The Taming of The Brow

“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty . . .” – 1 Peter 3:3a

“Vanity . . . definitely my favorite sin.” – John Milton, The Devil’s Advocate

Let’s dip into the comment section of this recent post and see what common thread emerges . . .

River Poet wrote, “Trust me, with your handy unibrow, no one is mistaking you for a girl anytime soon ;-)”

Pat wrote, “Oh, I love Love this! Just fun. And, that book bag looks essential as well as a pink blackberry. Now, THAT, is a bit girlie but I agree your eyebrows should undercut any of that!”

Pamela wrote, “Keep the man purse, ditch the eyebrow bridge. You know what they say about the wax: A little dab’ll do ya.”

Captain Steve wrote, “I did stare at the eyebrows for about 5 minutes though. Perhaps you should consider waxing or plucking? I hear shaving does some unfortunate things.”

And Kitty wrote, “Yank out that unibrow,” which spawned this funny little email exchange . . .

Oct 23, 8:02 AM:

I may have to explore ways to lose the unibrow. There’s a long post in there somewhere . . .

Oct 23, 4:33 PM:

I showed my daughter the unibrow pic and she said, “Oh that’s Photoshopped.” It’s not, correct? LOL. I like the way you humor it.

Oct 28, 6:16 AM:

Stay tuned for the unibrow post . . .

Oct 29, 2:41 AM:

Oh I will. Gotcha on my feed. Be careful with that thing. You may actually be able to see better after burning it down, er, ripping it out.

Oct 29, 7:37 AM:

There are so many options . . . all of them quite unpleasant! Ugh!

Oct 29, 3:28 PM:

Waxing is the way to go. Not as painful as childbirth and it’s over in a few seconds. If you do it that way, make sure you take a picture of the unibrow on the fabric they rip it out with. Dude that would be awesome!

Indeed. Before we get to that picture (consider yourself warned up front), I suppose I should give you a brief history of The Brow . . .

I’ve had it forever. I tried to find some pictures of myself as a youngster sporting the beginnings of The Beast but I’m guessing my parents burned them all to avoid embarrassment. But I did find this one . . .

Probably my senior year in high school. I had given up trying to dominate The Brow by this point after a particularly harrowing experience a year or so prior when I allowed a couple of persuasive (read: attractive) beauty school students to go at me with their tweezers and giggles. I ended up shaving and shaping and plucking into the wee hours, trying to clean up the havoc they wreaked above my nose. I didn’t do too bad . . .

But frustration got the best of me. The Brow stayed . . .

. . . and stayed some more, making an appearance in this engagement picture of me with my smokin’ hot wife-to-be, circa Spring, 1990. I’m twenty-two. Young and naïve. Almost sporting a mullet. Those were the days. And The Brow was not an issue. I’d found someone who loved me – a big fat dude with questionable hygiene practices and various attitude problems to boot – and agreed to marry me (and voluntarily have regular sex with me), despite all my flaws and an overabundance of facial hair above the eyes.  She has stood by her man and kept the little things little . . .

. . . even as I grew heavier, and my eyebrows thickened into one big black enormous equator around the top of my head.

And this is pretty much how The Beast has stayed . . .

Until today.

BEFORE

Keeping The Brow just doesn’t put me in very impressive company. There’s this guy . . .

. . . a Communist, and this guy . . .

. . . who must have figured out early on that being great with eyebrow doesn’t sit well with the constituency. And then there’s this crabby fella . . .

. . . and we all know whose side he’s on . . .

So I took an informal poll this week amongst family, coworkers and friends, and the results were far more lopsided that some recent presidential polls . . .

“Do Something with The Brow” – 99%

“Leave It Alone” – 1%

And since she’s a good friend and wouldn’t say anything to hurt anyone’s feelings, I threw her vote out and called it unanimous.

I picked today, Saturday, November 01, 2008, as The Day The Brow Gets Tamed.

