Saturday, July 8, 2017

Glabrous Tidings

When last seen...
I understand you can have your eyebrows dyed now, either to make them show up better or the opposite, depending on which affliction you imagine you're suffering from. I'd be willing to try it but my eyebrows entered the witness protection program years ago and I don't know where they are.

I know, I know. I whine about this too much, and nobody else cares about the availability of my eyebrows for viewing. I can already sense some of you delicately suggesting that I move on, that this particular ship is over the horizon, that there are other things to attend to here at the dock. Which causes me to doubt myself: am I that guy in Tiananmen Square, standing alone against the tanks of unsightliness? Or am I that ragged soul clutching a Confederate flag and pouting about heritage?

I will move on.

In general, hair grows at a rate of about a centimeter a month, or a bit more in the United States, where we round up to an inch. The way body hair works is it grows to a certain length according to its aspirations, and then it falls out and a whole new one pops up in its place. It can do this sort of thing over and over for years and years and then at a certain point the futility of the whole proposition becomes evident to the follicle, and that's that. The follicle has been stuck on the same career path and never getting ahead and never retiring its debts, and once the kids are gone it pulls the plug. In some dramatic cases, the entire scalp decides to start over, ditch the knick-knacks and move into something shiny and easier to clean.

The fur enterprise has been going on for a very long time. Even well before the rise of mammals proper, there were critters with hair. We know this because some was found in a fossil turd dating back to the Permian. This is the earliest indication yet that mammals, when they eventually arrived, were destined to be delicious. Most mammals nowadays have quite a thick pelt of fur, with a few exceptions that include pigs, elephants, and me.

I used to have more of a pelt. I distinctly remember appreciating my own arm hair, and being grateful that I'd taken after the arm-hair side of the family and not the bald-armed Norwegian side. But now I can hardly see my arm hairs. I used to think maybe the hairs on my body got farther apart as I grew up, but this can't account for the sparsity, because I never got all that big. So I guess they just fell out.

Now I have virtually no arm hair, or leg hair, and also one other place I recall having had a bit of a patch. That would be an area that hasn't been all that busy of late anyway. If there's not a lot of activity in your inbox and outbox, you can keep your desk pretty clean.

Another thing you can do with your eyebrows is pluck them, to remove eyebrow hairs where you don't want them. I'm going to get right on that as soon as I finish mowing the sidewalk.

In the meantime, I haven't given up on the prospect of rounding up my missing eyebrows. If I get one more chin hair, I'll have me a posse.

34 comments:

  1. I hear ya on the eyebrows. When I was 13, I made my first really huge faux pas and plucked my eyebrows really thin because they said it was in style. It's hair, I thought. It will grow back. Wrong. Oh, some of it grew back. But no longer going in the same direction it was going in before. Some didn't come back at all. And then with menopause, what remained was decimated.

    As a result, I learned early in life how to draw on eyebrows quickly that look natural. Sure, I could just try to "get over it"... but I won't. I refuse to pay for the mistakes of some insipid 13-year-old. Even is it was me!

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    1. When I was thirteen, I was ironing my hair. It was already straight. Obviously thirteen-year-olds need a lot more to do.

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    2. I sure remember when ironing hair was the thing to do. Jean Seltman was featured in a "human interest story" in The Evening Star weekend edition, shown with a friend, an ironing board, and a lukewarm iron.
      I"m sorry, Murr, but your blog posts just keep releasing these random memories that have been lurking just under the surface for a couple of decades.

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  2. I quite like my eyebrows at the moment. They were far too thin for far too long after I plucked too many, but they seem to have sprouted a few new hairs in the last year or so. Not a lot but enough to announce they're still in the game. A couple or three of the newbies are white, but at least they're there. When I look back on old photos and see the brows I was born with, I miss them.
    I do wish people who dye their hair would do the eyebrows to match though. Older women with nicely coloured hair and washed out eyebrows just look wrong to me. Even a touch up with an eyebrow pencil is preferable to light grey brows on someone with newly auburned hair.

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    1. I think I'd have to shave my head to get my hair to match my eyebrows.

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    2. This is starting to sound dangerously close to "does the rug match the curtains"...

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    3. At 13, with too much hair everywhere and especially from the eyes, up, I used to threaten to shave my head and comb my eyebrows back. Would have been the answer to several problems, including the puzzle of how to get boys to notice me.

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    4. Umm...photos will be required.

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  3. P.S. those chin hairs could very well be your eyebrows, what with gravity taking hold and all.

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  4. I observed as a friend had eyebrows tattooed on. She said it didn't hurt and it lasts for years and years.

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    1. Yes, but then as her eyelids start to sag, the tattooed eyebrows will end up in her eyelid crease.

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    2. Somehow I think that means you'd end up looking like Joan Crawford.

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    3. Well, I shall observe and report back.

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  5. So many good lines, I can't list them all. Just know they are appreciated! My brows used to be dark and thick. In the last ten years they turned blonde on the outer edges so I look like a cartoon character with those accents above the eyes to indicate frowning. Resting bitch face got nothin' on resting frowny face.

    I was sure you were going to get into men's eyebrows with that picture of Dave. My husband's are growing as fast as his hair these days. He looks like a mad scientist if they go too long.

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    1. That's what finally made Gregory Peck weird-looking. It was pretty hard to make Gregory Peck weird-looking.

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  6. My father's eyebrows were really long and bushy. To the extent that if he was bored (at a dinner party for example) he would plait them. My mother knew it for the warning system it was, and made their excuses quickly.
    I didn't inherit them - and am grateful.

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    1. Oh good lord. Could he do a comb-over from the front end, too? Could've been President.

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  7. Pretty much the same story here. Eyebrows, arm hair, leg hair, etc. hair - all gone missing. I gave up shaving during my hippie period, though, so the only change now is that the issue is basically completely moot.

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    1. Good times, huh? You wouldn't beLIEVE what-all the kids are shaving now.

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  8. If I don't get to my hair dresser soon I may never see my eyebrows again.

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    1. Now there's a thought. I can let my bangs grow into a combover.

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  9. If I didn't trim them back my eyebrows would eventually protect my glasses from the rain, but yeah, much of the rest of my hair has abandoned all hope. My facial hair, however, has yet to let me down.

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    1. And your nose hair. And your ear hair. You go.

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  10. I do not object to the hair loss on my hoohah. (It was all gray anyway.) What I get grumpy about is that there are still coarse dark ones making their way down my inner thighs. TMI?

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  11. My dermatologist gave me some cream to clear up some problem areas on my forehead. I worked, but it pretty much permanently removed my left eyebrow!!

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    1. Evidently that eyebrow was a problem.

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  12. I'm in my sixth decade and still waiting for my leg hair to disappear. Gets harder to bend over to shave the darn things.

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    1. Holy cow, I just realized I'm in my seventh!

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  13. I really really miss my "bush". It is more like a scraggly weed lot now.

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    1. I have all sorts of comments on that and I can't bring myself to utter one.

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  14. If I didn't trim them back my eyebrows would eventually protect my glasses from the rain, but yeah, much of the rest of my hair has abandoned all hope. My facial hair, however, has yet to let me down.


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