I’ve been staring at certain people, lately.
People with the good ones.
In real life or on Instagram.
I wonder how they got them. I wonder if they’re natural or if they had professional help. I’ve even messaged someone, complimenting theirs.
My name is Christine and I’m an eyebrow creeper.
Author, Lisa Scottoline, wrote in her Philadelphia newspaper humour column a while ago about the disappearing eyebrows that come with age and I found myself thereafter scrutinizing mine.
She was right, I thought, as I squinted into my vintage dressing table mirror (with corresponding bubbly glass that is actually more like looking into the surface of a pond, than a mirror). I had to turn on all the lights and get up real close but when I did, I saw that I am, indeed, a middle-aged woman with disappearing eyebrows!
The hair on my head turned from dark blonde to very brown, in my thirties. It still startles me sometimes. I have some strands of grey in my hair but my eyebrows seem to be rebelling, by not hopping aboard either the brown or grey train.
They are staying blonde. Clinging to an earlier identity, I guess: blonde and basically invisible – just like I was in high school.
Back then and not being the sort to spend a lot of time (any time) on easthetic-type activities, I always just let my eyebrows live their lives in peace. No plucking, no waxing. They just sat there, on my face, above my blue-grey eyes. They weren’t bushy or particularly straggly and even if they had been, I still don’t think I would have ever noticed them.
But now that I have a rural, home-based lifestyle and barely go outside, I find myself wondering: are my eyebrows really living their best life?
You were thinking that too, weren’t you?
I’m also not sure how this fits with my being purr-fectly content to spend most of my days in lounge pants (read: pjs), leggings, or yoga pants.
As a writer and career advisor, I work mostly from home and I don’t dye my hair or even get it cut more than a couple times a year. I’m surprised at the depth of my eyebrow envy. Given my personality and my job, I should be able to let my poor, pale, brow caterpillars rest in peace. But, increasingly, I’m doing videos and social media engagements–a world where it seems that everyone has ah-mazing things happening above their eyes.
Like Jessica Kellgreen-Fozard.
Like Tara McCallen.
These are all women doing inspiring, world-changing advocacy and disruption work. They don’t seem frivolous (as I tell myself that my eyebrow concerns are) but they do their world changing with such lovely eyebrows.
Not only that, but I feel like we’re at optimum “raising eyebrow” time in our culture at the moment and I’m missing out.
I think I might need impeachment-worthy eyebrows.
Yes, oh yes.
I am distracted in Instagram videos and on TV by the sight of a perfectly-curved arch. I wonder how people get those vintage-style eybrows. They swoop up over to a delicate point and I am frankly slightly breathless with their beauty. But, surely they must have to start with eyebrows that don’t exist?
My eyebrows just don’t bend that way!
I had my eyebrows plucked once years ago, when someone dragged me to her regular appointment. I was reluctant and it was painful and I broke out in a bumpy rash, all over my eyelids and forehead.
Ha! You want shapely eyebrows, said the universe? I see your vanity and raise you one violent case of contact dermatitis!
And that was before the current eyebrow craze.
Really, I feel strange to even talk about this. I didn’t think I was the sort to give in to this sort of appearance-focused idiocy, no, no, no. Of course, in the grand scheme of anything, it’s not important. But, eyebrows follow me everywhere these days. They’re just out there, on everyone’s face.
And then, there are the eyebrow products at the drug store.
I’ve always had an aversion to the cosmetics aisles (incompetence) and I think other people must be much better at drawing and colouring than I am. I’m both VERY near-sighted and slightly far-sighted both (welcome to your 50s) so doing anything in a mirror feels like a contortionist attempt I’m not qualified for. Not only that, but all the brush-y things and the pencil-y things in the world don’t seem to result in sassy eyebrows. In fact, when I’m done using them, they only remind me of those products that encourage you to spray paint your bald spot or your roots. My blond eyebrows are lying there with brown paint that somehow only goes underneath them, and doesn’t coat the individual hairs.
For better results, I’m told you need tattooing and/or micro-blading.
Anything that has the word “blading” in it, scares the vanity out of me. I just can’t work up the nerve, maintenance, [or the money] to go full-on eyebrow.
