Not all of the lessons I’ve learned in just under 40 years happened during my adult years. A few were so smack-me-in-the-face memorable, they couldn’t help but be drilled into my head at a young age.
Like the lesson I learned when I was around eleven years old. I shared a room with my sister, something I imagine she wasn’t thrilled about considering she was ten years older than I was. It wasn’t too bad for me, since she was usually out with friends or visiting her then boyfriend (my bro-in-law of over 25 years) at college.
One night, as my sister got ready to head out, I watched her use a little dab of hair remover just above and below her eyebrows to get rid of stray hairs — kind of an early 80s poor man’s eyebrow wax. As I watched her closely, she said…
“Don’t do this.”
All I heard?
She finished getting ready and took off for the night. As soon as the coast was clear, I did what any kid would do and checked out the situation. I opened the bottle and felt the funky, questionable scent waft over me, taunting me to take it one step further.
So I did.
I slathered the white creamy stuff all over my eyebrows, covering most of the coarse brown hair (borderline uni-brow) above my baby blue peepers. A few minutes later, I wiped it all off. And when I say wiped it all off, I mean wiped. it. all. off. Although not until I looked in the mirror did I know the true extent of the horror. They weren’t so much eyebrows as they were clumps of what looked like dead caterpillars.
Oh. My. God. What am I going to do now?
I was totally panicking when suddenly my sister’s mascara flashed at me like a broken traffic light. Eureka! I grabbed the pink tube and brushed the wand across my face, praying that my parents would never discover what I had just done.
My plan actually worked… for a while.
A few days later, we went left for a trip to a family friend’s New Hampshire lake house. I had such a great time with the other kids up there that I was finally able to let go of that feeling of terror that I was going to get caught. We hung out, went out on the boat and would swim out to the lake dock to jump off.
As I finally swam back to take a break from the activity, I was walking out of the water when I heard…
“Jackie, get over here.”
It didn’t occur to me that I was in trouble until I heard. “What happened to your eyebrows?” BUSTED. The lake water had completely taken off the mascara I used to cover up my tragic face accident. I’m sure I came up with a lie or two before finally confessing to what I had done. And if I thought that wasn’t bad enough, I had to fess up again a couple of days later when I got home to my sister.
Fortunately for me, my eyebrows grew back and I didn’t have to live the rest of my life filling in my brows with a pencil. Although, who knows, maybe my brow-less face would’ve gotten me a sweet gig starring in Mars Needs Moms.
Either way, I now only let professionals near my brows. That’s a mistake I’m not looking to make twice.