A DIFFERENT WAXING
by Tanya Brown
(Gatesville, Texas USA)
She pursed her lips and flicked a sidelong glance at my daughter. If I were a mind reader, I would have seen one word flash across the girl’s forehead…”eeeeyoooou!” But, with some decorum, she whispered behind her hand, “Do you want me to do her mustache, too?”
Tracy had chosen to celebrate my sixty-seventh birthday, more special to her than to me, with a mother/daughter outing to a waxing. Now, my idea of waxing has to do with the moon—that period, so I’ve been told, just before the full moon, when the silvery illuminated area around the orb expands and takes on romantic connotations. You know . . . lovers spooning under the silvery moon.
That’s not what Tracy had in mind. According to my beautiful, grown-up child, my eyebrows looked to her like a fuzzy, black Caterpillar hanging over each eye, and I needed them waxed.
The small shop smelled of nail polish and acetone and contained a crowd of customers, all being pampered and accommodated. Across a glass-topped table, two teenage girls faced nail technicians, their hands outstretched for the shiny black lacquer being slathered onto their fingernails. They giggled and looked at each other, clearly loving every minute of the luxurious procedure.
Three women sat with their feet submerged in bowls of blue liquid, and a man walked around in paper flip flops with cotton stuck between his toes.
A woman in the back, dressed in a pink and black smock, caught our attention and gestured toward her eyebrows and then her fingernails with a questioning look.
Tracy pointed to her own finely chiseled brows.
The woman nodded, finished up with her current client, and motioned for us to come on back.
"Who’s first?" she asked.
Tracy answered. “This is Georgia, my mother, and it’s her birthday. She’ll be your client.”
“Oh! Happy Birthday to Mama, come and sit down!”
I leaned back in the proffered chair and rested my head in a metal contraption that resembled a gynecologist’s examination stirrup.
Before I could protest, with three quick jerks of her head, Tracy authorized the waxing of my mustache as well.
Wasting no more time, the woman returned Tracy’s nod and began her task in earnest.
Okay, no doubt about it, the hair above each eye socket had lost its arch, but to compare it to caterpillars? Puhleeeeeeze! A few quick stings as tweezers pulled out stray hairs, a swab of witch hazel, and she was done. Easy. No problem . . . onward to the mustache.
“Stick your tongue under your top lip and push. That way I can dab the wax into all the crevices.”
Wrinkles, she meant.
“Okay, now keep your lip taut so I can put the cloth on it.” She ripped the cloth off and yanked the hairs under my nose out by the root.
One of the foot soakers said, “Awww! I could hear that from over here.”
Another deeper voice said, “Ohooo, I could just feel it.”
I wanted to slap her.
After Tracy paid the receptionist, I opened the door to leave and almost walked over a young woman dressed to the nines, bling-bling and all. She stepped through the reception area, passed the nail and eyebrow area, and opened a door to what I had supposed was a supply room.
“Why is she going in there?” I asked Tracy.
She could hardly keep a straight face. “She's getting waxed.”
“Why didn’t I get to go in there instead of having to sit in the front for everybody to watch my pain?”
She couldn’t hold her laughter any longer. “Well, Mom,” she finally had the breath to say, “there are different kinds of waxing—eyebrow; face; leg; arm and underarm; back; foot . . . and there’s . . . uh . . . Brazilian waxing. That’s the procedure she’ll have.”
“Well . . . ” I stopped on the sidewalk to admire my new eyebrows reflected in a plate glass window, and rubbed a finger under my nose—smooth as a peeled boiled egg. “What on earth is a Brazilian waxing?”
In a graphic and explicit description, she explained.
I pursed my lips and flicked a glance at Tracy. She needed no mind reading ability. My reaction was quite audible.
Tanya is a retired Correctional Officer for the Texas Penal System, having worked in a women's prison for many years. She is currently working on a novel and has ten short stories she plans to self-publish in book form in the near future. She has been published by Long Story Short.