On Home Town, a decorating show I watch, Erin Napier has great eyebrows. She has also said (and believe me, I was paying attention because it was about eyebrows!) that “shutters” are like the eyebrows of a house.
I think this means that our house has better eyebrows than I do.
Christine Fader’s second book is, Just What the Doctor Ordered: The Insider’s Guide to Getting into Medical School in Canada. Find her at http://www.christinefader.com
Lately, I’ve been dating George Clooney.
Apparently, I’m not the only one.
Lisa Scottoline, an author I admire (and who feels like a kindred spirit), seems to think that she is also dating George. If she’s right then perhaps I will knuckle under and agree to some sort of joint-custody arrangement if–and only if–she’s dating 2013 George.
Because, fair warning, Lisa: kindred spirit or not, I’m having a full-on dalliance with George of years past.
1995 George is taken.
When I get home from work, I sneak in a little time with George before dinner. George, of the dark hair and yummy “twinkles” at the corners of his eyes. George, who is pining for me….or rather, Nurse Carol Hathaway.
Let’s not focus on her.
I found the first two seasons of the TV series, ER, at a garage sale. Brand new and a bargain little something to distract me while I exercise.
I’ve never really had a thing for exercising. But, I’ve always had kind of a thing for vintage dreamboats.
It started in my teen years when I had a James Dean phase. Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Rebel Without a Cause, great car (Porsche 550 Spyder), short life. It was like that song, Forever Young, by Alphaville.
You know: the sorts of things that make a teenage girl swoon. It was the 80s so, naturally, I had a crush on someone from the 50s.
But, I have matured and moved beyond vintage, Rebel Without a Hairbrush and Bad Boys of Broken Dreams. Now, it’s about the middle-aged twinkles and the beginnings of salt-and-pepper hair.
In other words, George, circa 1995.
“I’m going to visit George,” I confess to Practical Man breezily, as I head downstairs wearing obscenely coloured, breathable, spandex with reflective stripes in case someone tries to run me over while I’m on my treadmill or elliptical machines. A hideous, for-cardio-in-the-privacy-of-one’s-own-basement outfit that, thank goodness, George will never, ever see.
“Okay”, says Practical Man, “See you in an hour.”
Practical Man is not threatened by George. And he loves me despite the unfortunate exercise get-up.
The obnoxious outfit makes me feel sporty and athletic. It is all a ruse to distract me into the unfortunate exercising part. My shoes have “go faster” stripes on them.
I think they might be defective.
When I was young, my parents put me in soccer in a vain attempt to get me to be more sporty and athletic. I was timid (in life and soccer) and ran away from the evil soccer ball constantly. Anyone who tells you that heading the ball “doesn’t hurt a bit” is a big, fat liar.
Or possibly just sporty and athletic in a way that I will never be.
But, I loved my outfit.
It was blue and white with tall socks and despite my terrible soccer career, it allowed me, the shy bookworm, to masquerade every Wednesday night (and during photo ops in the back yard, under the crab-apple tree) as a jock.
That’s what’s really important.
Anyway, I feel like super-duper-fit girl with my day-glow, Olympic-wannabe outfit on. And, sure enough, ten minutes later, there I am, huffing and puffing.
With George, no less.
Unfortunately, not in the good way. Unless you count doubling your fainting-prone, half-dead heart rate as good.
Which, I don’t.
But it matters not, because 1995 George thinks I am powerful and glorious. I can just tell by the way he smiles at me sort of sidelong from the TV screen. He has faith that I will reach my slightly-less-zombie target heart rate and inspires me to hold in my (non-existent) stomach muscles when I just can’t stand it another second.
Sweating with George. It’s such a good part of my day.
Until, I rise from the depths of the basement, perspiring and red-faced from my efforts, to find Practical Man. As usual, he’s shopped for groceries, done the laundry, written me a sweet note on a Post-it, welded, constructed or repaired something and prepared dinner. He compliments my workout efforts without even noticing the obnoxious fitness ensemble and he’s got the requisite twinkly bits by his eyes.
Hands off, Lisa Scottoline. You can have George.
This vintage dreamboat is all mine.