So my oldest friend, Madge, and I went shopping. We started off our grand shopping adventure at a ghetto plus-sized store where we were afraid to take our eyes off Madge’s four-year-old daughter, Madgette, for fear she’d be inducted into a gang.
And because Madgette managed to behave marginally well among the plus sized sistas shopping in the ghetto store with us AND because earlier in the day she’d accidentally pitched forward down a flight of stairs nearly knocking the nose off her face, Madge had promised her we’d go to Build-A-Bear in the mall.
For those of you without immediate access to a hip and happening four-year-old, allow me to explain: Simply put, Build-A-Bears are the shit.
The process goes something like this: You pick an unstuffed animal carcass, fill it with fuzz, plop a cloth heart inside, then pick out expensive clothing for your new creation.
On this particular day, with a $5-off coupon, Madgette’s Build-A-Bear cost $37. And it should be noted that ONLY because I managed to muster a great amount of self-restraint did I not build my own Build-A-Bear. Yes, it really does look that fun, and yes, I really do still like playing with doll clothes.
But I digress.
After two hours in the Build-A-Bear store, Madge and I were officially running out of time. The husbands were calling and threatening to eat without us. Being serious foodies, Madge and I didn’t want to miss that opportunity.
It was under the great duress of missing dinner that Madge and I made the ill-fated stop at the Magic Eyebrow Lady’s kiosk.
The Magic Eyebrow Lady, MEL for short, was using a spool of string to pluck hairs away. Yes, a spool of string! She held it between her fingers in such as way as the string doubled over and grabbed hair, ripping it from the follicle. We watched her magically transform a bushy slew of other young ladies before reaching deep into our pockets for the $10 it cost for our very own perfect eyebrows.
Admittedly, I’d been plucking my own brows lately, resulting in a jumbled mess of wayward hair. It wasn’t a pretty site to begin with. Madge, on the other hand, was just a bit overgrown, and need a tidy maintenance pluck.
I sat in the chair first. Two major rips and a few minor pulls and she’s done.
Madge sits. One rip and she jumps wildly. MEL takes a step back, unsure of what to do. Madge apologizes for the scream and leans back. Three more rips and she’s done. We pay our $10 and head to the minivan.
It is only after silently walking through the parking lot, licking our wounded brows, and are back in the safety of Madge’s automobile, that we realize the magnitude of what has happened.
“She TOOK my eyebrow!” Madge wails.
Surely not, I’m thinking, as I lean over into her seat for a closer look.
Madge is right. Half of her left eyebrow seems to be missing. But knowing better than to admit to her that she’s half a brow short, I opt for encouragement.
“No,” I say confidently. “You just need to brush them down. You’re blonde and they’re hard to see.”
I am lying. Half of her eyebrow is GONE.
“Really?” she asks.
“Yeah, it’ll be fine, just need to fill them in a bit with a brow pencil,” I say. “You’re hairs light. It’ll add definition.”
Madge knows I’m lying. She always knows when I’m lying. It’s part of being friends with someone for so long—you know when they’re bullshitting you.
Plus, I was a little too eager to pull down the mirror on my visor and have a look at my own brows.
As I look in the mirror, in my mind I’m thinking:
First impression: my brows are okay. I’m okay. Whew. The Magic Eyebrow Lady didn’t take one of mine as a trophy. Dodged a bullet there. Okay. Everything is O-K-A-Y. Wait. Wait a god damned minute. Why do I look surprised? I’m not surprised. Or Asian. But my freaking eyebrows look like they’d belong to a surprised Asian. Crap. Didn’t dodge a bullet after all. Mother fu….
Our husbands are less than polite about the brows. They made fun of us. Horrible, horrible fun of us. Before you send them hate mail, let me just say this: They NEVER make fun of us or judge our fashion flaps. NEVER. They are great husbands. So this is a strong indication of how bad/funny our eyebrows were.
Thankfully, I am a wiz with the brow pencil and I’ve turned my “surprised Asian” brows into a perfectly sculpted creation. I haven’t seen Madge since the fiasco, but I suspect she too has been liberally using an eyebrow pencil.
Yeah, I know it’s vain of me to care so much. But when you’re a frizzy-haired, glasses-wearing fatty, you have to do the best with what you’ve got—and you certainly don’t need anything else going wrong, such as bad eyebrows.
At the end of the day, you just have to go on, botched brows and all. But I can’t help but wonder why the Magic Eyebrow Lady hated us so much. I mean, she turned out a bunch of really great brows right in front of us. Why on Earth choose us to practice the black magic on me and Madge?
You win, Magic Eyebrow Lady. You are a worthy enemy and you win—for now.