My great aunt shaved. Please read that again. The word aunt was not a mistake; and she shaved. Shaving would imply that the chin hair situation had gone far beyond what was possible to manage with a few minutes and tweezers. The fact that I had a female relative (or two or untold numbers) who shaved used to be the source of great hilarity. Now it is just another reason to curse the absolute certainty of DNA. Yeah, hirsuit are her. Ahem, I mean me, hirsuit are me. ::sigh:: I am becoming my great aunt--or my father, whose aunt she was and whose beard was once so fecund that he had to shave twice a day. My mother disavows all responsibility for the thatch on my chinny-chin-chin. But that has never stopped her from coming at me, tweezers in hand. But I have apparently passed into Aunt B. territory where tweezers just don't do the job anymore because before we even arrived for Christmas, my mother called wanting to know if I'd like to have a wax and a facial when I got down to her house. Now I don't much like to be touched by people (I actively loathe massages) but the waxing part sounded appealing and so my appointment was set. Santa was going to be the only person in our house who had a beard this Christmas (nevermind that Santa is usually me--actual Santa could have the beard and I'd be his smooth, baby-faced helper).
My appointment arrived today and off I went, unsuspecting. I got into the little terry cloth wrapper while wondering why on earth a facial and chin waxing would require removal of clothing. But whatever. First came the wax. Now I've waxed my own chin and so I figured I was pretty innured to the pain. And I was--on my chin. But when she waxed my mustache and then the sides of my face (Holy cow! I must be hairier than I ever knew, never having worried about these other areas before.), I winced and flinched like the wimpiest of the wimps. That was nothing to the desperate pain that accompanied the waxing of the innocuous and unassuming philtrum. You know, that divot between your nose and mouth where nothing but soft little peach fuzz grows anyway. Yup, apparently that peach fuzz, which never hurt anyone, I might add, must be eradicated, ripped out of the sensitive skin and torn from the roots so that that never before noticed part of your face throbs and thrums with pain so intense you would have prefered to give birth without drugs again. (Ok, maybe not but only because you'd have a sleepless infant to care for afterwards, not because the pain was more than the philtrum waxing. Trust me; I know this for a fact.)
While I was preoccupied with the agony under my nose, she proceeded to wax my eyebrows into shape. Now I am the beneficiary of not only the chin hair from dad's side of the family, but also the always charming unibrow. Yes, dad really passed on the winnings of the genetic lottery, let me tell you! I have, in the past, spent very little time shaping the hedgrows above my eyes, occasionally tweezing the more appalling Frieda Kalho bits but nothing beyond that. And so I was pleased when I was told that I have great eyebrows and that we wouldn't be going too skinny. Not only would skinny eyebrows not look like me, I would look perpetually bewildered. I just know it. And the eyebrows turned out to look good. They "make [my] pretty blue eyes stand out better." But let me tell you why this is: it's because that shit hurts! Paste some duct tape-like wax onto the very soft, sensitive skin over your eyes, let it dry out for a while so it's good and attached, and then yank like you're taking off a band-aid. I defy you to have your eyes stay tear-free. So of course my eyes were sparkling and looking bright and pretty under my new brows! But it's good she told me how I looked because *I* couldn't see through the tears swimming in my eyes. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. Instead, feel intense sympathy that I endured all that ridiculous pain!
The waxing was over and thank goodness because getting looked at from 2 inches away through a brightly lighted magnifying glass was contributing to the tearing eyes problem plus it made me just a little self-conscious--I mean have you ever looked at the pore-craters on your face through heavy magnification before? Not pretty. I promise. So onto the facial. Have I mentioned that I don't love to be touched by other people? Because I don't. I don't find it relaxing to have people's hands on me or any part of my body. Relaxing to me would be to climb under the heated towels or blankets and go to sleep with no one else in the room and no kids calling "Mooooommmmm" and needing an argument to be refereed, not to be kneaded like bread. Potion after potion was rubbed into my skin and then wiped off. I couldn't help but think that it seemed a waste to be spending all that time just to wipe everything off again but then I have long been the bane of skin care professionals everywhere with my long-standing lack of facial maintenance and resistance to any regimen that would take even a sliver of my time.
Once I was coated with a gloopy mask that smelled of a mix between blueberries and oatmeal and something slightly unpleasant, the reason for the lack of clothing became obvious. While the sludge on my face dried to the consistency of silly putty, she massaged my arms, shoulders, ears, and neck. Even worse, she finished with these bits and moved onto my feet and calves. Now I may not like to be touched in general but I will barely touch my own feet, nevermind someone else touching my feet. This totally skeeves me out. And her working the exfoliating stuff between my toes made me cringe. It was literally all I could do to get through that portion of the appointment. But finally that was finished and the mask had another 15 mintues of firming to go. It was the most boring 15 minutes of my life. Nothing to read, and only a red, slightly chipped ceiling at which to look. Once I examined the fire sprinkler head and the AC grate, I was itching for a book. That's my business suggestion for places like this. Instead of the soothing, new age music they all pipe in, they should provide iPod docking stations so customers could listen to their own music or books on tape or podcasts or what have you. No charge for that stellar business-enhancing idea either. Because, I'll be honest, in my version of Hell, there will be no books available to read and someone will be rubbing my feet, probably tugging on each toe in turn. ::shiver, cringe:: You freaks who like this sort of thing just pipe down! ;-)
My face finally cured and peeled of its funky purple mask, I was all finished and ready to be inspected by my mother (oh she of the hairless side of the family, the one who did not see fit to share the good genes). I got back into my clothes and squinted at the shiny and hairless person in the mirror, the one glowing like a veritable Christmas bauble, well, one of the red and throbbing ones. Mom's verdict: The facial made a huge difference and I look like I'm glowing. My response? Well, of course. Everything on my face is swollen and throbbing. It's just fooled you into thinking that that's a glow. Oh and my philtrum? Let's just say the nerve endings haven't forgiven me yet. They'll probably get back at me by growing actual coarse black hairs now instead of the harmless peach fuzz so I can either continue to wax there (ouch) or just start grooming my mustache. But at least I am presentable for Christmas now.