because with the words “No speak English,” every hair on my entire body stood on end.

What was I doing? I wondered. What I was I thinking?

RIP! Within 60 seconds, my face stung like I’d spent 2 days on the beach with no sunscreen.

“Did you leave my eyelashes?” I asked.

Hot Wax Lady eyed me suspiciously as she plopped the mirror in my lap. Shakily, I picked it up and stared.

“You like?” she asked, smiling.

“I… I… I…” I tried to breathe.

It’s a good thing I was lying down.

I’d never seen anything like it. Tiny strands of hair wandered aimlessly above my eyelids. Everything else was gone. Gone.

I didn’t like the caterpillars, but they were better than the little line of picnic ants now wandering across my skull.

My puffy eyes welled up with tears. How could I ever show my face in public again?

“Looks nice,” Hot Wax Lady proclaimed. “Seven dollars.”

It’s been 2 days since I almost slugged Hot Wax Lady. I taught her a few new words in English, but I’m not sure I can repeat those here.

In the long run, I learned one humanistic philosophy through all of this: you can only trust yourself. At least when it comes to caterpillars and hot wax.

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I know all about waiting--for the right guy, for high school to end, for my boobs to come in (two out of three ain't bad).

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