[When a wife and mother of two in the prime of her life makes the shocking discovery that she is descended from Methodist werewolves, she seeks a mythical device that will help hide her gruesomeness from her family and the world at large.]
So I’m driving the other day with the sunroof open (in keeping with California state law) and, having just polished off a lemon poppy seed muffin, I’m checking in the rear view mirror to make sure my teeth aren’t riddled with little black seeds. All of a sudden, 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.
Where…the HELL…did all that face fuzz come from? I used to be a girl with the usual, factory-installed amount of hair with typical default settings for location and density.
But THIS? This was outside the limits of an occasional wax-the-downy-soft-peach-fuzz-from-my-upper-lip-type situation. My cheeks and jawline looked like an old tennis ball.
Benefits to having robust facial fuzz:
• 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 celebratory baby’s breath all along your jaw
I tried plucking. I tried waxing. They were not getting it done. It quickly became apparent that I had no choice but to employ superior firepower.
Thus, I purchased a rechargeable hand-held epilator.
How hard could it be, right? I’ve been through childbirth twice. I’ve had food poisoning. I’ve worked in PR. I’ve known agony.
[cue Vincent Price-ish maniacal laughter]
You start, say, next to your right ear. Bzzzzz. The tiny metal wheels turn furiously, grabbing those fuzzy hairs by the throat and yanking them out of your face at the rate of, I don’t know, a thousand per millisecond? (I’m just ballparking here.)
You can do this. A slight sting, maybe a prickle. But totally worth it, right? I mean, somewhere under that turf is your old face. (Hmm, that didn’t come out quite right but you know what I’m saying.)
You move onto the cheek. BZZZZZZZ. It sounds different now, like maybe it’s kicked into a lower gear. You’re glad you spent the extra on the turbo model. Your eyes are starting to water a bit, but by God, you’re no wuss. You keep your mind’s eye fixed on what you used to look like before you started channeling Burl Ives.
The chin. A veritable thicket. BZZZZZZZ. You smell burning hair. Die, little hair bastards, DIE! Ha-ha! You swear you can hear them screaming as they are ripped out. Oh, wait. That’s you.
The upper lip: last remaining fuzz outpost. Coincidentally, also the repository of approximately 8.2 gazillion nerve endings, each with its own, personal fuzzy hair holding onto it for dear life. You pause, blowing the smoke and singed hair from the end of your appliance as you give the stinkeye to the little hairs in the mirror. You look very badass indeed in your woven serape, your hat pulled low over your eyes and that little brown stub of a cigarillo screwed into the corner of your mouth. You are 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.
It happens now.
:: click :: BZZZZZZ.
The appliance surges and bucks but you hold on, pushing again and again into the plush frontier of your upper lip. You try to wave the smoke and burning hair away from your teared, bloodshot eyes as you release a primal shriek, but it’s coming in waves now, like grass clippings shooting out the side of a lawnmower. Just before you black out, you have a vision of what you will encounter when you come to, splayed on the bathroom floor in the super-high-waisted jeans that you wear only while doing chores around the house, surrounded by a couple of stray dogs and a circle of neighborhood children who are staring at the hair-removal appliance hopelessly snarled in the underbrush of your upper-lip fuzz.
Your secret is out. Soon everyone in the public school will know that you are…