I’m driving the other day with the sunroof open (in keeping with California state law). As I glance in the rear view mirror, the sunlight hits my face at just the right angle and [cue slasher theme from “Psycho”] I make the grisly discovery that I am the fourth member of ZZ Top.
I am used to being a girl who has the typical, factory-installed amount of hair with standard default settings for location and density. But this? This is beyond the occasional wax-the-downy-soft-peach-fuzz-from-my-upper-lip-type situation.
My cheek looks like an old tennis ball.
Benefits to having robust facial fur:
* Helps preserve body heat if you get lost while glacier-climbing.
* Auto mechanics take you seriously.
* Children’s friends aren’t sure who you are, but they friggin’ mind you.
* Going to a wedding? You can braid festive baby’s breath along your jaw line.
I try plucking. I try waxing. Still I have more nap than a rumpus room carpet. It quickly becomes apparent that I have no choice but to seek superior firepower. Enter the Bosch “Smooth Operator” Two-Speed, Three-Headed Epilator with Faux Python Holster.
How hard can it be, right? I’ve been through childbirth twice. I’ve had food poisoning. I’ve worked in PR. I’ve known agony.
I begin, say, next to my right ear. Bzzzzz. The tiny metal wheels turn furiously, grabbing those fuzzy hairs by the throat and yanking them out at a rate of, I don’t know, a thousand per millisecond? (I’m just ball-parking here.)
I can do this. A slight sting, maybe a prickle. But it’s worth it, right? After all, somewhere under that turf is my old face. (Well, that didn’t come out right.)
I move on to my cheek. BZZZZZZZ. The machine sounds different now, like it’s kicked into a lower gear. I’m glad I spent extra for the turbo model. My eyes are starting to water a bit, but by God, I’m no wuss. I hold an image in my mind of what I used to look like before I started channeling Burl Ives.
The chin. A veritable thicket. BZZZZZZZ. Die, little hair bastards, die! Ha-ha! I swear I can hear them screaming as they are torn from their follicular bunkers. Oh, wait. That’s my voice.
The upper lip: last remaining pelt outpost. Also the repository of approximately 8.2 gazillion nerve endings, each with its own, quivering plume holding on for dear life. I pause, blowing the smoke and singed fringe from the end of my appliance as I give the stinkeye to the little hairs in the mirror. I look very badass indeed in my woven serape, hat pulled low over my eyes and the brown stub of a cigarillo screwed into the corner of my mouth.
I am no stranger to torment, my friend. Only one shall leave the bathroom today. The other shall perish, living on only in children’s folk songs and Etch-A-Sketch art.
The machine surges and bucks but I hang on, pushing again and again into the plush frontier of my upper lip. I try to wave the burning hair away from my teary, bloodshot eyes as I release a primal shriek, but it’s coming in waves now, like grass clippings shooting out the side of a lawnmower.
Just before I black out, I have a vision of what awaits when I come to. I’m splayed on the bathroom floor in super-high-waisted jeans that have not seen natural sunlight since 1996, surrounded by neighborhood children and a few stray dogs, all staring curiously at the now-drained device snarled in the underbrush of my upper lip.
My secret is out. Soon everyone in the public school will know that I am…
(Catch more of Anna Lefler at her blog, LIFE KEEPS GETTING WEIRDER!)