“OH MY GOD!” I shouted as I peered at my face in the rear-view mirror. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO YOURSELF JUST THREE DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING?!”
That exclamation sounded like someone else’s words coming out of my mouth, as I consider using the name of God in this manner as taking His name in vain. However, I suppose I really was calling on Him out of the sheer panic of the moment!
I continued . . . “YOU IDIOT! WHAT ON EARTH WERE YOU THINKING?!” Of course I was saying this to my own self, not to God, as I observed the area around my eyes, more specifically my eyeBROWS.
The day had begun in anticipation of a mani-pedi at a local spa (a Christmas gift from my husband). It was cold, but I had eagerly packed my flip-flops for the trip home with freshly-painted toenails that would peep ever-so-cutely from my mother-of-the bride peep-toe shoes. “The best-laid plans . . . ”
. . . of mice and mothers . . . well . . . as you can imagine . . . most often “gang aglay” as Scottish poets say, or as we say, “get screwed up.” Disappointed to learn that the receptionist had mistakenly made my appointment for three days hence (when we would already be in Dallas for the wedding) and appalled that she was not apologetic for her error, I did what anyone would do in this position. I cried in the car. Then I went back home and ranted to my husband. He was properly outraged and sympathetic, so I was able to forge ahead.
I drove across town to a walk-in nail salon where I had been once before. They took me in and right away the beautification process began. While the pedi was in progress, the mani began. Then it happened. The sweet little manicurist looked at my face and asked if I would like her to “do” my eyebrows. She traced an arch on my forehead and said, “Look so pretty.”
Although I had been plucking for the last couple of weeks, trying to eliminate strays and “clean up” my browline, I knew what a wax job could do. I had had this done only once before, but the result had been extraordinary. On an impulse, I said, “Sure, why not?”
She did the left one first, and all went well. Then . . . she moved to the right eye . . . I felt it . . . hot wax dripping onto my eyelid. “Oops,” she said. “Uh-oh,” I thought. Then . . . hot wax dribbling onto my cheek just under my right eye. “What the heck?” I thought. “This is not going the way it did the last time I had it done.” I began to second-guess my spontaneous decision. RIP! “Ouch! That really smarts!”
I was done. I moved to the front to settle up. Trepidation accompanied me as I stepped out into the cold in my flip-flops. My feet looked great, but dare I look at my face? My eyelid felt funny, and the dribbles on my cheek had hardened. I had to see. As soon as I got the heater started in the car, I forced myself to take a look.
In the narrow rectangle of the rear-view mirror, all I could see was my eyebrow area. Both sides were indeed red above and below the brow, but the right side . . . oh dear! Charcoal shadow was globbed into the wax dribble, and the lid itself was not only red but also puffy; and more wax dribbles were visible on my upper cheek. But . . . horror of horrors . . . I could not see my eyebrows! Were they gone?! I remembered the “oops” and wondered whether she had accidentally ripped them clean off! That’s when the panic-induced “OMG” erupted from my mouth.
Finally, as I merged onto the expressway, I could see a thin line of brow over each eye. I guessed that most of the strays had been brown and most of what was left had faded into the puffiness and redness since a good bit of it was gray. I felt a little relief.
When I was finally able to view my entire face in the bathroom mirror, I could see that the brows would look nice if only the redness and puffiness would subside and I could remove the wax drips. I had three days to return to normal.
By that evening, the redness was gone. I was able to rub the excess wax off, and by the next morning the puffiness was gone as well. When I applied my eye make-up in a practice run, everything was okay. The mother of the bride would have eyebrows after all. Thank goodness!
We are always lured by the possibility of enhancing our looks, aren’t we? “Look so pretty” gets us every time, doesn’t it? And that’s okay. That’s how we are. We want to be the best we can be. And that’s okay. Only when it becomes all-consuming does it become not okay. When we begin to obsess about our appearance, we cross the line. Forgetting that true beauty is what Peter called “that of your inner self,” we fret over nails and panic over eyebrows.
I am thankful that God looks on the heart, not on outward appearances. But I am also thankful that He understands us girls. He just wants us to have our priorities in order. I am headed to my quiet time now. I will pray and read His Word and spend a few moments listening in case He has something to say to me before I get into my day’s activities.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (I Peter 3:3-4)
Okay, my hair is too short to braid . . . I have very little gold jewelry . . . and not many fine clothes. Just kidding . . . I know what it means. I’m still working on Peter’s suggested beauty regimen . . . especially that “gentle and quiet spirit” thing . . . but . . . in the meantime . . .
. . . I just have a few returning strays that are screaming to be plucked before I put on my make-up and go to the grocery store.