Dances with Facial Hair
“You’ve got a few hairs going on there,” Anthony, my then-fiancee, pointed out while peering at my chin.
“Just a few? Well, that’s better than it could be, then!”
Our son joined in the conversation, asking, “Why does Mommy have hairs?”
“Well, son, when women have babies, their hormones change. So your mom had a baby and she started growing hair where she didn’t have it before . . .”
This statement caused me burst in to laughter then, and my shoulders are shaking again recalling it now.
“You’re so cute,” I told Anthony. “See, ’cause I’ve always had that hair. I just don’t have as much time to take care of it now that I’m a mom.”
This revelation seemed to surprise him, so I added that I’ve always been hairy. Even when I was a teen, my mom used to inspect my face, shaking her head and saying, “All that hair! It looks like you took after your dad’s side of the family.”
Based on my mom’s facial hair reflections, I find it eminently possible some of my forebears were gorillas. We’ve got the hair. We share prominent foreheads and chins. We are nothing if not sturdy.
Yes, my mom’s marital choices have left me with a legacy of hairiness. I’m more or less okay with it, and with people knowing about it, as long as they can’t actually see it with their own eyes. Or much of it, in any case.
It’s only times like now when I start feeling a little self conscious about my gorilla heritage.
You see, I’m waiting to wax. I’d gotten into a good cycle before my energy levels took a plummet, making a 30-minute trip to the spa seem like a climb up Kilamanjaro. I opted instead for a daily “worst offender” tweezer attack instead of taking time out one day to wax. This was gratifying in the short term but meant everything was growing out way out of synch. Which meant more time tweezing, or roughly fourteen hours a week I will never get back.
Now I have to wait. For the long-term appearance of manageable hairiness, I must
embrace make peace with several days of hairiness.
My fingers are itching to tweeze. Just itching. But if I do that, I’m going to keep on doing that, and frankly, it’s a waste of time. I have meals to make. Monster commutes to undertake. The Good Wife episodes to watch.
So if you see me the next week or so, feel free to gaze deeply into my eyes instead of at the forest on my face. I won’t find it weird or creepy, promise. (At least, not if that’s the only unusual thing you’re doing. I’ll probably run if you’re licking your lips, or naked, or pausing in the middle to show me your iPhone library of knife collection pictures.)
I’ll simply take your eye-gazing as a sign you’re wishing me well on my short-term dance with visible hairiness. For some ladies, that dance starts at 45, or 50. For the lucky gorilla-descended few, that dance started around 12.
Maybe motherhood marks the hairiness horizon for some, but my son should know this gift was one I’d already been receiving a couple of decades before he came into me life–no matter what his dear, dearly misguided dad–bless his heart!–says to the contrary.