I finally did it. Yes, I. I did it. I thought it was time to face the music, and finally go and actually do what all the other girls were raving about. I faced my fears, and embraced what is probably the most important, most poignant and most defining moment of a teenage girl’s life.
I got my eyebrows done.
Initially, I had been dead set against anything of the sort. I hadn’t-and still didn’t-wanted to subject myself to what was undoubtedly one of the most painful experiences of my life, rivalled only by waxing my legs and arms-and don’t even get me started on waxing. But the thing is, ever since I hit the ripe age of fifteen, I’ve found leaving the house without at least twenty full minutes in front of the mirror to be a near Herculean feat. Add to that the fact that a big fat Indian wedding was about to take place in the family, and after an hour-long coaching session from the rational part of my brain-however small that may or may not be, I decided to do it. If my Mom could do it, so could I. She seemed to have no trouble with it, so obviously it would be a piece of cake, right?
Wrong. Absolutely, hopelessly, irrevocably wrong. The “rational part” of my brain cowered in fear in a cobweb-filled corner of my already dark consciousness as all the other parts of my brain joined forces, gluing themselves together to form a gigantic, raging monster which bared its teeth at the despicable culprit. The internal warfare, however, left me with no defence or distraction whatsoever as I tried to make myself invisible by sheer force of will. The lady who was supposed to take care of me, who had been nothing less than friendly and inviting since the moment I appeared inside the parlour, appeared to have suddenly transformed into a combination of Taylor Lautner in his werewolf form and Annabelle from The Conjuring. I was downright terrified, and let me tell you, I laugh during horror movies.
My Mom was right there beside me, and I could see the corner of her lips turning up into a smirk. I tried to convey through my eyes how much I wanted to whip out one of my signature glares at the moment, and exactly how unimpressed I was with the situation.
Mom, stop laughing at my pain. I might faint from shock. I said, moving my soon to be tortured eyebrows for emphasis, while the lady searched for something on the dressing table.
“Lie back,” she instructed, and I scowled back at Mom as I did as I was told.
The entire situation is so comical that I am two seconds away from doubling over in laughter. Mom seemed to reply, and just as I was about to drop my jaw indignantly, the lady turned around with a string stretched taut between the fingers of her right hand, and laid a calloused hand on my forehead.
Breathe, I reminded myself, closing my eyes and waiting for my fate, hoping this whole thing would just be finished already. I had just successfully coaxed myself into a state of semi-nirvana when the lady rudely interrupted my meditation.
“Are you nervous?” she questioned, and I’m sure my eye twitched.
“No, no. I’m fine”, I replied through gritted teeth, closing my eyes again. If I was lucky, I would be able to suspend myself in some sort of limbo for the entirety of the ordeal.
Luck had never particularly cared for me.
As the first sharp jolt of pain made itself known, I was tempted to bolt. That sounded infinitely more pleasing than staying in that chair undergoing torture. But I braced myself and sat tight instead. This would all be over in a couple of minutes, and I would be out of the parlour with shapely eyebrows, happy and carefree, right?
Wrong again. The lady made it a point to make tears come to my eyes, and try to make small talk with me while she slowly ripped my skin off of my skull. She would make a good serial killer, I’m sure.
After what seemed to be ages of agony, I breathed a sigh of relief, which quickly turned into a mental strangled choking noise, as the lady made my Mom pull my eyelid, stretching it as far as it would go, and placed the ruthless thread to the only protection my eyes had.
In my mind, when the thread pulled, several events occurred in quick succession. I screamed shrilly enough to open a portal to 3050 A.D. The birds sitting on the Great Wall of China migrated to Antarctica. Every single glass window in the Museum of National History shattered. Mona Lisa grinned toothily. My vocal cords self-destructed.
In reality, my body gave one quick jerk, and then fell back onto the chair. While I sorted out the chaos in my head and tried to think of happy thoughts, the lady felt the need to ask me, “Did that hurt?”
Did that hurt? Excuse me, did you seriously just ask me if that hurt? You rip hair off of one of the most sensitive places in the human body, and you have the nerve to ask me if it hurt, while I attempt to refrain from sprinting out of your grasp and into the algae-ridden pond outside? Seriously?
“Just a little bit,” I said with a sheepish smile, and the lady chuckled before returning to the task at hand.
While the evil lady continued to make me suffer, I resorted to humming Happy in my mind. The song soon ended, and I made my way through my mental playlist. When the lady asked me to assist in restraining my eyelid, I went back into depression mode and started mentally belting If I Die Young.
Ten minutes later, I said to my mother, “I am never, ever doing that again,” when I was safely out of the clutches of the hell-fire I had just been in.
My Mom just grinned, and sure enough, two weeks later, I had Tears in Heaven playing on loop as I, surely a masochist, ran in slow motion to embrace my young, cold grave.