Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done

I made an important resolution for 2007, maybe not important to you, but very important to me.

It's not something I blog about, or talk about to my friends. I keep quiet about it because I'm embarrassed, I'm ashamed, I hate my weakness when I am strong, and I live in denial the rest of the time.

It's true what they say about the people in your life; some people will criticize you for your flaws, others will enable you. Some people have insisted that there is no problem, that I'm fine the way I am. But on the inside, I have been unhappy. I have felt insecure.

I have coping strategies. I try to hide it when I can, but it's hard, especially first thing in the morning. That's when I have the hardest time facing myself in the mirror.

Hello, my name is Jamie, and I'm an overplucker.

When I was a plucking virgin, I had a pair of hairy caterpillars squirming away across my brow, prompting complete strangers to ask whether I was a blood relation of Martin Scorsese. I felt this was not a flattering comparison, and so, one fateful night I allowed a friend of the family armed with tweezers, scissors, and a license to ill, to change my face forever.

Five pounds of eyebrow hair later, I was a changed woman. She took not only the stray hairs, but pieces of skin and nerve as well (I had a matching pair of black eyes for days). She did a lot of damage, and a lot of it was permanent. But I still somehow felt it was an improvement, and really, it was.

But instead of having oversized brows, I have sported undersized brows ever since. And though I always wished they were fuller, what could I do? Eyebrows do not grow in within days, or even weeks, and after the damage that was first inflicted, there are parts of my brows that just do not grow in at all.

But this year, I vowed to give myself a real gift - eyebrows. The first day was horrible. I stood in front of the mirror for 20 minutes willing myself to put down the tweezers. The hardest part is just to break the habit. Tweezing is my vice. I do it every day. I didn't know how to begin stopping, so I went to the pharmacy around the corner (with my toque pulled down real low), and though they have patches for almost everything else, there is no patch for tweezing. You have to quit cold turkey. There's not even a gum.

So I've been growing them. Every day I looked in the mirror and was horrified by the chaos above my baby blues. I wanted to hide in the house and keep my hairy secret to myself.

The first day I had the shakes. I sweated it out on the bathroom floor.

The second day I vomited until I hallucinated: Groucho Marx sang 'Moon River' to me until he was devoured slurpily by a caterpillar that crawled right off my face.

Withdrawal is a bitch.

But I think it's pretty much out of my system now. I only twitch a little when I see a pair of tweezers, but I JUST SAY NO, take it one day at a time, and all that crap. But I will probably always be an addict. I will always itch to tweeze. But I know now that I can beat this thing.

And you know what?
It's been two months, and I look totally hot.
Why in hell didn't I do this ages ago?

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