Aging in the thick of things


It’s true what they say. Some things you don’t appreciate until they’re gone.

Eyebrows, for example.

Left-over. It’s “eyebrow” actually. Just the left one.

It starts out well enough over my eye (where brows generally belong), but where normal brows continue on from there, mine stops; then starts again – plucky little thing (no pun intended).

Technically, I suppose, I’m not missing a brow. Rather, I have a bonus brow!

Three is not such a good number for eyebrows. I look like a particularly demonic cartoon character.

Before I go any further, before I tell you how I’m considering a brow transplant, brow tattoo, or tiny brow toupee, I should explain to the (male) readers what drives a woman to pay a stranger to smear hot wax on her face and rip off part of her body: Desperation.

Age. By the time you reach my age – I’m in my early 30s, (OK, 35 – you want to make something of it?) – you’ve either accepted your looks (exactly three women on the entire planet are in this group and two and a half of them are supermodels) or you are trying to do whatever you can to get back to how you looked a decade ago.

This is how old you feel, most of the time, as long as you don’t inadvertently look into any mirrors or reflective surfaces.

This is true despite the fact that 10 years ago you were unhappy with your appearance too. Only with benefit of hindsight do you realize what a hottie you were back then.

This will become a pattern in your life. You will one day unearth all the photographs you hid in desperation because you believed at the time that you looked “hideous” and you will realize, with alarm, that this was the best you ever looked in your life.

It’s not that you had better brows in your youth. Who worried about brow shaping at 20?

Rather, it’s that in your frantic search for something that promises quick results and doesn’t involve the words “post op recovery” or “outpatient surgery,” a beautician is still your best bet.

Hair today. Having been invested in “good hair” since shortly after she learned to say “bad hair day,” the average woman will, by her 30s, have moved from obsessing about the style on her head (to layer or not to layer, to highlight or not to highlight) to obsessing over the style on her forehead (thin, thick, high arch, outward wing, Brooke Shield’s fuzzy caterpillars or Gwyneth Paltrow’s barely there baby brow?).

This, then, is what drives an otherwise sane woman to pay someone perfectly good money for a brow wax.

This is also how, if you flinch when said hair is being torn from said flesh, you can end up with not one, not two, but three brows for the price of one waxing!

Obviously, the state of my brows is of little world importance – outside of my world anyway, but if I am to carry this badge of waxing courage, I am going to need the strength of the beauty serenity prayer.

Beauty Gods, grant me the Serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

and a smudgeproof warm chestnut brow liner to fill in the gaps;

And, in a final kindness, the wisdom to destroy all photographic evidence of me for the next four weeks.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt is starting a multi-brow trend. She welcomes comments c/o or P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.)

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