Over the last two or three years I have gradually become aware (or been made aware, one or the other) of the fact that my eyebrows contains unnaturally long individual hairs. I never really regarded this as a problem, but that was because generally speaking, they laid flat and all pointed in the same direction. But recently, over the last 18 months or so, they have begun to stick out at odd angles. When this first occurred I dismissed it as a one-off. But gradually I have come to accept that fact that they are going to keep doing this, at ever stranger angles, until my brows no longer look like brows but rather resemble an osprey's nest tucked into a craggy cliff face. I accept it, but it disturbs me somewhat. It does tend to mark me out as a geezer. At least I don't have ear hair. Yet.
However, something occurred yesterday that made me quite comfortable with the whole bushy eyebrows concept and in fact made me wonder why I'd been fighting it for so long. Just like napping. When you're a kid, grownups try to make you go down for a nap, and you fight it, because you don't want to miss out on all the excitement happening all around you. But when you're an adult, you start to realise the value of naps. A little mid-afternoon snooze for half an hour or so is good, just to recharge the old batteries.
It all started when Laura, like so many other people (usually women - mum, girlfriends, etc.) before, approached me with that glint in her eye (no, not that glint - get your mind out of the gutter, willya?), the one that says, "I'm going to do something painful to your face. You will not appreciate it, but it is for your own good. Squirm all you like, ain't nobody gonna help you!". Usually it's accompanied by the glint of something metallic in their hand - tweezers, scissors, straight razor - and the smile of someone who didn't attend medical school.
Laura came towards me wielding tweezers, bent upon plucking some eyebrow hairs. I protested, and offered my usual way of avoiding the treatment by saying that if she were to give me the tweezers I would head to the salle de bains and do it myself. She was having none of it. I tried to reason with her, saying that self-inflicted pain was more tolerable than other-person-inflicted pain. In response to this, she set about me forcefully and removed some abnormally long hairs, and this is what truly disturbed me, because I myself had only recently plucked some eyebrow hairs, and the ones I left in were nowhere near that long. After she had finished with her attack I ran upstairs with the tweezers to look in the bathroom mirror and saw that there were more extremely lengthy barbs set in my brow. I removed some of the longer ones and then forgot the whole episode.
Until... about two hours later, when Laura, myself and my sis were in Sis's car, driving around and delivering things to various people. After one such delivery, I ran back to the car with a spring in my step, opened the door and promptly bashed my eyebrow ridge on the top of the door frame. I then realised how much more it hurt and throbbed than that sort of thing normally would, and then I had an epiphany. I realised that it was precisely for this reason that old geezers let their eyebrows get all tangled and bushy and overgrown. Protection. Cushioning. A built-in eyebrow pillow. So from now on, I resolve to never worry too much about all those long hairs in my eyebrow. They are there for a good reason.
However, don't expect me not to panic when the ear hair starts. That's just plain wrong.
It appears I spoke too soon. She approached me with the tweezers again today, and removed a sizeable hair from my right lug'ole. It is official. I am old. I am looking for online suppliers of bath chairs, ear trumpets, slippers and bedpans as we speak. I am also trying to put in for my bus pass early, to avoid the mad stampede.