May 14, 2010

Prize Fight Loser

So you know, my birth certificate reads blond, of that I am certain because I looked just the other day while filing Henry's in the lockbox downstairs.  However, pregnancy has betrayed me and with each addition to our family my hair has grown darker and darker.  About six months ago, while still pregnant with Henry, I decided to bite the bullet and color my hair back to it's "natural" color...whatever that was to be.  In 36 years I've been every shade of blond: natural, dirty, ashy, platinum, highlighted, lowlighted, you name it.  It was high time for a change and with just enough pregnancy hormones to render me certifiable, I plopped down in my stylist's chair and dared, "Go ahead, surprise me.  Just don't make it blond."  A ballsy move considering I get my hair cut at the beauty school.  But I was resigned to make a change...a real statement.  That, and I was tired of whipping out the Benjamin's every three months just so I could keep living the lie.

Lucky for me, a week's worth of snickering was about all I had to endure from my family.  After the initial shock and awe wore off, they were quite supportive.  "Mama, I really like your clown hair," offered Charlie as we drove home from preschool one day. Nothing like a compliment from a four year old to keep things in perspective.  I was trying hard to like it too but let's face it, after a lifetime of eating steak, it's hard to make the switch to hamburger.  In that first month as a brunette, I jumped everytime I passed the mirror in the foyer thinking that there was an intruder in the house.  I just couldn't get used to myself as the sultry vixen, the Sophia Loren that I was trying so desperately to channel.

Fast forward to last week.  Spring was in the air and I was finally getting my groove back on.  I had determined that the New Me could actually pull off this look so long as I had not forgotten to put makeup on that day.  Normally, I'm not much of a primper but the change in hair color made me feel as though I owed at least half as much effort to the rest of me.  Never one to overdo it, I was content with some eyeshadow, mascara, and if really trying to sex it up, some bronzer.  And I looked good - not Alicia Keys sexy by any stretch - but good.  That is, until I decided to take it up a notch.

It had been a while since I had gotten my eyebrows waxed.  Actually, like a year had gone by.  With three kids all under the age of 5, eyebrows are not high up on my list of priorities in fact, it's a miracle that I'm even able to get a shower and clean change of clothes.  Brow waxes are few and far between these days, that's for sure.  So to save time and money, I decided to grab the bull by the horns and "do it myself" - a common theme in my life as of late.  

"You sure about this honey..." ventured my husband, "remember what happened last time?"

Rolling my eyeballs, I shot back a defensive, "Puh-LEEZE.  I've got it under control, relax!"  And as soon as the troops had settled in for the night, I whipped out my wax kit, reviewed my notes, and banned my husband from the kitchen.

Like the opening bell of a prize fight, the steady beep from the microwave anounced Round One.   I got up from my corner barstool and headed for my scalding brew.  The hot wax cooling, I studied it.  It seemed to seethe arrogance, daring me to dip a finger in it's caramel colored glaze that reeked of burnt skin.   A little foreshadowing on my part?  Perhaps.  Nonetheless, I was itching with anticipation.  In a matter of seconds I would rip years off of my age.  I'd go to school the next day looking at least ten - hell, maybe even 15 years younger!  That's the beauty of a good wax job - the little something that leaves people wondering just WHAT did she have done?  

Hot enough to do the job but cool enough to not send me to the ER with third degree burns, the wax was finally ready.  I stirred it one last time for good measure then lifted a quivering popcicle stick to my eyelid and dragged it slowly across, making sure to get every little hair that was in its path.  Next came the linen strip.  Cool and soft, I laid it atop the oozing wax.  I stroked it once.  Twice.  Three times.  Then a fourth.   In one clean motion, my thumb and index finger yanked in reverse.  RRRRRRRIIPP!

Not bad.  Not bad at all.

I examined the strip and smirked at the trail of eyebrow hairs stuck to the pad.  In one shot I had even managed to get the peach fuzz from the lid.  HA!  And you want me to pay 15 bucks for THAT?  I turned to the lighted mirror to admire my handiwork.

Fuck.  Me.

Staring back from the mirror was Vanilla Ice.  I had singlehandedly ripped off the better half of my own eyebrow.  I looked once.  Twice.  A third time.  Then a fourth.  Yep, it was gone alright.  Once a budding Sophia Loren, I had involuntarily put myself up for initiation into a gang.  But how could this have happened?  I had been so careful!  Had I furrowed my brow enough to cause my eyebrow to do a curtsie into the hot wax?  Had I pressed too hard on the cloth strip and oozed the wax up into uncharted territory?   

Not even a steady hand would disguise this disaster for work the next day.  As I stood before my first period class, ready to take attendance, a lone voice called out in broken English,  "Meees Teeshirt,  what you do your face?  It look deefrent."

I feigned ignorance.  "Different?  How do you mean, Nam?"

"I dunno. Someting deefrent."

I would hear that broken sentence from seven different language groups that day.  And fortunately for me, not a one would figure it out.  I like to think that it was my stellar lesson plan on the glorious future tense that had my students on the edge of their chairs but I know better.  So while I await regrowth of the eyebrow that once was, I say goodbye to Sophia and welcome with open arms, Ice.  Vanilla Ice, baby.

Word to your Mother.


  1. LOL!!!!!!!! You never fail to make me laugh!! LOVE IT! But you know it really isn't THAT bad, you should just do the other side too!!! LOL!!

  2. LOL!!! I definitely don't look bad! Wax the other half!!