And yet it almost didn’t happen . . .

I awoke early, browsed over to www.yellowpages.com and searched for hair stylists in my area.

About 300.

So I narrowed the search to those places that offer Wax Hair Removal.

Five.

Much better. Or so I thought . . .

The first place on the list made me play phone roulette with a big listing of stylists and no operator to referee. I tried five extensions and got five voice mail greetings, so I gave up on them. I tried the next business and their number had been disconnected. Strike two. The next place on the list of results had a long distance number and a website starting with ww, not the usual www. Strike three.

Since baseball season is now officially over, I let the three-strikes-and-your-out rule slide and dialed The Surface Salon and Spa. They had an impressive website, some positive reviews, accommodating business hours, and a receptionist that answered the phone. Only she asked me to hold and then, unbeknownst to me, lost the call. I must have looked pretty silly jumping out of my office chair and spilling my coffee when she called me back and my BlackBerry rang, quite loudly, in my ear; nothing like a little Slipknot to wake one up even further. She apologized for the goof and asked how she could help.

Impressive.

So I scheduled an appointment.

I arrived and met Ashley who, after getting over the initial shock of my monstrosity, and perhaps internally contemplating an effective plan of attack, shook my hand and led me to a very comfy back room decorated with muted green draperies, soothing artwork, dimmed track lighting . . . and a massage table. NOT what I was expecting . . .

Yes, that’s a smile on my face. And some powdery stuff. Ashley, who just took her state boards last week, is very kind and takes a great amount of time to explain how the waxing procedure works. I tell her all this will be documented for my extremely successful, high-traffic blog, and she rises to the occasion with charm, wisdom, and a great amount of patience.

She starts small, doing some combing and trimming and gentle plucking. Then she takes to waxing around the edges, like a master sculpting a masterpiece. Then . . .

. . . comes The Big Yank . . .

And you know what? It didn’t really hurt all that much. For those of you with strong stomachs (cough . . . KITTY! . . . cough), here’s a close-up . . .

That’s some serious follicle yankage, y’all! I let her keep it . . .

. . . and She Who Must Be Obeyed and I went out to the Flat Top Grill to celebrate. I had one of these . . .

. . . with the requisite orange slice, and tried not to itch my freshly-exposed and stinging skin as we ate DIY stir fry . . .

. . . and laughed at the craziness of it all.

I’m now accepting donations for the Monthly Brow Maintenance Fund . . .

. . . so I can keep The Beast on a leash, so if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to set up my Paypal account . . .

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42 thoughts on “The Taming of The Brow

  1. Seriously…you look much improved without the unibrow! That one was for the record books, dude.

    My little one has a unibrow, it’s just a baby right now and adorable but if it grows up to be a monster, I will strongly encourage him to wax that shit off! He also has the slightest hint of a mustache, at 3 years old! Crazy.

    There’s a little shaving tool called a MicroTouch. You can use that to keep it in check, and it won’t make the hair grow back coarse. Or just pluck it yourself.

  2. Apart from reading this post a little too early in the morning, I enjoyed your make-over! And, your resolve! That took guts to call that place and to keep the appointment!

  3. OH MY GOD.

    I never would have said anything (and I definitely would have been that too-nice friend you have and padded that 1% stat) but OHMYGODYOULOOKLIKEATOTALLYDIFFERENTPERSON.

    And I love that you documented this. You are one-of-a-kind, my friend.

    Wow.

    Congrats. 🙂

  4. I have to work backwards here…Blue Moon with an orange and a date with The Mister sounds fabulous. And you look so much younger! You didn’t look old to begin with, but dang, man. No wonder she’s holding on so tight.

    And one last thing…I’ve never had my sass quoted back to me like that. I really hope I didn’t offend, because that was NOT my intention at all.

    You look great.

  5. YAY! Brian it looks wonderful! You know we love you however you look, but it really gives you a very fresh, modern look to go with your fresh, modern education. I wonder what they’ll say at school? I think the compliments will be rolling in!

