As I was putting on make up recently, I noticed something new and different about my face. “Holy Shit!” I thought, “I’ve got nose hairs sticking out!” I desperately started scrabbling through drawers looking for a solution. An electric shaver. Too big. A pair of shears. Not unless I wanted a nose job, too. I shifted to my husband’s side of the bathroom. He is a pretty hairy guy. He has been an expert in hair management for years. Ah ha! A tiny trimmer meant for unwanted nose hairs and wild eyebrows. I eagerly flipped the switch. Nothing. The batteries were dead. In my mind the coming work day stretched out in front of me. People would meander into my office on some business related errand, take one look at me and become fatally transfixed by the hairs sticking out of my nose. They would desperately want to look away but would be unable to do so. Jolted out of their reverie by the din of the copier, they would address me as “Chewbacca.”
“Hey, Honey!” I accosted my husband as he wandered innocently into the bathroom. “Can you see these?” I tilted my head back.
“The hairs poking out of my nose.”
“No, maybe if I had a scanning electron microscope. But there is a gnarly black hair growing out of the mole on your upper lip.”
I slapped my hand to my mouth. I turned to look in the mirror. Then slowly, fearfully, I pulled my hand away. How could I have missed the black stalk growing out of my face? I half expected to see Jack climbing it.
I suddenly noticed a plethora of tiny black hairs scattered across my upper lip. “Oh my God! It has reproduced!”
Then it hit me. The nose hairs, the prepubescent mustache, the crazy three inch eyebrow hairs. It was all menopause. I thought menopause was about not getting my period Whoopee! and hot flashes Boo!, but it is really all about hair management. The struggle is about trying to keep up a youthful appearance when your body and gravity are working hard at turning you into Santa Claus with boobs. Was I going to cave to a cultural obsession with youth? I looked in the mirror at my nose hairs and mustache and thought “Hell, yes!” as I went off in search of the tweezers and a battery.