What Price Vanity? | HumorOutcasts

What Price Vanity?

January 4, 2017


Such Vanity


I recently decided that I was due for an eyebrow plucking.  I haven’t quite decided why this is important for women to do and not for men.  Was it vanity lurking or simply good hygiene?

Whatever the case, I decided that I was overdue.  In my youth, I would grab a tweezer, lean over the bathroom sink, peer into the mirror, and pluck out a few stray hairs. Mission accomplished.

When I turned forty, I discovered that I needed glasses to see in order to get the job done.  So I plunked down the cash for a new pair and was then able to set forth on my monthly mission to rid myself of the offending hairs.

Last month, even with my glasses, I just couldn’t see to accomplish the task at hand, so I grabbed the car keys and headed for the nearest salon to pay for both the plucking and the tip (don’t forget the cost of gas to get there).

This month, I tried to be frugal.  I went out and bought a hand mirror that has a ten-time magnification.  I was so proud of myself as I plucked away to rid myself of those pesky strays.  But then I noticed two things I hadn’t noticed before:

1) I was plucking lots of gray hairs.  They were in the right places, but they were gray, so of course, they had to be plucked.


2) I had lots of crepey, droopy, wrinkly, skin that encircled my eyes.

After several minutes of serious plucking, I found that I’d plucked so many grays that I now had to go out and buy an eyebrow pencil to draw back in the now missing hairs: more gas, more beauty supplies.

But that’s not all.  Now I also need an eye lift to get rid of the crepey, droopy, wrinkles I hadn’t known were there before.  My wallet is empty.  Ladies, heed my advice.  If you ever want to have enough money to retire on, for heaven’s sake, don’t pluck your eyebrows!

Leslie Handler

Leslie is an internationally syndicated columnist for Senior Wire and a 2015 Society of Newspaper Columnists award winner. She is a frequent contributor to WHYY's Newsworks, has written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, ZestNow, and Boomercafe, as well as blogs for The Huffington Post. She has a Bachelor of Journalism degree and currently lives smack dab between Philadelphia and New York City with husband Marty, dogs Maggie, Hazel, and Ginger, a collection of fish, said husband's cockatoo who she's been trying to roast for dinner for the last 31 years, and a few occasional uninvited guests. You may follow her blog and read published essays at: LeslieGoesBoom.com. Her first book, a collection of essays, publishes by HO/Shorehouse Press Spring, 2018.

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6 Responses to What Price Vanity?

  1. Pam Sievers
    January 5, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    I had my eyebrows waxed once. Lesson learned? Check out the eyebrows of the person who’s going after yours with hot wax! Never again. I’m living with mine, though they’re disappearing as I get older. I can so relate to this.

  2. January 5, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    My manicurist tried hard to get me to let her pluck my eyebrows, but I wouldn’t take the bait and she eventually gave up.

    Those manicures that I get every three weeks are expensive enough.

  3. January 5, 2017 at 7:50 am

    I’m losing my eyebrow hairs, but now have rogue mustache and chin hairs, so would be lost without my magnifying mirror. My solution is to use one that’s as small as possible so I can focus on just a tiny part of my face at a time (and not be overwhelmed by the eye wrinkles that look like craters under magnification).

  4. January 4, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    I have gone to eyebrow threading. yes, it’s smarts but if I had to do this task with one blind eye, I would be a bigger mess than I am. LOL

  5. January 4, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    I love reading your articles because…I CAN SO RELATE!!!! I once heard a beauty expert say, “avoid any kind of magnifying mirror as you age”. I get it… I so get it!!

  6. January 4, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    I recently read a blog where two sisters were mad at their third sister because she wouldn’t let them pluck her chin hairs in the hospital. They wanted her to look good while she was recuperating. She may have been in the hospital to get some peace and quiet….sounds like it to me! I guess middle-aged grooming is expensive!

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