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The Great Rip Off

May 15, 2013

Contrary to what the title might lead you to believe, this is not a political post.  If you are looking for one of my political posts, click here.  Something more along the religious lines? This one might suit you.  Livin life on the edge and like your politics and religion mixed together? Go here if you dare.

However, this isn’t a story about politics or religion.

This is a story about regrets.

We’ve all done it.

We’ve all had that one time (or many times for some of us) in our lives when we did something stupid  moronic idiotic without thinking…and the moment we did it —The. Very. Moment.—  we regretted it instantly. But unfortunately,  since life doesn’t have a rewind button, most of us are forced to live with the consequences of our life choices, no matter how disastrious they are. 

For me, that one time, was New Year’s Eve about 13 years ago. I had a 6 week old infant and for the first time since his birth, we were getting dressed and finally getting out of the house.

Or so we thought.

Like any mom of a 6 week old, I definitely needed some makeover maintenance. And I got it. The mani-pedi-hair fixins… all of it…and it wasn’t cheap. So, when the lady at the mani-pedi place asked if I wanted her to do my eyebrows, I was thinking “yep, I definitely need that,” and before I could answer, she said “it’s only $7.00”.

ONLY $7.00???!!   I looked at her like a monkey just flew out of her behind.

Ok, first of all, let me explain my amazement at the price..

My mother was a hair stylist when I was growing up and I was her guinea pig.  This meant that I never had to pay for perms, straighteners, highlights, etc. (Well, I PAID for them, trust me, but that’s for another blog post.)  She also did eyebrow waxing and I never had to pay for that either. I never even knew what she charged.  To me, eyebrow waxings = free. 

So, there at the nail salon, I immediately went from eyebrow waxings for free my whole life to eyebrow waxings for $7.00. It was an outrage. Highway robbery is what it was. And being the frugal girl that I am, there was no way I was paying $7.00 for an eyebrow waxing that I could easily do for myself.

Of course I could do it. I watched my mama do it all those years. Ok, maybe I didn’t pay as much attention to the process as I should have, but how hard could it be?

“I’ll just swing by the drug store and pick up some eyebrow wax” I told myself. Then I politely declined the little Asian lady’s offer to wax my brows, while mentally high-fiving myself because I just avoided a major scam/rip off.

So….I promptly drove to the drug store and purchased the $8.99 eyebrow wax kit (to avoid spending $7.00 to have some know it all professional do it) and there were like 16 strips, so that‘s 8 waxings. Boom. $7.00 rip off avoided TIMES 8! And the best part? This wasn’t even really wax! Ha! It was the little strips with the wax built in. No warmer to plug in and heat the wax, no accidentally dropping hot wax on your eyeball, no mess. Just rub the wax strips between your hands for 10 seconds, apply to brow region, and rip.

Easy peasy.

I was totally feeling sorry for the salon gals because obviously they were behind on eyebrow technology.

Fast forward to a couple of days later and it’s New Year’s Eve. Baby is sleeping, hubby in the shower, and mama getting all prettied up to go celebrate the New Year. First thing’s first. Do something about the monster eyebrows. So I get out my little box of miracle strips, opened the box, read the instructions, and did all the preliminaries (face prep, etc).

And here’s where I believe things started to go horribly wrong.

I skipped the stepped that said to test out the strip on a small, unseen patch on your arm or some other inconspicuous  place.  Had I done that, I might have noticed just how powerful and sticky these little strips were. I just simply shluffed it off because I knew I wasn’t allergic to eyebrow wax.

Then I stared at my eyebrows in the mirror and realized I had no idea exactly how to do this, even if I had watched mama do it a hundred dozen times…sort of….

Now, this next step is where I took a bad decision (not testing a sample area) and made it infinity times worse.

I decided the first thing I should do is “thin them out”. Which, in my defense, is totally a beauty/eye waxing term. I always heard my mama talk about eyebrows that needed “thinning out”.

I assumed it meant to make them less dense. All. Over. Ya know, instead of actually making them thinner. I know. I know. I can’t explain my brain process sometimes.

