The Bearded Lady

I pluck my chin hairs. It started out innocently enough. One tiny whisker that only I could see apparently, but over the past several years it has mushroomed to a dozen, freak show long or as bristly as my husband’s vacation stubble.

Recently, the overgrowth has migrated to my nostrils.

“What are you looking at? And why do you have those tweezers?” I asked my husband last night as he came at me like I was a game of Operation.

“That nose hair is back again.”

Long and greying no less, it’s made even less attractive by the constant nasal drip of my recent allergy woes.

“Hold still,” he told me.

I started to laugh. Laughing does not make nose hair plucking any easier but there is something too intimate in a non-romantic comedy way really about a couple that plucks each other’s straying hairs.

My mother has chin whiskers. Every so often she reminds my sister and I that our only real job once she is in a nursing home (she is 76 and has delusions of nursing homes sometimes) is that we remember to inspect her chin periodically and pull any offending hairs.

Overgrowth of hair in places most unattractive is just one more mark on the black list against growing old.

“Do I have hair growing out of my ears?” My husband asked me after he’d attacked my nostril grass.

“Um, no,” I said. “Is this something else I should keep an eye on?”

I already scan his scalp and back for stress blemishes.

Men are just as prone to the wild hair phase of aging which manifests as mad scientist eyebrows and back hair, so I guess I should be grateful for a few chin whiskers and a hair in my nose.

“Do you think all couples pick at each like monkeys at the zoo?”

“No, and please don’t blog about this.”

The good Sisters of the Presentation did not mention hair beyond the pubic area really when they showed us that filmstrip and sent us home with the Kotex propaganda filled gift box. As I passed each sexual milestone, and was treated to information about the gift of femaleness that would have prompted a man to head off to the return desk, no one mentioned beards, or even five o’clock shadow, and yet this is part of the journey.

This was an original 50 Something Moms piece.

14 thoughts on “The Bearded Lady

  1. I just got my eyebrows threaded, and the lady who did it mentioned that they can remove any type of hair that way — “even peach fuzz on your cheeks,” she said. It’s very quick and lasts about three weeks, so I think I’ll be going that way when I reach the wild hair phase!

  2. ack! very true… and VERY funny! i never intended to be the woman giving whisker rubs to my kids, but biology rules. a friend refers to her mustache hairs as “stray eyebrows”…

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