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#43 All the Boys Think She's a Spy

I was talking to a friend last week and she reminded me that we all have “A” days and “B” days.

“A” days are the ones where you run toward your goal like a man whose hair is on fire runs toward a pond.* You’re on it. Making shit happen. Producing, connecting, creating. Oprah’s got nothing on you.

“B” days are the ones where you eat a bag of tortilla chips and watch Superstore on Hulu.

Today is a "B" day.

It’s gloomy and I feel gloomy. And tired. And a little sad. Normal stuff. When I was in London, a coworker called it “having a duvet day” — spending the day tucked into bed.

I didn’t literally stay in bed all day, although halfway through my morning practice I decided I needed 20 minutes under the weighted blanket. It helped a little. Just enough to get me out of my PJs and into my leisure wear which felt like a victory. I did some stuff for the podcast.** Then I was done. I just needed to veg out and recharge.

Now thinking about what to write for the daily blog post, I’m coming back to the idea of the one-inch picture frame but can’t think of a topic. I’m literally thinking about eyebrows. It’s all that’s coming to mind.

OK. Eyebrows it its.

I’ve always had these big, black eyebrows. But when I was younger, they were formidable. I didn’t quite have a uni-brow, but they were unruly and shapeless, like they were about 10 minutes from going into the cocoon. I think it was my 14th birthday - my sisters took me to a salon to have them waxed. I don’t think it took. I remember one of them marching me back in, like: THEY STILL LOOK LIKE THIS.

8th grade. No idea why it says "Ireland" at the top, Maybe I was trying to give myself a nickname? If so, I'm glad it didn't stick. Also, did I invent the 😐emoji?

At some point, I started going after them myself with cheaper drugstore tweezers, which I now know is a bad idea on par with self-tattooing. I wanted the shapely brows of the women I saw on TV. I found a tutorial in a ladies magazine that is actually still in use today. But it felt like geometry homework, which made my stomach ache. The good news was, no matter how many mistakes I made, the brows always grew back, somehow blacker and bushier than before.

Sometime in the late 90s, I decided to splurge and make an eyebrow shaping appointment at Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door salon. They charged something like $50 which must be like 200 today.*** I prepared for the appointment by studiously poring over fashion magazines and compiling a quasi vision board — a dossier of celebrity brows. EYES ONLY, of course. Sorry, that’s a terrible joke.

But when I got to the salon, the lady there didn’t even look at my portfolio. She settled me into the chair and, with barely a moment to familiarize herself with my face, applied wax and ripped the strips off. It was over so fast that it took me a minute to realize that she was done. When I looked in the mirror, my lush black brows no longer resembled two caterpillars. They sort of looked like the nike swoosh. I looked surprised, which I was. But when I tried to change my expression, the brows just sort of stayed up there as if I’d been startled by a mugger or a waiter at Jekyll and Hyde’s.

Late 90s. I think I was legitimately surprised in this picture. But you get the idea. Also, I still have this shirt. It's from Banana Republic and it was the most expensive thing I owned at the time.

They grew back, mostly. But I still have bald patches where I guess my luck ran out. I don’t have much else to say about that. Except her name was Marina. I’ll never forget it and in my inevitable memoirs, her name will not be changed; she will NOT be protected from infamy.


*Joseph Campbell said this.

**Obligatory plea: please listen! Or, if you don’t want to listen, do me a favor and go over to Apple Podcasts and give us a cute little 5-star review. Thank you!

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