So I warmed the little strip between my hands and laughed a little evil laugh at all the people paying $7.00 for someone to do this for them.  Losers.

And then to begin the “thinning out” process, I applied the wax strip to my whole right eyebrow.  Yes, you read that right.


And still, I saw nothing wrong about this picture. I let it sit for the required 3.5 seconds and then…


Holy ever lovin’…..

What the WHAT?!

And that’s the moment when I immediately wished I could have a do over. I needed a rewind button and fast (or at least before hubby gets out of the shower). 

And at that point everything that happened in a 2.8 second time slot went in VEERRRYY SLLOOOWWW MOTION… No no no, go back, go back, I kept telling myself…wrong wrong wrong, Jill, YOU DID IT WRONG!

RIIIPP was right… but more like R.I.P. my precious eyebrow.

So after my eyes told my brain what I had just done, my first instinct was to do what any sensible and logic person would do.

I IMMEDIATELY slapped the strip (that was holding my eyebrow hostage) back to my forehead and tried to stick the sucker back on.

*spoiler alert* It didn’t work.

Apparently, I must have let out a little yelp, wimper, or possible an even louder “oh crap” during the process…. because it was while I had my hand to my forehead, willing my bushy brow back into its proper spot, that my hubby stuck his head out of the shower and said “What’s wrong?? You ok??”

“Yea, hun, I’m fine, this eyebrow wax just hurts a little.”

Lies.  All lies.

Why? Why would I lie at that moment? What possessed me to lie to my husband when I knew the truth would eventually come out? And by eventually, I mean the next time he looked at my face.

Denial. I was in denial. And I stayed in denial until I moved my hand and….yep. Eyebrow still gone. Well, not gone, just not where it had been for the last 24 years of my life. Instead it was stuck to some evil cheapo crap of a sticky wax strip.

So when hubby gets out of the shower I said (with hand covering my brow area), “I uh…have a little problem”…but he barely looked up and didn’t seem too concerned… so I continued…

“I kind of messed up my eyebrow when I was waxing it….”

…still not REAL concerned he said non-chalantly : “What do you mean? It can’t be THAT bad, let me see.”


No way was I letting him see my unibrow self. Uh uh. Forgettaahhaboutit.

Then everything kind of gets blurry looking back on it, but I’m pretty sure I started crying or at least I teared up A LOT… because he said something along the lines of … “Come on, nothing’s ever as bad as you think it is.”

Ok. He WAS my voice of reason. He was the calm to my hyper, drama queen self and could always talk me down off the ledge.

Maybe he had a point. Maybe it wasn’t THAT bad.

So I moved my hand.

And let me tell you. He totally abandoned his role as the “calm” one.

I don’t remember much about what happened next. I think it’s the Post Traumatic Stress thing, but I do recall the looks (yes, PLURAL, there were many looks) on his face as he processed what he was seeing.

It went from shock…. (obviously)

To the “oh I see what you’re doing, funny joke, hahaha, now put your eyebrow back on” look.

To the “Oh dear God in heaven, you aren’t joking…and just when I think you can’t shock me any more, you go and outdo yourself” look…

To pity.

To anger, which was obvious when he yelled screamed said “WHY did you do that?!”

Well, hun, I thought you’d never ask….then he got the whole I’m being frugal, saving money, blah blah blah line from me and then….

I think it was a look of understanding he was displaying because he said “well, how much does it cost to get your eyebrows done at a salon?”

“$7.00” I said.

Noooowwww…back to anger. “WHAT?!….. You did this just to save $7.00????…. Are you serious?? I thought you were gonna say like $200… Like you saved me $200.… but $7.00??   JILL! Listen to me carefully, next time, PAY THE SEVEN DOLLARS. We aren’t that bad off that we can’t afford to fork out $7.00 to avoid stuff like this!”

And then back to pity (prompted by my tears, and now hysterical sobbing)

And then uncontrollable laughter. Yes. He laughed at me. In my sorrow, he laughed.

And laughed. 

And then obviously felt bad for laughing because he then decided to offer up suggestions.

