Writing from the Heart: Mirror, mirror

Do we accept what is or change it?


I never understood women who said to their daughters, “When I’m on my deathbed, pluck my chin hairs or I’ll kill myself.” Why at that point would they care? Why at any point would they care?

About 30 years ago (that would have made me about 50), sitting in the sun in the sacred circle (which is what I sometimes call the writing workshop), one of the participants came up to me after class.

She seemed hesitant but determined as she whispered, “I’m an aesthetician, and the whole week, it’s been killing me.” I thought an aesthetician was the doctor who administered the anesthetic before your surgery. But she continued, “You have to remove your facial hair above your lip. I’ll bring my stuff and do it for you tomorrow.” OK, she’s not a doctor, but what facial hair? I remember thinking. Then again, who was I to refuse a gift of what sounded like a possibility of pampering?  

And thus began my relationship to hair salons and my magnificent (if I were a guy) mustache. 

I learned that I never needed an appointment, that I could just walk into just about any beauty shop and for 10 bucks and less than 10 minutes, leave looking like the lady and not the tramp.

I’m not sure when I stopped caring. Maybe like the rest of the population, COVID was the catalyst. Or maybe it was that weird doctor who, after she took more blood than Dracula could have ingested in his lifetime, said, “You have no estrogen and you have no testosterone.” I remember thinking, Well, what am I running on then, fumes?

But in the past few years when I deigned to look in the mirror, all I saw was an old woman’s very dark and very masculine stache. So, thought I, there must be some residual testosterone she hadn’t measured. And I just accepted the new look. I didn’t say I liked it. I said I accepted it. 

Until last week, that is. When my friend Lorie gave me one of those magnifying mirrors. OMG! What a revelation! And a truth hit me. At about the same time that unwanted facial hair begins to become really unseemly, the eyes also begin to fail. So I just hadn’t really seen any detail on my face. And acceptance is what I spiritually have been working on anyway. And look how spiritually evolved I became. 

The mirror was the great reveal. Now I wonder how long had I been walking around with a stache Salvador Dalí would have envied (without the wax). No matter. She also bought me a Lady Schick, and my face is as smooth as a baby’s tuches, as my people say. 

So if you see me in aisle five at Cronig’s, focus on my upper lip, and I won’t feel badly if you stare, and then ask where I got my magnifying mirror. I will probably answer, Ask your closest friend who only wants the best for you. And then decide if acceptance or still trying to look good is a priority.

As for chin hairs, I have no daughter, and I can’t see anything under my chin … except the other chin.


  1. OMG…..this is hysterical ….I say, laughing nervously. You mean other women have chin hairs?? (Asking for a friend.)

Comments are closed.