I plucked a hair out of my nose a couple days ago. A hair. Out of my nose. That just isn’t right. I thought nose hairs were a guy problem! And let me tell you something else – it hurts to pluck a nose hair…a lot.
I had dinner with a dear friend earlier this week who’s the same age I am, and we got to talking about the wonderful mid-life process that leaves us staring in the mirror many mornings exclaiming “what the hell is that!?!” And it’s usually a new wrinkle, a new layer of wattle on our neck, or new hair where it simply doesn’t belong.
I’ve noticed lately that I’m growing less hair on my legs and more hair on my face. Really – the leg hair is getting thinner and growing more slowly than ever. Being a natural blonde (yes, that’s right – born blonde – gotta problem with that?), I’ve always had a few advantages in the leg area. My brunette friends bemoan the need to shave every single day to keep their legs clear of dark hair. Even in my younger days, this was just never a problem – a little bit of blonde hair on pale legs doesn’t show. And these days, I don’t even worry about it unless I know for sure that I need bare legs. Which, with these spider veins creating treasure maps up and down my legs, happens rarely, but that’s a topic for another blog post.
Sadly, as my legs become smoother, I have no shortage of hair in other places now, such as my face. Sometimes I think I’m trying to grow a furry face warmer. Again, the hair is pale and nearly invisible, unless the light hits it j-u-s-t right. Then surprise! A wooly covering of blonde hair. On my face! The bathroom lights tend to really highlight the shimmering growth, and I try to convince myself that it’s the harsh lights that are the problem, not my face. But I also worry that, even in normal light, other people can see the growing problem (pun intended).
The soft, short facial hair is one thing. But those scattered sturdy, thick, flat-out whiskers are another matter entirely. There’s no hiding a hair with the thickness of a pine needle. I have two of them, although only one is truly persistant. The other tends to only pop out once a month or so. But “Bert” lives along my jawbone, and he just keeps coming back – I’ve shaved him, I’ve chopped him, I’ve cursed him, and I’ve plucked him a hundred times (ouch), but he persists. I’ve developed a habit of brushing my face with my hand regularly to check the status of said whiskers. If something pricks my finger, I know I have a whisker growing.
But there have been situations where I’ve missed their appearance, and have come home to discover with some horror that I had a big old whisker sticking prominently straight out of the side of my face, or perhaps off the edge of my chin. Nice.
My girlfriend expressed some frustration that her friends didn’t tell her that she was sporting a whisker one day at work, and I agreed. But then I started thinking about it – how exactly would one do that? I have no problem saying “hey, your shirt tag’s sticking up”; “hey, you’ve got a piece of lint on your dress”; “hey, you’ve got a run in your tights”. But I don’t know if I could say “hey, you’ve got a big whisker growing out of your chin.” Could I? Would I want someone to tell me that? I guess I would, but yikes. That’s mighty personal – almost like telling someone “hey, you’ve got a unibrow.” I wonder what Emily Post suggests for that social conundrum…
This whole “sliding into old” thing is definitely an adventure, and some days are far more challenging than others as we travel through this new territory. And now I’ve plucked a hair from my nose – a blonde hair that was curling happily out of my nostril one morning.
Which is doubly annoying, because I can’t get the hair on my head to curl to save my life!