“Just go draw you an eyebrow back on.”

And I can’t even tell you the horrible things I wanted to do to him at that moment.

DRAW my eyebrow back on??

Do I look 97 years old??   Because, only really, really old people do that.

And Mexicans from what I hear. But I wasn’t really, really old and my extreme southern drawl was a dead give away that I wasn’t Mexican. So who would I be fooling? No one.

However, I then had an epiphany. I would just go to the salon (NOT the same one I went to a couple of days before, I still had pinch of self respect left) and they would fix it.

So immediately I called the only salon I could find still open and told the little Asian lady that answered the phone my problem. I ripped off my eyebrow and could she help fix it.  To which she gleefully replied: “Sure, I can fix eyebrow. When you can come? Now? I wait for you.”

And then the “hallelujah” chorus started playing in my head and the world was right again….until I got to the salon.  It was PACKED and so I put my hand over by brow and went in search for the eyebrow savior. She came out and said “ok, I fix you. Let me see.”   I glanced around and not wanting  to move my hand with all the witnesses,  I quietly asked if we could step in the back or something.

And that’s when my world came crashing down and all my hopes and dreams were shattered.

I showed her my eyebrow, or lack thereof, and she said “Oh, no… I can no fix THAT.”

…and then wimpering, I said “but….but….you told me on the phone you could fix my eyebrow….”

to which she proclaimed “Yes, I fix eyebrow. I do good job. But you….you have no eyebrow to fix.   I can fix other one though.”

Huh?  Was she kidding???, I didn’t need the other one FIXED! I needed a freakin eyebrow to match it!! …is what I was thinking… and I know she saw my despair because she said “Come. I do something.”

So, she prettied up my other eyebrow and made it sort of small, I guess to make the missing one not so obvious.  And then she grabbed an eyebrow pencil and said “Only thing I can do. Draw you one.”

“But….I’m not…” oh heck, I thought, who am kidding? It was my only and by only I mean ONLY choice. I would join the ranks of grannies and Mexicans everywhere.

So, she did and then I got her to show me how to do it and just in case the universe wasn’t being mean enough to me that day, she said “That will be $7.00.”

My inner frugal girl wanted to yell at her, ARE YOU KIDDING???!!… it should be like $3.50 because you only had to wax ONE, so I should at least get half price. Maybe $4.00 for the extra artwork, but that’s it.   Heck, she shouldn’t even have charged me at all because she had THE BEST story to share with her co-workers, customers and grand children for years to come talking about the “crazy white lady who thought she was gonna put us all out of business with her fancy, no mess wax strips…who’s laughing now, cracker??” (Ok, Asians don’t call us crackers, but since I don’t know what racial slur they use, I’m going with a familiar one)….    But, alas, I just paid the $7.00 and hung my head in shame (and so no one could see my missing brow as I exited)…pondering the irony of my attempt to avoid a huge rip off resulting in THE BIGGEST RIP OFF (literally, ripped that sucker right off) OF MY LIFE.

And here’s a little known fun fact: If you rip your whole eyebrow off, it will never be the same. EVER.  It grows back all weird and crackadilly like…  And the little Asian women in the future who do your eyebrows will gripe and gripe because they can’t get “that one” eyebrow to look right… but never confess your sins, because it’s kind of fun to watch them struggle with it and question their eyebrow sculpting abilities, blame themselves and then give you a 50% off coupon for your next visit.

Moral of the story:

There is no moral. ‘Cause seriously, I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in the world crazy enough to yank my whole eyebrow off…so the only person who needed to be warned by the lesson was me…and trust me, it worked. My other eyebrow has been and will be safe and secure for a long time, or at least until I’m 97.

And since I didn’t have the forethought to snap a picture of myself missing an eyebrow, I thought I’d post a picture of a bunch of other people missing theirs.



From → Life, Uncategorized

  1. Jacqueline Brown permalink

    I’m going to have to pay more attention to details…..never noticed your mismatched brows before. Too hilarious!

  2. I am sick from laughing and sore from rolling on floor~~~~~

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