Thanks to our run-in, circa 2001, with Middle Eastern Culture… I have, at my local mall, an option much better than the dreaded ‘waxing’ experience to curb and curtail my over-abundant-eyebrow-age.
If you’re unfamiliar with the process of waxing for hair removal, I highly recommend viewing the following scene from the movie “The 40-year-old Virgin”.
Ah… YouTube… thank you! 🙂
Now… middle-eastern culture… it seems along with securing all of the philosophical (and mathematical) thoughts of the ancients for us… You know… when the zealot, newly-turned Christians, burned the library at Alexandria…?
They, the dreaded middle-easterners, stored, added to the knowledge, and created things like algebra. (If you think algebra is useless? Immediately DELETE your Facebook account and turn over your smart phone… I AM SERIOUS.)
Anyways… what were we saying? Oh, yeah!
Well, it seems in hair-removal methods… they have developed a kinder, gentler, way of telling the opposing side:
“No, I’m not angry, I just haven’t had my eyebrows done recently.”
Enter “eyebrow threading”.
Now… this IS NOT the skill of ‘threading’ new eyebrows… (Which is AWESOME. Kudos.)
THIS is the use of simple sewing thread, wound around extremely dexterous fingers, to ‘remove’ extraneous, God-knows-where-it-comes-from, Russian-peasant-per-Roz-on-Frasier, works-for-Benedict-Cumberbatch-but-not-me… Eyebrow hairs.
My problem with the process?
My puritanical roots.
I’m sorry, but, sitting in that chair, exposed to the world… has always bothered me… even getting them waxed at the hair salons.
I tolerated it though, because well, the name ‘salon’ tended to automatically divert any masculine patronage away.
Being on ‘display’ was a rare occurrence. But, even on those few occasions…
It always felt like a Clint Eastwood, Showdown-at-the-OK-Corral scene.
I have a vivid memory of one particular duel with a balding, sun-burnt, red-neck dude while he passed by me at the hair salon some years ago.
He walked past, eyes focused solely on me, and my reddened, freshly waxed brows.
The nonverbal cues we shared said:
YOU LOOK AWAY! I sneered.
No, You! His chin tilted up, ever so slightly.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN HERE ANYWAY, YOU PANSY! My chin lowered and a mocking grin began to curl the edges of my mouth.
More glaring, arm crossing, and chin tilts happened in so small a span of 45 seconds it took him to pass by me.
*Eventually, dude had to set in the chair and get spun around by his stylist…”
“Thought so, bit*h.” (Yes, I won that stare-down.)
At the middle-eastern eyebrow experience? That was an actual DISPLAY.
I sat in the chair, my second time having it done. The first had been during the day on a weekday. So there was really no mall traffic. The large glass windows were of concern, but if timed right… no one would pass by, right?
This particular day? My second visit? Was a SATURDAY AFTERNOON. People were flowing past the front of the store. Eyes glancing over casually.
No choice. Get eyebrows done, be humiliated for 10 minutes, and go on with life. I decided to brave the casual, passer-by, glances.
Instead? This is how it went… as some strange Mexican man stared at me during most of the appointment.
At some point, I noticed the 3 little kids in tow and the stroller next to him.
I gave him a pleading look. Come on man, really?
He looked sheepish, and, thankfully, looked away, overtly ashamed he had been caught gawking. I looked over at the chair next to me first chance I got… and yes, a young Mexican woman, most likely his wife was there waiting for her turn. Poor thing.
I said to myself:
NEVER AGAIN. Never again will I be put on display like an animal at slaughter…
And now? EVERYONE THINKS I AM ANGRY! Geez… people… I’m getting sick of it. This madness has GOT to stop.
So, the other day… I’m in the mall with my girls summer clothes shopping. I saw the eyebrow place. I’m in desperate need. My aesthetician retired 2 years ago… and I’d only braved eyebrow threading twice since.
I walked in… a nice Indian girl wearing a beautifully woven Sari greeted me…
“Ah, Hello! How can I help you?” She said with the wonderful lisp so common when native Eastern Indians adopt American English…
“I’m sorry…” I began. Trying to choose my words carefully.
Business was slow today though… NO ONE in the store. So, she promptly misunderstood my pause. i.e. she stopped listening…
Confusion crinkled her perfectly shaped brows.
God I need my eyebrows done. This has got to work.
She looked down at her clothing… Yes, this is a sari… was written all over her face… I could read her thoughts as she tried to discern if what I’d said was a compliment or a complaint. Try again…
“No, I AM sorry… to ask… but… when I get my eyebrows done… does it have to be out here?”
She smiled pleasantly, a little relieved. “Oh… Yes. You can have them done right here!”
“No… DO I have to have them done HERE…” I pointed to the chairs in full view of the mall pedestrians via the large glass windows. “Can I have them done… IN THERE…” I gestured to the back room.
“Oh,” the poor girl looked even more confused. “We only do them here…” She smiled awkwardly, gesturing to the chairs in the front.
“Thanks. But, no thank you…”
I shook my head and walked away… HOPING… in future, for at least those one-way mirrored barriers on the glass.
I’ve never really wondered about the hijab requirement in middle-eastern culture, but, that day? The contradiction… the double standard… almost gave me an instant migraine.
I mean, really… respectfully… what’s the use of having to cover your face if you sit in full view of God and everyone to get your eyebrow hairs plucked?
Are you all messing with us?
Either way… they lost business that day. My social engineering skills are not wasted.
CHEERS. Wish me luck.