It wasn’t as if I woke up one morning and my eyebrows were gone. No, they’ve been leaving for a long time. But just like the years that came and went and you wonder where, my eyebrows went and I don’t know where.
My sense of balance and beauty tell me that eyebrows are an important, integral part of one’s countenance. You can’t show surprise when there are no eyebrows left to lift. You can’t express anger without furrowing them on your forehead. You can’t espy suspicion without raising a brow. How in the world would I show emotion?
The real mystery was how to complete my face in the absence of eyebrows. Not only was emotional expression missing, something north of my nose went AWOL. For sure the eyes have it, but they are like two dots in the desert: alone, pale, unbordered by the bow of the brow bone.
So, out came every eyebrow pencil I had in the house. I shall draw them in myself, I said to myself. Even if I could find a color compatible with the hue the hairs on my brow used to be, a penciled-in eyebrow is a drawing, not hairs. Arched forehead sketches, however, would have to do.
This simple solution presented several problems. I would find bare areas in my brow drawing where I swiped sweat from my forehead, whisked hairs out of my eyes, or shaded the sun while ogling the guys. Often, I drew my brows without mirror-image symmetry, or worse, neglected to draw the other one on altogether. A serious issue arose when the colored “lead” fell out of the eyebrow pencil, when nary a pencil sharpener could be found in my house.
I called for a more permanent solution when such measures failed daily. A friend had her eyebrows applied as tattoos, which looked marvelous on her. But for me, the few fuzzy hairs where my eyebrows once were succumb to gravity and seem to get lower every year. If I applied permanent eyebrow tattoos today, they would migrate south to appear IN my eyes in a decade. Besides, I understand that tattoos turn blue in time. Interesting, but not for me.
I subjected my enigmatic eyebrows to experiments that would deliver defined eyebrows for more than a day but less than forever. Professional waxing removed the excuses I called what was left of my natural brows to provide a clean canvas — as it were — for temporary eyebrow tattoos. These are a lot like the stick-on designs that kids use as body decorations for fun. Or the Post-it notes that beg discarding when what they reminded you to do is done.
My stick-on designs are the arches of eyebrows and dead-serious reminders that I have none of my own. I put them where I want on my forehead, way above the ancient recollection of where my eyebrows used to be.
My temporary eyebrow tattoos last at least three days, to benefit me by eliminating the daily chore. They won’t rub off with water, while swimming, or in the shower. And, a lopsided eyebrow applied before breakfast or after a jittery jumbo java comes off easily with mineral oil.
Goodbye enigma. Welcome back, eyebrows.