Why is it when we’re young girls going through puberty we’re led to believe puberty starts and ends in adolescence? We trust in hormonal wars ceasing on the callow battlefield. Why doesn’t anyone say, hey, you know how the hair on your body grows like crazy and in some strange places now? Yeah, well that starts up again later in life, and girl, it ain’t pretty. I mean seriously, we should be warned about what the future holds when it comes to aging and hair. I’ve never used tweezers more in my life than in this last decade. I mean I used them, but I didn’t use them. I remember relying on them as a tool to pull something fine out of a tricky spot, like a splinter in a finger or a tangled necklace. Oh, the days! But now, oh, now, tweezers = life.
I can’t put the tweezers down for fear I’ve missed another chin hair. And there it is. That ugly truth, no one, and I mean no one, ever tells you, chin hair is real, and at a certain point in life, it slinks across your face, stretching and gripping like facial kudzu. You can tweeze and pluck to your heart’s content, but in a day or two, a week tops, you’ll innocently glance in the mirror while grabbing your tooth brush and see where new ones have taken the place of the hair you diligently plucked what seems like mere moments ago. You’ll want to cry and perhaps you will. But then your hand will graze your chin, and you’ll be pushed back into reality, grabbing the tweezers for dear life.
Unable to escape the quest to conquer all the chin hair, the whole affair takes on new life. You start looking into new weapons, like massive magnifying mirrors. You casually pick these up in Bed, Bath and Beyond, gently caressing the smooth edges as you scout out the room before stealing a look at your reflection. And at once you hear the echo of Jack Nicholson’s A Few Good Men argument, and you realize you really aren’t sure if you can handle the truth.
Yet the urge to look, follows you everywhere. Even on vacation. Spoiler, this could be you. Once while on a much needed beach getaway I spent over an hour at the vanity mirror in my room. More than 10x the power of my compact mirror, this mirror revealed it all. At first I blushed, upset about all the wasted pre-vacation time I spent plucking. Was there a sudden surge in hormones brought on by a ten hour road trip and an innocent stop for Sugar Babies at the classic candy aisle in Cracker Barrel? Or was there simply much more than meets the eye finally revealing itself? Either way, the in room grooming session grew therapeutic. I emerged lighter and refreshed as if I’d spent all day at the hotel spa. But days later new darker and coarser hair sprouted once again, the cycle continuing.
What’s a girl to do? It’s not like there aren’t options: laser, electrolysis, waxing, creams, and shaving. Some you can perform in the privacy of your own home–some you’ll need to visit a dermatologist or other specialist. It’s a commitment I’m not sure I’m ready to make. Maybe it’s become ritual, plucking. Maybe chasing after those pesky chin hairs keeps me young, alert, and on my toes. Maybe I’ve learned to live with them, cohabiting quietly among the walls of my tiny apartment. Or maybe, just maybe, I refuse to surrender to time. Whipping out my Tweezerman sword, like Arya Stark unsheathing her beloved needle, I fight growing old by aging like a warrior, one battle at a time, never bowing in defeat.