mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF youth and crone

Meditation on Vanity

Amid all my meditation and spiritual inquiry, I'm still vain. As I peer into the mirror at my 58-year-old face, I swear that I'm growing fine little hairs that were never there before, above and below my lips. I look with envy at the smooth, shiny skin of younger women.

On Sunday I got the bright idea to wax those little hairs away. I bought some Sally Hansen strips — "Just Press On & Pull Off!"

So, having had enough of Buddhist selflessness and compassion, I prepared for my beauty treatment.

I rubbed the strip against my right upper lip and r-r-r-rip! Ow-ow-OW! Hating assymmetry I immediately did the left side. Ow-ow-ow-OW-OW!!!

No more hairs. Just a bright pink waxy mustache, like a 3-year-old after slobbering cherry Koolaid. I ripped off the hairs. I also ripped off my epidermis. The area was swelling up. Oh. My. God. Had I just self-induced the kind of sunburn that results in a massive fever blister attack???

I gulped down a couple ibuprofen and ran downstairs to get an ice. I slipped past Jim with my head turned away. Men love us to be beautiful, but don't have sympathy for the process. And even less sympathy for self-injury as beauty treatment.

It took hours for the swelling an redness to subsize. Even Monday morning I felt like my smile muscles had been botoxed. Even now I feel sunburned. But, luckily, no herpes outbreak... so far.

I was going to use the wax to neaten up my eyebrows, but I think I'll dust off my tweezers instead.