“Mom, it’s time for your cream,” my 10-year-old daughter observes, eying my upper lip.
My mustache is struggling for dominance on my face again. Like a weed that gets pulled without its root, the follicles remain alive; the “lip quills” get reincarnated and replicate—an army of hairy zombies in need of vanquishing.
There are plenty of women out there wishing they could ignore the skin beneath their noses. “Upper Lip Awareness” is prevalent in women in their 40s. It’s all part of the “Dry up/Stop Laying Eggs” process, I imagine. I wonder if there is a place, where bluebirds fly, somewhere over the rainbow maybe, where “Women of Bristle” can feel normal--probably in the Middle East...involving veils that expose only our eyes.
“Didn’t Great-Aunt Amelia have a full beard?” I asked a relative, in attempt to confirm the yarns Mom used to spin about the aunt she feared as a child. “It’s true,” she said, staring off into the distance, shuttering.
I suppose I can trace my fur-lip trait to my South African circus-folk ancestors, who must have greeted each new baby girl born in the tent with reverence and joy. “This one will be our GREATEST fortune,” Great-Uncle Ernest would exclaim, elbowing the strongman and “high-hoofing” the Goat-Girl.
I have friends who also struggle with “Crop Control.” Permanent removal was attempted by a friend with Laser Treatment. Each visit involved blasting an intense light beam, creating a mini nuclear explosion on your face. The feeling is casually likened to a rubber-band being snapped on your skin...for EACH hair. “It felt like I got skewered like a shish-kabob... ten-thousand times,” she confessed, sore. Another permanent removal process tried by a friend was Electrolysis. She said it was one of the most painful experiences she’s ever been through, and has cursed the modern American culture that forces “Women with Facial Coats” to feel bad...ever since.
I’ve tried all the non-permanent methods such as bleaching the hairs—which made me look like Colonel Sanders--to waxing, which only substitutes a soft, furry mustache with a red-raw one. I’ve also tried tweezing and ACTUAL shaving (just don’t do this). The only thing that HAS working my favor is my feigning eyesight and that of my husband, Fred’s. It also helps that Fred has a mustache, so any lip-tickle can easily be blamed on him.
I’m trying to instill in my daughter the joys of being a woman, but I’m afraid when she looks at me, she is thinking deep-down, “Am I going to look like HER?”
“At least you don’t have “Back Hair”,” she said cheerfully after reading this article.
“Well, that’s something to be thankful for,” I muttered, holding the mirror up to look behind me.