    Peace – D

  6. SHUT UP. Holy cow and SHUT UP. I LOVE this post. This is my-all-time-favoritest-post-ever. Right click, bookmark…”Husband, do you have a minute to read this??” My husband sports a serious uni. And by serious, I mean Bert. I mean Mike Dukakis. I mean two mice fighting for forehead space.

    Oh how I love this….

    btw – next time, take an ibuprofin before waxing. Like 15 minutes. helps reduce redness.

    Congrats to you on your excellent manscaping. ou look LOVELY! btw, should we all send the salon a thank you card?

  7. “should we all send the salon a thank you card?”

    That would be very cool! The Surface made the whole experience special, and Ashley is a keeper. Her mother-in-law blogs, and wrote this on her site today, so you could always visit there as well and leave a comment.

    Send cards to:

    The Surface Salon & Spa
    918 Woodland Plaza Run
    Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825

  8. Quite a patch of black grass. Maybe you should have donated it to one of those companies that makes wigs for chemo people.

    Nice looking beer too.

    M

  9. On the way home, I got to figuring that one beer may not be enough. So I got some Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout. Yummylicious . . .

    debbeblue, I hope my experience is helpful in some small way. Most guys I know just don’t give a shit about stuff like eyebrows. They have plenty of other stuff on their plates to worry about, and certain things take a backseat. I know that, as someone who loves to write and read and be a hermit at times, my appearance often gets short shrift. Be gentle . . .

    Michael, this is the first time in quite a while I’ve gone with a picture NOT taken by your bad self. It hurt . . . but it had to be done. Your artwork will appear again soon. (btw, I need a picture of a birthday cake with a BUNCH of candles on it . . . )

    River, I expect the reaction, both at work and school, will be a bit overwhelming. I’m actually looking forward to it . . .

    Pamela, I was NOT offended. At all.

    Captain Steve, it really didn’t hurt all that much. She did some cursory waxing before hitting the big middle patch, so I was prepared. Take the leap . . .

    Maggie, next time I’m in Madison, the Blue Moon is on me . . .

    Pat, it took determination, and a very accommodating wife to tag along. She’s my rock . . .

    Kitty, loved your post about my post(s). You are a gem, and a keeper . . .

    Jimsmuse, good to hear from you! |:)

    Kat, a three year old with peach fuzz? Oh no . . . that’s how it starts! My prayers are with you . . .

    Flutter, you’ve made me cry enough as of late. Glad I could throw some back your way . . .

    Stacy, oh no. I have a professional standing by . . .

    Jennifer, good to hear from you as well. How’s that novel coming along?

  10. Very funny post…I was always a Bert guy…Ernie’s snicker annoyed me even as a four year old.

    It looks good though. It reminds me of the time I caught roommate shaving in the early morning while he thought I was asleep. The razor found its way to the bridge of the nose. He saw me sitting up in bed looking at him and he said in a matter of fact voice, “yep…I have a unibrow.” good times.

    I bet that brewski tasted great after having your hair ripped out! Hope to drink one iwth you at some point in the future!

  11. Dude. You are AWESOME!! I think this is definitely “change you can believe in”. (sorry — election fever is hijacking all my comments today.) Oh, and I recommend a nice, soothing topical analgesic for the itching. 😉

  12. BJ!!-You look great!!! This was not your first wax job-I seem to remember Mom helping tame that brow. You were 2 months old and that brow was showing itself- she very gingerly placed the wax on your brow and then pulled a glob of fur just above your nose. Your hair grew real fast so she had to give you wax therapy every three weeks until you were almost a year old. Later your sister took over the job-remember they need several practicals while attending beaty school. What is so amazing that that all those years in Minnesota and North Dakota didn’t kill out the roots.

    Wll, when we visit this month I’ll bring a few chemeicals that might destroy the roots of the great brow.

