Of All the Things I’ve Lost, I Miss My Eyebrows the Most

I’ll be the first to tell anyone that I honestly don’t mind being my age at all. In fact, you couldn’t write me a check big enough to be 20 again (assuming of course that I still wouldn’t know then what I know now). I’ve cheerfully accepted that my body sounds like popcorn when I first get out of bed (joints, ya know), that I now have “distinguished” silver streaks in my hair, that I’ve become a gravity victim, or that I can’t eat fried food any longer. I no longer wear high heels or pantyhose. I put in my time wearing those instruments of torture, and I’m done with them. It doesn’t bother me a bit that, due to an insane amount of physically demanding hobbies in my 30s and 40s, both rotator cuffs have pooped out. I’m not wild about the fact that my neck is getting turkey wattle-ish, but hey—that’s what scarves are for.

But I do miss my eyebrows. They patiently put up with all my plucking and shaping over the years, and I never had to worry about them. That and my hair (always short) were things I never had to spend much time on, much less fuss with. But these days, due to the inevitable creep of time, my trusty old eyebrows have given up on me, packed up their follicles and have moved on (probably for Hawaii. I would, too, if I could).

The greater part of my morning routine is painstakingly etching on eyebrows. Fortunately, I have handy expression lines where they used to be, so I just follow the template. I never realized what an art form this is. Oh, you can do it in a hurry with a Magic Marker, but that’s if you don’t care if you look ridiculous. Subtlety is the key. I take more time with this than I do with any part of my morning routine. Using an eyebrow pencil sharpened within an inch of its life, I painstakingly stroke on each tiny line to imitate eyebrow hairs. With one eyebrow complete, I have to duplicate it on the other side. Finally, I use a tiny brush dedicated to this purpose to blur the lines and make it look as if I still have real eyebrows. It’s exhausting–but absolutely necessary.

Since I feel that I can’t waste perfectly applied eyebrows just sitting around reading or cooking or doing laundry, I make it a point to go and do something. Even if all I do is just pick up cat food and coffee, or take a book back to the library, at least I know my eyebrows look good; normal anyway. These days, it’s all about normal—not necessarily spectacular, but normal.

Oh, for the carefree days when all I had to do to look good was to wash my face, run a comb through my hair and brush my teeth! These days it takes a goodly amount of time to prepare my face to face the world. I am still vain enough to want to look decent, if not good. When I was a lot younger, I noticed that some women of a certain age always dressed well, wore expertly applied make-up and had their hair done each week. In my ignorance, I used to think, “Why bother? You’re OLD!”

Well, now that I am of that certain age, I get it. I realize that no young and lusty men are dying to ask me out or offer me diamonds and mansions; that’s not what I’m going for. I do what I do to feel good about myself, which in turn makes me feel good about everything. Sure it takes effort, so what? I know I will never look 25 again; that’s just fine. I’m going for feeling good for me.

..but I do miss my eyebrows!






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