Well, I’m happy to report that I’m recovering nicely from my
What’s that you
say? You didn’t know I had surgery?
It came as a bit of a shock to me, too.
A couple of weeks ago, I willingly subjected myself to an
eyebrow wax. The technician led me to
the back, plopped me in a chair, threw a dirty plastic gown around my shoulders
and shoved my head into one of those horrible cutout sinks. She painted hot honey above and below my
eyebrows; smoothed industrial-strength tape on top and gave a mighty yank.
I couldn’t help it: I swallowed hard to hold back my yelp.
The technician laughed and smoothed more tape on my eyebrow.
“I’ve had seven tattoos, but I still can’t get used to having my
“Wow,” I ventured shakily, steeling myself for the yank.
“Yep. Had the first
one when I was in high school. Went to a
tattoo party. Hurt like heck.” She attacked the other eyebrow.
I grabbed the handles of my chair; curled my toes in. “They give you some kind of painkillers
before they give you a tattoo,” I gasped.
“No! That’s illegal.”
“When my mom saw that tattoo, she freaked. Told me I’d have to live with it, now that I’d
gone and done it. If my kids want tattoos,
I’m taking them to the parlor, make sure they do it right.”
She grabbed a pair of tweezers and began plucking wayward
hairs. “I wanted to get mother/daughter
tattoos, but my mother’s not having anything to do with it. Do your kids have tattoos?”
She nodded. She
rubbed some alcohol on my eyebrows to remove the extra honey; Held a gigantic mirror
up to my angry eyebrows.
“Looks good, thanks."
She put the mirror on a table and led me to the
I handed her ten bucks.
“Thanks,” she said. “Hey," she added, as I put on my coat. "do you have a tat?”
Ever since I lost the War of Tug
, my right eye has been giving me
trouble. It flashes. It waters.
A huge floater drifts lazily here and there in my line of vision. And just in time for Thanksgiving, it began
to hurt. Perhaps throb
is a better term. Whenever
I blinked, my poor eye hurt. It felt as
if there was a piece of sand or a jagged speck of something in my eye. I tried cold compresses. I tried a homemade sty remedy. And, much to my husband’s dismay, I stopped
wearing my contact lenses and resorted to my thick ugly glasses. I chalked up the pain up to the healing
process—It would take time, I told myself.
But it would
“Why don’t you go back
to the eye doctor?” My husband said,
after about three weeks of seeing me in my glasses. “Please?”
“I don’t want him to think I’m a pansy,” I said.
“He won’t think you’re a pansy. Call him.”
I took the easy way out: At seven o’clock in the morning, I
sent the office an email.
At nine, the telephone rang.
“You need to come in right away.”
For the third time in as many months, the doctor dilated my
eyes. He checked my retinas. “Everything
looks good,” he said.
“My eye feels almost like something’s scratching it.”
He wheeled up a gigantic magnifying glass; arranged it in
front of my eye. Pulled my eyelid away
from my eye and kind of rolled it up like a shade. “Something is scratching it,” he said. “You
have a couple of eyelashes growing in the wrong direction.”
He numbed my eye and grabbed the tweezers. He sat in front of me. “I just have to dig around here a little,” he
said. “Hold still.”
I tensed; curled my toes in.
I listened to the doctor breathing through his mouth. I wondered what my eye must look like with the
lid rolled up. Pondered for a moment whether
I should ask him to take care of my brows as well. I almost giggled.
Then he grabbed and yanked and my eyelid pulled away.
“Got it!” He held up the tweezers in triumph.
And the lid snapped back into place.
He repeated this process and then, “Blink.”
“Yes.” Much better.
I went to the desk blinking with abandon. I got out my debit card and handed it to the
woman sitting behind the desk.
“Keep an eye on those,” she said. “They may grow back. I get them all the time.”
“Can’t I just…” I
waited for the doctor to walk past before finishing my sentence. “…pull them myself?”
“Oh, no.” She shook
her head. “You have to come in.”
“Any Christmas cards?” My husband asked, when I brought in
the mail yesterday afternoon.
“No.” I handed him
the stack of envelopes and started peeling carrots for dinner.
He tore open the top envelope. Shook out a sheet of paper. “When did you have surgery?”
“What?” I set down the carrot I was holding and looked over his shoulder. He pointed.
Surgery $200. I looked at him. “That can’t be from those two eyelashes.”
But it was.
Two hundred dollars to remove two eyelashes.
Heck, I could get a tattoo for that.
Labels: children, Creative non-fiction, Independence