Vanity Be Thy Name

I do not have eyebrows.  Oh sure, there are a couple of scraggly hairs that grow in a weird configuration that nowhere near resemble an eyebrow, but that is it.  And I pluck those.  Instead, I carefully draw my eyebrows on every day, just so I can fit in with the rest of the human race.

I have no intention of bringing an eyebrow pencil on my thru-hike just so I can draw my eyebrows on every day.  I figured I could deal with other hikers who, upon meeting me, would probably ask if I was in a fire or something, or they would quickly avert their eyes, but not before I would catch their look of horror.

I don’t think I am the only person alive without eyebrows and those of you who are missing your eyebrows probably can commiserate.  It is kind of an embarrassing condition, one that I am a bit self-conscious about.

So, imagine my delight when the local tattoo artist hung a sign up at his shop (Dyed Hyde – you’d think I would clue in at this point) saying “$50 off permanent makeup.”  Perfect!  I will have my eyebrows tattooed on and that will solve my problem.

“Flash,” my tattoo artist, told me he had over 20 years of experience and had been doing permanent makeup before it had ever become popular.   Sounded reasonable to me.  So I hopped in the reclining chair, with visions of “Cyndy Crawford” perfect eyebrows, framing my eyes, never to be penciled in again.

If you have never had a tattoo – don’t get one.  They effing hurt.  If you want to know what it feels like, just pick a really sensitive skin area such as, oh let’s see…how about the area where your eyebrows should be, and start jabbing yourself over and over again with a pin.

Halfway through, Flash handed me a mirror to check out his progress.  Oh.  My.  God.   Instead of seeing two beautifully arched brown eyebrows I saw two thin, angry red slashes above my eyes.  I was horrified.  “Um…Flash…are they supposed to be bright red?”  Flash responded confidently, “They look red, but they are actually light brown and you will see the real color once they heal.”  The other rather obvious issue was they did not match and they were crooked.  Permanent.  On my face.

I started to hyperventilate.

I told myself that Flash knows what he is doing and I need to just relax.  Taking deep breaths, I calmly said, “Flash, one eyebrow is shaped quite differently than the other plus they both need some beefing up.”  He had me hold the mirror and watch while he tried to even them up and fill them out more.

An hour later, I left the tattoo parlor with my new eyebrows, still slightly uneven and a bright shade of red.  I squashed my hat down over my eyebrows to try and hide them and headed home.  Flash said they just need to heal up and when they do, the “real” color will come out.

After a week of being in hiding, the scabs fell off (gross, I know).  I now have two bright pink/coral eyebrows.  Slightly crooked, of course.  Just FYI, there will be no photographical evidence of this.  Call me a fool, but I will be paying Flash a visit in a few weeks to re-do this nightmare on my face.

This morning, I carefully penciled in my eyebrows over the tattooed ones.

So that is how my thru-hike prep is going, in case ya’ll were wondering.

One more thing – I will not be hiking the Appalachian Trail – I will now be hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  Yeah, I know, big news, but the eyebrow trauma took precedence over this announcement.

Penciled-in eyebrows do not seem like a bad idea anymore.

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