I’ve always had an aversion to hair.
At age 9, I discovered a mound of grey curly hair sitting atop the eggs and bacon of my breakfast sandwich at Waffle House. Since then, I’ve had a full-fledged phobia of hair, and Waffle Houses.
It’s probably why I wear my hair in a pony-tail most days, despite the fact that I spend countless hours highlighting, conditioning, straightening and coiffing it to look like one of Kim Zolciak’s wigs. And why if I had the patience or the money, I would probably laser-fry every last hair follicle on my body.
There’s an industry that feeds on women like me. It’s Fancy Nails, Elegant Nails, J’s Special Nail and every other nail salon from here to Timbuktoo.
In preparation for a 3-day mini-vacation with Todd, I went down to the local nail salon for a mani-pedi. (I’m always amazed at how rough my feet can get despite my incredibly sedentary lifestyle.)
I settled into the massage-chair and began reading about Kourtney Kardashian’s secret wedding. A quiet, tiny little Vietnamese woman started working on my feet. She leaned over me, sweating, plowing into my heel with a cheese grater.
Just as I began reading “Beyonce’s Nightmare – J-Zay Flirts with a Stripper,” I could feel the Vietnamese woman’s eyes lay into me. I looked up.
“You get eyebrow wax?” she said.
(Ok, I know I have a unibrow. But I justify not plucking it regularly by the fact that the bridge of glasses hides it. And since I don’t take my glasses off unless I’m literally under water, I don’t really ever think about it.)
Her words stung. “Oh well, yes, I should get my eyebrows waxed, shouldn’t I?” I said. She nodded.
An hour later, nails and toes freshly painted, I made my way to the waxing chair.
A slightly larger, more confident woman walked up. She took my glasses off and surveyed the damage.
“Your face hairy like man,” she concluded.
Why don’t you just tell me I suck at life.
I chuckled a nervous laugh, as she tried to convince me to at least wax my upper lip. (Only out of fear that thick, black, wiry lip hairs would grow in, did I decline.)
But she pressed on. She told me about this Black Sea Salt of Mother Algae Treatment from the Nile that would prevent my eyebrow hairs from growing back for weeks. This woman was good. A closer.
“Let me think about it,” I said. She stopped talking abruptly and got to waxing.
Then the women in the shop started giggling, whispering in Vietnamese. Laughing at my hairy man face.
I couldn’t take it. “Go ahead and do it,” I said. “The black sea thing. Do it.”
Moments earlier I’d felt sorry for these women, slaving over the smelly feet of the white man. Just trying to make a better life for their kids. But now, I’d been had.
I was $85 dollars poorer and void of all self confidence.
As I approached the front door of our apartment, I found solace in the assurance that Todd would think I looked amazing. Obviously, hairless and glowing.
“What the hell happened to your face?” He asked. “Did your eyebrows get sunburned?”
Dear God, don’t let him check the credit card statement.