Until recently, I thought it was just me and my circle of girlfriends that are obsessed with our eyebrows. I know that most women—of all ages—are mild to moderately obsessed with their eyebrows. However, nothing prepares a woman for the agony that comes with the aging eyebrow. We begin to worry about thinning, fading color, texture changes, and even changes in the growth direction. We have an arsenal of eyebrow products that would rival any arms dealer’s warehouse.
I was recently surprised to learn that Jim, my husband, is just as obsessed with his eyebrows as we are. Men’s eyebrows also go through a metamorphosis as they age, but their worries tend to focus on one specific problem, a problem that I have dubbed “errant eyebrows.” You know what I’m talking about; eyebrow hairs that grow abnormally long, curly, and usually in the wrong direction. Jim has managed his errant eyebrows quietly and privately—until now.
On this particular day, I was quietly working through some yoga poses on my mat and trying to focus on my breathing when shrieking profanity broke my concentration—this is not an overstatement—I mean shrieking. “What the f***! F***ing shit, Shit, SHIT, F***ING HORSE SHIT!!” The profanity was then replaced by what sounded like muted animal-like growling sounds. I could feel the floor vibrating as he stomped towards my former place of zen.
I looked up from the floor at Jim standing in the doorway, gripping his electric razor. He grumbled, “How the f*** do I fix this!?” I was surprised by all the loud profanity and stomping, and it took me a few seconds to process what was happening. It was evident that the electric razor was the culprit, given his shaking grip on it. I took a closer look at his head and face. Then I saw IT, or rather lack of IT. I tried to suppress the bubbling laughter with all my inner strength, but it escaped, and a maniacal cartoon hyena-laugh escaped.
Jim had been trimming a few errant eyebrow hairs with his shaver. He forgot to reset the shaver to the appropriate length after doing a close face shave and accidentally shaved off his right eyebrow! The left side of his face looked like Jim, and on the right side, his face looked like a muppet: big eye, nose, mouth, no eyebrow! My maniacal laughter silenced him immediately. I think he was as shocked at my laughter as I had been at his outburst. It was hard to tell if he was still angry until I looked at the remaining left furrowed and twitching eyebrow.
My laughter reached its ultimate peak when he asked, “Do you think you can fix this with your eyebrow pencil?” I stopped laughing for a few seconds while I contemplated whether or not it would work. The problem is that my eyebrow arsenal is dark brown, and Jim’s remaining eyebrow is full and grey. A visual picture unfolded in my head as I imagined a full grey brow and a dark brown penciled brow side-by-side. I used every ounce of restraint I could gather, but in the end, my inner hyena escaped. Again.
Some things are best fixed by time and patience, and maybe a good laugh.