I had just come off a long 4 days of conference exhibiting, client schmoozing and basically being ON all the time. By Thursday morning, I had logged 56 work hours for the week. I needed to get out of my hotel room to let the housekeeper clean my room. I needed a little exercise. I needed lunch.
So, I went to the mall across the street from my hotel.
I have done most of my shopping on the internet for the last several years, so I rarely go to any mall. The number and variety of little kiosk shops has expanded exponentially since I last spent much time in malls. Nail creams, purses, phone covers, luggage, jewelry, wrinkle cream, bejeweled flipflops, wiglets, chair massages (both motorized vibrating chairs and human massage options), dental bleaching–you name it, its waiting for you at a mall kiosk. None of these drew me in.
But—the eyebrow threading place looked interesting. A woman I “know” online from one of the boards I frequent had talked about having her eyebrows threaded, and I’d been noticing that I needed to get something done, as my on and off plucking was not doing the trick of keeping a nice shape. On a whim, I stopped at the threading kiosk.
The girl told me the price, I said, ok, and reclined in the chair. She started with the little twirling/thread thing. At first, I thought—wow, that isn’t so bad, it is similar to waxing, but not all at once. The obvious big eyebrow hairs came out, the smaller eyebrow hairs were flying around me and the fine, tiny hairs that were around my eyebrows were also being yanked out. And I’ll tell you, they hurt as much or more than the big eyebrow hairs. And suddenly, it was over, she was handing me the mirror and I was pleased. My brows looked much better. Not so much different from eyebrow waxing.
Time for the upsell. “Lip too” she asked. I asked the price, it wasn’t much, so I said “sure” since I do have about 5 noticeable lip hairs that I am constantly fighting. So she began again.
Apparently, I should have asked her for a safe word!
I had thought “lip too” would mean just the little area above my mouth where the 5 offending hairs (we won’t call them whiskers) reside. Oh no. “Lip too” covered the expanse of skin from nose to chin (but not under the chin, where I might need it for another 6 annoying hairs) and across my cheeks to where my dimples appear when I smile— roughly the area that a clown would paint red before a big show. She kept going and going.
I started patterned breathing to try to distract myself from the pain. (Breathe in 4 counts. Hold 4 counts. Breathe out 4 counts. Hold 4 counts.) She found my noticeable hairs and then went after the peach fuzz and then hairs so small that they are invisible to the human eye. A couple of times, she got skin, I’m sure of it.
My eyes were watering. I was breathing to the count. I was trying to relax my shoulders (maybe if I were less tense, the hair would glide out instead of feeling like each little hair shaft was rooted in like a wisdom tooth). And she kept swooping in with her string of agony to yank more hair I hadn’t realized I had.
After a few hours (ok, a couple of minutes or so) she finished. She swabbed me down with something then brushed a little powder on my poor sore face. I expected it to be bright red, but when I looked in the mirror, it looked pretty much as it had before she started, though it felt completely smooth and hairless—which was the goal.
“You are crying” she said, somewhat accusatory (apparently, crying is not allowed—but I wasn’t really “crying” my eyes were watering—totally different thing) and handed me a tissue. I paid her, including a tip, because despite the fact what I had experienced might be condemned by anti-torture groups in the right setting, she had only done what I asked her to do.
I stumbled off, clutching the Kleenex she gave me. I deserved a margarita with lunch after that!