I wish my mom would have warned me about the weirdness of growing older, as I got older. When I was in sixth grade, I remember having talks about periods and boobs, but that was the end of discussion on body changes. Nothing but radio silence after I reached puberty. I would have appreciated a sit-down conversation or even watched an outdated video in my twenties on what happens to your 30-something year old body. Granted, my hot and blissfully naïve self would have eye-rolled the thought of aging or being anything other than hot, but at least I would have tucked it away somewhere in my carefree (and likely hungover) mind. It could have softened the blow at least a little.
I’ll just be blunt; I’ve sprouted a black chin hair when I turned 32. It’s a beast and becomes unruly if not managed properly. I can vividly recall key moments when this hair impacted my life. How can a single strand of hair do that? Well, it’s persistent and is determined to stay despite my attempts at abolishing it. It perseveres, and if given time, flourishes. It’s unlike any other facial hair and it doesn’t hide well amongst its light-colored peach-fuzzed friends. This jerk of a hair likes to remind me that I’m no longer twenty-three, as if I didn’t already know this by my slowed metabolism and crow’s feet.
I first discovered the start to my chia pet chin a few years ago while at work. It was shockingly long and thick. Each time I tried to pull it with my fingers, it curled. I imagined it flapping in the wind, waving to all I’ve crossed paths with, discrediting any image of self-beauty I had. Instead of dealing with it privately, I burst through my co-worker’s door and informed them of my disappointing discovery. I just needed comfort and reassurance that everything was going to be alright. I demanded my peers point out their own sporadic hair growing spots. Only two fessed up, but it was likely lies just to make me feel better. I needed a hug (and tweezers) badly.
Is this how it starts? Is this me aging? Is this the beginning to gross new findings from now on?
I had so many questions as to what this meant. I needed to find out if there were more surprises on my body. I came home from work, grabbed a mirror and locked myself in the bedroom desperately searching for any other new foreign parts sprouting, and then my husband knocked on the door. Shit. Do I tell him? I emerged from the bedroom, ego deflated. One look and he knew something was wrong.
I did the silent treatment at first. I shrugged and shook my head when asked if I was upset. I mumbled, “nothing,” repeatedly. Even though my husband had seen me in labor on all fours with an open-ended hospital gown as well the insides of my abdominal cavity, the thought of telling him of my rogue chin hair was completely out of the question. Who was I kidding? I couldn’t keep this inside. I lasted four minutes and caved. I died a little on the inside as I recalled the long, turned curly, chin hair discovered that day. To his credit, he did what any good husband would do; he laughed and then tried to see it.
From that day on, I added chin hair plucking to my grooming routine. However, life gets busy with three kids and sometimes the chin hair plucking routine takes a backseat.
I recently had taken my oldest daughter to dance class. I waited in the halls with my son and youngest daughter. Other parents waited as well and we causally small talked. I could tell my son was getting antsy, so I picked him up and sat him on my lap. He rested his head on my chest and watched his younger sister play with a toy. I resumed small talk with a nearby father. And then, my son spoke.
“Mama, I see a Mila hair on you.”
Mila is our dog.
He attempted to grab the dog’s hair from my chin, but I didn’t make the connection in time. Naturally, the hair stayed in place because it wasn’t the dog’s hair, but my very own wiry strand. Steadfast and strong it stayed despite the desperate pulls from my four-year old…and it stayed because I’m destined for torture and humiliation from this stupid black hair.
“Mama, the hair is stuck to your chin,” he said loudly, because children speak the loudest when they embarrass you.
It was evident I had neglected my chin hair, and based on my son’s reaction, it was approximately two months’ worth of neglect.
I grabbed my son’s tiny fingers away from my asshole of a chin hair and did what any 30-something mother would do. I smiled politely at my parental peers and buried my chin into my sweatshirt. Besides, what could I say? I knew there was no way of saving face, or in this case, chin.
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