Yesterday I went to have my eyebrows waxed. It’s a ritual I both love and loathe for the better part of fifteen years. I love it because thanks to waxing, my eyebrows don’t resemble two caterpillars advancing toward one another for a slow-motion hug. The “loathe” portion of waxing is that it’s a chore, and it still stings and makes my face red, but I digress.
My usual waxer was busy this week, so I saw someone new out of necessity. Normally I’m pretty waxer-loyal, but my brows were starting to look like they were capable of making cocoons, and something had to be done.
Walking in sniffling, and trying to be polite, I assured the young lady who would be working in close proximity to my mouth and nose-holes, that I’m not sick. I quipped, “I’m just really allergic to Fall.” Waxer, thinking she was funny, replied in an ear-splitting vocal fry (which wasn’t being produced ironically) “That’s like, a white girl’s worst nightmare.”
I imagine Funny Waxer must have been feeling pretty bonded to me. After all, we had spent almost three minutes together and we are both white, women, and currently involved in the manipulation of wax and eyebrows. I tried really hard to laugh politely, finding myself intensely grateful that my eyes were closed and she couldn’t see the scream in my eyeballs.
What I really wanted to say, was…”Is it, though?”
In a split second my mind was flooded with ideas which are worse than having some raucous seasonal allergies. For perspective, some of of the things which are worse than my fall allergies are clowns, puppets, my car breaking down, being diagnosed with a digestive disorder which keeps me from enjoying real food, and cracking the screen on my iPhone. Reserved for “nightmare” status are things which are far, far, far more emotionally catastrophic. You know, the “little” things like cancer, loss, genocide, war, the entire history of the Holocaust, and getting thrown into a Thai prison because a dreamy stranger snuck heroin in your luggage. Those. Those are things that are nightmares, that would rock anyone to their core regardless of their creed, color, or gender. I know we all speak in hyperbole from time to time, but please, waxer, do not lump me into your fall-loving meme stereotype. I’m not with you. (I know I speak in hyperbole too, so forgive my hypocritical behavior. We good? Cool.)
I’m ranting a bit here because I very quickly assessed the situation I found myself in and figured it would be fairly awkward and slightly concerning if I were to upset a young lady who was about to regulate the size and shape of my eyebrows. The amount of power Funny Waxer wielded in my life in those moments was far more than I ever understood before.
But seriously, you guys. I literally can’t even.