It’s no secret that but for my regular trips to the Brazilian Wax shop near me, I could have a second career as the bearded lady in a Victorian-era circus. I’m so, erm, Eastern European that I should probably weigh myself before and after trips to visit Roberta.
I went to see her the other day. Roberta’s English isn’t the greatest, and she’s not a chatty person, which is one of the reasons I like her. I need to have my mind somewhere other than in the room where hot wax is being poured all over my face and then ripped off. Making small talk would put me decidedly in the room where it happens. I’ve been going to Roberta long enough that I don’t have to tell her not to rip my eyebrows off – you can only fight nature so much – just clean them up so that they don’t look like creatures about to attack and possibly eat my eyeballs.
So when she says something, I pay attention. She said, “Do you want me to do your nose?”
I wasn’t a hundred percent sure what she meant. She might have meant that my unkempt facial hair had started inching from my unibrow down the slope of my nose. She might have meant that I have finally reached the age where the hairs inside my nose are so long that they sway in the breeze created by each breath. I don’t know. I don’t look in the mirror all that much, and when I do I’m generally not wearing my glasses. Whatever the case, I trusted her, and if she was looking at me so intently and saw something amiss and had the ability to do something about it, I was going to let her do it.
During this whole procedure, I keep my eyes closed. This is partly to stay in the aforesaid mentioned elsewhere so as to distance myself from the pain of the process. It is also partly because in order to do her job precisely, Roberta has to get her face very close to mine, and it seems socially very awkward to stare up at her. It’s the same reason I close my eyes at the dentist.
Most of what I felt was familiar. The comforting warmth of the wax, then the sting of its removal. Suddenly, I felt something unusual. Wax was being placed in my right nostril with what felt like a stick of some kind. It wasn’t unpleasant – in these, the days of brain-scraping COVID tests, it was downright nice – it was just odd and unexpected. Without removing the stick, she pressed the outside of my nostril down, presumably to adhere the wax to both sides of my nostril as it dried.
She left it there as she worked a little more, letting the wax cool and dry, then grabbed the stick. She said “one, two, three” and on three, like on so many other places on my face, she pulled. Only instead of ripping out my nose hairs, she only yanked my head a few inches off the pillow. She laughed a little and said “Again. One, two, three” and repeated the process to the same result. I’m not sure what was different the third time, maybe she braced my forehead with her foot, but the stick and wax and maybe a little bit of my hippocampus came out with a burst of pain that brought tears to my eyes. I’m not a yeller, but I do remember saying, “Wow.”
Before I could say, “Okay, one side is good enough” my other nostril was filled with wax and the process was repeated, this time ending with me saying “Oh Wow.”
I paid her – and tipped her! – for this experience. It got me to thinking how much we women hate our bodies the way they were made and how crazy that is. I found out rather quickly that the point of having nose hair is to keep dust and stuff from going all the way into your sinuses, and to stop secretions from dripping all the way out. Not having nose hair has been highly inconvenient. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when I have internal stubble.
We were made one of two ways: either God created us in His (or Her) own image; or billions of years of evolution have made us a highly specialized species, weeding out what works and what doesn’t work over billions of mutations. Either way, nose hair seems specifically there for a reason. I either have nose hair because God has nose hair and mine is a replica of the Godly nose hair, or because billions of years of trial and error have decided that humans with nose hair function better. Whichever one you believe, and whichever one is true, who am I to decide that nose hair is yukky and/or unattractive and shouldn’t be there? It makes no sense to hate my body the way it is made and to pay someone else to destroy the way it grows.
Who am I? I’m a middle-aged woman living in 2022 who needs to conform to certain standards if she wants to be taken seriously by other people in the professional world. Don’t worry, Roberta. I’ll still see you in a few more weeks.
 Or, as long as we’re talking about it, face hair, leg hair, armpit hair, etc.
If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori at her website, www.loriduffwrites.com, on Twitter, or on Facebook. Her newest book, a Foreword INDIES Gold Medal award winner, “If You Did What I Asked In The First Place” is currently available by clicking here.