For the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to become a high-maintenance woman. It is a difficult undertaking. I’m so oblivious that I’ve put my yoga pants on backward—and worn them that way. Last week I put my underpants on inside out, which wouldn’t matter except that they have a decorative button—and it got snagged.
At the urging of my born-to-the-luxe-life daughter, I got my eyebrows threaded. The procedure made a surprisingly loud scraping sound and hurt more than I had expected. Nobody noticed. Even I can’t tell the difference, and I've looked long and hard at my brows.
I got a facial. Blood vessels broke along the side of my nose. They look like grog blossoms, but I don’t drink.
Yesterday I went to the high-end hair stylist my daughter found for me. I was supposed to get cut and colored. But the day before, I had an anxiety attack about the color part. I couldn’t face the questions. I couldn't face the little girls downstairs saying "I liked you better the way you looked before" or the woman who said baldly, "It looks terrible." I couldn’t face the silence that says “It is so awful I don’t want to embarrass you by mentioning it.” I couldn’t face the toxic feeling of a foreign substance on my scalp. I couldn't face poring over the statistics linking breast cancer and long-term use of hair dye among women over 50. I couldn’t face the monthly touch-ups.
I canceled the color but kept the cut. And when I walked into the salon, I realized that maybe I AM high-maintenance after all. My hair stylist did a double-take and said, “Hey, look who’s had her eyebrows done!”