Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The first time I waxed my eyebrows was in preparation for the eighth grade Spring Dance at Ahwahnee Middle School. I agreed to this almost without knowing it. I remember it came as a school dance-prep package deal. The beautician who lived across the street from us was going to give me a new haircut, style it for me into a fierce up-do, then give me a full makeup job, oh, and she’ll wax my eyebrows, all for a very reasonable price. My excitement for the first three numbed my ears to the fourth I guess, because I don’t remember even blinking before I said “Like, totally! Yes!” or something to that effect. (Did I mention this was 1987?)

Here’s the thing. I don’t need my eyebrows waxed. Didn’t then, don’t now. I’m part Norwegian. To put it differently, I don’t grow much hair. I shave my legs maybe three times a year, and it’s always in the summer, and it always comes in blond. Those women blessed with an abundance of hair shouldn’t be too envious of me; it doesn’t grow much on top of my head either. When I’m sixty, I’ll be teasing out the three strands remaining, clinging to my scalp for dear life, as they’re spread out like a rice paper fan over my whole head and shellacked with Aqua Net. You who need the depilatory kits and loathe every moment of it now, just remember me with the three strands then and be content. Anyway, why we felt the need to wax the brows of a one-day balding eighth grader feels more like a “we can, so we will” thing rather than a “we will, and we must” kind of thing. Shoulda said no to that last one I think.

Today I was looking at my eyebrows in the mirror of the office bathroom. I believe it was almost three years ago I plucked a few strays. They’ve only partially grown back in.
And that’s when it hit me. My eyebrows succinctly illustrate my growing concern over the economic stimulus package and President Obama’s overarching economic redevelopment plan.

First, let me state plainly that I am an Obama supporter. I was thrilled when he was voted into office, and I’m genuinely excited to see what happens next in his tenure as CIC. I love his speeches, I am inspired by his history and I admire his values. But what if his speeches are the haircut, his history the up-do, his values the bangin’ makeup job, and his performance as President of the United States is the wax job? I was lulled into loving the fourth unwittingly by loving the first three. But am I being smart about this? Am I looking at each item objectively? Can I honestly say that I’m reading the economic stimulus bill with an eye of fair scrutiny? No. No I can’t. Because the haircut is soooo cute, and I looove the blue eyeliner, freak.

Is there anything in this plan that is a “we can, so we will,” only if we do, are we just going to get back some partially grown hairs in three years? Is there anything in this plan that would indicate a Scandinavian blood strain? Because this could be very critical to its global success.

I don’t think there’s any way for me to know for sure unless – you know – I’d studied economics or something. Bi-partisan leadership is what I was counting on, what I voted for. As more legislation rolls forward, I’m hoping to see it play out. I’m skeptical. Optimism and positive thinking can be incredibly powerful. But what if the follicles are dead? (Sorry, I mixed that metaphor pretty badly just there.) In other words, what if we don’t listen, and they don’t budge, and we’re stalemate at every turn?

I went to the dance. No one paid any attention to me. I bet they didn’t even see my perfectly shaped brows. Even when I asked a boy to dance, he refused me. I cried in the back of the Voyager all the way home. This paragraph isn’t part of the analogy. Just want you to feel sorry for me a little bit.