Have you ever needed to break up with someone but just couldn’t bring yourself to do it? Instead of just calling it off, did you let it drag on while you wish you had a bit more spine, or a carrier pigeon to deliver a note on your behalf?
That’s my current situation with the woman who waxes my eyebrows. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to call her Joy.
I first started seeing Joy a couple years ago, when a very elegant friend recommended her as the lady to apply hot wax to one’s upper face and tear it off with flair. Joy works at a makeup place in the nearest shopping mall, so I decided to try her out. At first, Joy did marvelous things. She zipped that wax off with little pain and great efficiency. Like all good waxers, she was always sucking a mint or chewing a piece of gum and not breathing coffee with a hint of cigarettes onto the woman held captive on her high stool.
Going to visit Joy was always entertaining, as well, because she really has no sense of appropriate conversation with her clientele. On separate occasions, Joy stated how remarkably hairy I am. She also mentioned that I have large pores and could benefit from a different toner. I lost count of how many times Joy tsk tsked the state of the suitcases under my eyes and asked if I was getting enough rest. Picture dear Joy making all these gaffes with a very thick Asian accent and absolute friendliness.
The kicker: she commented to me how enormous another (also a friend of mine) client’s breasts were while she was pregnant. Imagine Joy, tweezers in one hand and the goopy popsicle stick in the other, measuring out the expanses of my friend’s bust and marveling, “They so big now. Wow. But I don’t want to say something.”
Yes, Joy is one of a kind. Most unfortunately, she waxed the end off my left eyebrow last Christmas, three days before The Electrician’s company party. Since Joy had previously done such a reliable job with my brows, I forgave her. After all, it was nothing I couldn’t correct with several layers of eyebrow pencil, setting powder, fine-tipped Sharpie and carefully selected dim lighting.
The next time I saw Joy, I explained that I wanted to keep my eyebrows a little thicker and that I wanted to leave the “tails” on the outside as long as possible. She argued, “But there no hair there anyway.” Then she waxed the ends off both my eyebrows, made them both very thin and asked me if I had gained weight.
After the two months it took to grow enough eyebrow tail back that I needed another wax, I went back to see Joy again, largely because I was loyal to her, and partly because I was desperate to do away with the saplings between my eyes. I believed that if I explained to Joy v-e-r-y c-l-e-a-r-l-y what I envisioned for my brows, she wouldn’t misunderstand me again and I would leave with eyebrows closer to my ideal.
Sadly, Joy failed me for the third consecutive appointment. What I got were sad, skinny eyebrows that went up like they were supposed to, and then stopped dead. I had a couple of slashes on my forehead, really, and I was peeved.
Since then, I have been sneaking around on Joy. I like the place I was getting waxed, but Joy was off my list of reliable estheticians. The woman was never coming near me again with wax or tweezers. I started getting crafty. Now, I don’t make an appointment when I need something done about my forehead fuzz. Instead, I call the place about seven in the evening and ask if Joy is working. If they say she has gone home for the night, which is a guarantee because she is always on the early shift, I know it’s safe to drop in and see if one of the other ladies has time for a drop-in appointment.
So far, I’ve had two very successful waxes from women who don’t insult me and don’t leave me looking like a Disney villain. I still haven’t been able to tell Joy I won’t be seeing her again.
The only kink in my plan is that Joy knows my face, and she waves and hollers, “I have not seen you in so long. Come see me for brow wax!” whenever I scuttle by her store trying not to be noticed. I may start wearing dark glasses in the mall.
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