    Dad

  13. Way to go, Brian! Now you’re only a pedicure away from sliding fully into metro mode. Seriously though, your newly-refined duo-brow looks much better! Sad to say, I hafta do periodic tweezing in that region as well…

  14. terrific waxing job – you have seriously great eyebrows now. if you get sick of waxing every month you can get it lasered off so it’s permanent. I had my bikini line lasered a few years ago and it’s never grown back – only took 2 treatments

  15. Nurse, me and lasers. Methinks that would be a bad combination . . .

    Rob, you have some seriously cool hair! And I do love going barefoot. A pedicure, eh? [digs out to-do list . . . ]

    Dad, I don’t recall ever letting the sisters touch my eyebrows. Perhaps I’m just in denial . . .

    Erika, GOBAMA!

    Nate, my birthday is this Friday. I’m ordering some Three Philosophers today . . .

  16. okay this was such a great story. loved the pix and the timeline and the whole play-by-play…the things that now entertain me are certainly not the same ones from a few decades ago!

  17. Im curious, how has it affected you emotionally? Do you have a different sense of self worth when you go out into the world? I am always amazed by watching some of those makeover shows, how many of the individuals seem more confident after their makeover. By the way, esthetically speaking, you look better 😉

  18. Dude, I am so glad to read about this – When I saw the referenced post, I thought maybe you were Wolfboy, recent escapee. It was uncomfortable even viewing the image. But I didn’t want to say anything, ’cause y’know, I like to keep my judging to myself.

    When I read in this post that you were looking at salons, I thought “Oh No! He’s going to have that poor animal permed and highlighted, when what it really needs is euthanasia!”

    I’ve read elsewhere that laser treatment is the way to go. Or those capture-but-don’t-kill traps. 😉

    Whatever method you use, keep using it. Looks waaay better.

  19. Hey! I’m trying not to think about what night it is (election night) and thought I’d come back and ask a question I’ve thought of asking but didn’t. I think this post gives me permission to ask it. Now that you have taken this cosmetic step and received 31 comments no less…would you consider changing your avatar, too?? I mean it is scary looking and as we now all know, you are a waxin’ man and your avatar guy does not the meaning of a the word! Just asking. I love ya either way.

  20. TitforTat – It’s funny . . . many of the things I’ve done in the way of self-improvement as of late have been for the purpose of NOT standing out in the crowd. I’m working on a post about this, so stay tuned . . .

    strugglingwriter – Greek, eh? I still have the caterpillars, they just aren’t making out anymore . . .

    Cdawg – Glad you stopped in. And I too am glad I waxed the right hairs . . .

    Gwen – Methinks I’ll leave the tweezing to the pros for now . . .

    kathy – I’m glad I can provide you with some entertainment, as lame as it is . . .

    Jack – Wolfboy . . . you crack me up!

    Xbox – Laugh away, my friend.

    Pat – I have been using my current avatar for several years, across many forums. I picked him back during my heavy gaming years, and he’ll be hard to get rid of. He’s still got big eyebrows, like me. But I could never grow a mustache like that . . .

  21. the funny thing is I can kinda relate…

    see I never worried about growing old…wrinkles don’t scare me, nor does white hair.

    I viewed turning 40 as a time of coming into my own…

    thinking women are respected more at 40 in the work place…wisdom, intelligence before the old crone thing.

    BUT NO ONE…..NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT FACIAL HAIR!

    So this summer I started visiting the wax places to get rid of a mustache! yeah. you read that right….and a smaller, blond, redish version of your uni.

    it hurts like hell.

    but not nearly as much as a teenage boy in a residential treatment facility (where I work) yelling at me to get my ugly mustache out of his face! HA

  22. I’d love you whether you nixed the uni-brow or not, but I have to admit – you look really, REALLY good! I didn’t think it would make that big a difference (and I’ve always loved Bert), but wow, it sure did!

    You’re hawt!

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