Isn’t that how it goes? The Big Bad Wolf is pounding on the door of the three little pigs, demanding that they open the door, and they declare that “NO,” they won’t open it, not by the hair on their “chinny chin chin.” What a funny line! As a child it was just something I said without having the foggiest idea what it meant nor having the slightest notion that hair and chins would one day be something that created an intimate type of chaos in my life.
First, let me say that if you are young, if you have been blessed with fine, almost poreless skin on your face, if you are male, well, this won’t apply to you. Yet, you can enjoy what some go through and perhaps have a bit more empathy for a chin hair victim the next time you encounter one.
How does it start? At first we are taught how to groom eyebrows by plucking away unwanted hairs to create a sleek line above our eyes. Little do we know that this first bit of sophistication is merely a training ground for what is to come in the distant future. When does it first become a distraction, an embarrassment or a daily obsession? For me it first started a long time ago with a stray hair on the right side of my neck. There was a spot about 2 inches down and about ½ inch aft of the bottom of my ear lobe. Every so often, in just the right light, I would notice a blond hair there. Sometimes this annoying hair would get to be an inch long before being noticed, but it was blonde, kinda wavy and not all that obvious. Nevertheless, when I got married I spent some time in front of the mirror the day before the ceremony looking this way and that to be sure that there was no hair on that spot. Well, it isn’t covered in text books, but these unwanted facial hairs grow at a rate 10 times faster than any other type of hair anywhere on our bodies. The day after my wedding, in the hotel bathroom mirror, I saw it. One nasty, long, blonde, wavy, hair sticking from the side of my neck. AAAAAAAAAAA! I was mortified. My loving new hubby consoled me and said that people probably didn’t notice, or might have just thought it was a hair from my head. Nawwww, that didn’t help. Not one little bit. I clearly was a stray hair victim. And so it starts. Progress is slow. A stray hair here, a stray hair there. Pluck! Done. Pluck, Pluck! Done, done. I discovered a stray hair on my upper lip area. Pluck! OUCH! That really hurt.
I know you are wondering why I didn’t just slather Nair all over my face. Easy answer. Nair is for normal peach-fuzz type facial hair. Nair doesn’t do the least little thing for the real chin hairs. Those nasty, tough as steel, gray, stick straight out, chin hairs. No sir, when it comes to that type of chin hair there are only two choices – tweezers and razors. Note to self: the nasty hairs above the lip need a razor. Not very feminine, but it does the job. I do wish they would come up with a better solution but science has more important challenges.
What about lasers? There are ads all over the place. Upper lip just $150. Chin $150. They do a marvelous job of removing hair – IF YOU HAVE DARK HAIR. Seriously. Dark hair only. They don’t work on light hair as in Blonde or Silver or Grey. DANG!!!!! Why me?
So, the daily ritual is to sit at the makeup mirror, pre-foundation, turn the mirror to magnify (me, no makeup, early in the morning, in a magnifying mirror is enough to scare small children and sometimes me too) and the lights set to “home,” which seems to give me the best lighting in which to find the unwanted strays. Sometimes this works perfectly. In fact, most times it works well. But sometimes . . . .
A week ago. The day I am going to a Coast Guard Auxiliary District Training Conference. All of the District mucky-mucks, along with a good splash of gold striped Active Duty Coast Guard will be there. Excellent chance that I will chit chat with an Admiral. I use Nair on the peach fuzz. Then I sit at the makeup mirror and look and look and pluck here and there, and look some more, then carefully run my hands slowly over my face feeling for the least little tough gray hair. I’m good. All is well on this Thursday.
Monday morning I sit at my makeup mirror thinking that I have done such a wonderful job Thursday that there cannot be anything but perhaps the slightest tiny bit of a stray hair anywhere. Still, I take a look. OMG! There is one here, and one there and two somewhere else. Yikes. What in the world happened? Almost overnight I’ve been attacked by the Strays. I’m mortified. Who noticed? Was I the topic of conversation? An object of pity? For once I’m hoping that I was ignored, at least at my chin. But time will tell. If I go to the next event and see someone smiling at me indulgently and staring at my chin I’ll know. I won’t like it, but I will know. I hope they are young. At least that will give me a chuckle on the way home as I think, “just you wait honey, your battle with chin hairs is coming.”
Every Day Is A Good Day. VJ