I am not a highbrow kind of guy because, unfortunately, I am afraid of heights. So today I am going to wax poetic, nostalgic and, most important, analgesic about being lowbrow. That's because I recently, for the first time, got my eyebrow waxed.
Before undergoing this increasingly common masculine procedure, which women get all the time, I had, indeed, only one eyebrow. It was what is known in tonsorial parlance (a highbrow way of saying barber talk) as a unibrow, a strip of hair not unlike roadkill that extended from above the corner of my left eye to above the corner of my right eye. The left and right brows were linked by a hairy bridge that did not take E-ZPass. The result was one long eyebrow.
To achieve the desired effect of hair today, gone tomorrow (I told you I'm lowbrow), I went to see my barber, Maria Santos, who owns Charmed Salon and Spa in Miller Place, N.Y.
"More men are getting waxed these days," said Maria, referring not just to eyebrows but to legs, chests and backs. It hurt just thinking about it. The imagined pain was excruciating when Maria described Brazilian waxes.
"They're like bikini waxes," she said.
"Guys don't wear bikinis," I replied.
"No," Maria said, "but some wear Speedos."
I got the idea, then started squirming in my chair.
"Don't worry," Maria said. "We don't do those here."
That was good to hear. Speaking of hearing, Maria told me about the guy who inadvertently got his ear hair waxed.
"He's a customer of mine, but he was on a business trip in California and needed a haircut, so he went to a barber who told him that he had a lot of hair growing out of his ears and asked if he wanted it waxed," Maria said. "The barber spoke with an accent and the guy didn't understand and said yes, go ahead and remove it. So the barber waxed his ear hair. The guy said it was the most painful experience of his life."
After hearing that, I was afraid to ask about nose hair. But I wasn't too skittish to ask for a brow treatment. Maria took me to a small room in the back of the salon and introduced me to Carla, a very pleasant and reassuring aesthetician who waxed rhapsodic about her job.
"I have been doing this for 30 years and I love it because I meet a lot of nice people, like you," said Carla, who asked me to lie back on a cushioned table while she got her tools, which did not, I am happy to report, include pruning shears or a Weed Whacker.
"I use tweezers, snippers and a comb," Carla said. Then she inspected my unibrow, which she said was "bushy but not unusual for a guy," and applied some analgesic soothing cream to soften the skin from which the middle part of my eyebrow grew. Next she got an adhesive muslin strip and pressed it to that spot.
"Ready?" Carla asked.
"Let 'er rip!" I exclaimed, instantly regretting my choice of words.
A second later, it was over. I listened carefully but did not hear a piercing scream emanate from my throat. In fact, I didn't feel a thing. Carla showed me the strip, on which was stuck a tuft of hair.
She then combed and clipped my now separate eyebrows, applied lotion to the newly bare area and handed me a mirror. I no longer resembled either Groucho Marx or Joan Crawford in her "Mommie Dearest" period.
"What do you think?" Carla inquired.
"Beautiful," I responded happily.
Now that I'm the very model of the modern man, maybe a figure of me will go on exhibit at Madame Tussauds wax museum. I bet that'll raise some eyebrows.
Stamford Advocate columnist Jerry Zezima is the author of "Leave It to Boomer." Visit his blog at www.jerryzezima.blogspot.com or email him at JerryZ111@optonline.net.
Copyright 2011 by Jerry Zezima