Living life at large at 71…


My first eyebrow wax

From shaggy to tame in one swift pull on a piece of duct tape…instant facelift! (Except this is probably a picture of a guy instead of a 71-year-old female. You get the idea)

“How about an eyebrow wax today?”

“Say wha…?”

With my head immersed in the salon sink, those words offered casually by my stylist were a total shock after a relaxing scalp massage during my bi-monthly color and cut.

She must have been taken aback by the look of pure panic above my paper mask.

“Have you never had an eyebrow wax?”

“Never, ever, ever,” said the woman who avoided anything that might involve the slightest hint of pain, discomfort or surprise. Just ask the optometrist who tries to dilate my eyes, or the ENT who attempts to stick a tube up my nostrils. Forget about a COVID swab to the nether reaches of my brain. It didn’t happen. I stayed home during most of 2020 and wore my mask religiously, so as to avoid that nose-to-brain thingy.

“It will make you look younger. Really. It will take years off your face. I promise.”

Well, in that case, I was willing to give it a try. After all, at 71, why not live dangerously. I’ve had to give up my dreams of hang gliding off the cliffs of Oregon and jumping horses like I imagined while watching National Velvet as a girl. If getting rid of shaggy eyebrows is the only daring deed I have left in me, let’s do this thing.

Eyes shut, I feel something warm touch my brow as my potentially-soon-to-be-ex-stylist paints the wax on those intruding hairs that I’d never noticed (thanks to being nearsighted and all). I start babbling about being sure that I’d had my eyes gouged out in a former life and explain that’s why I end up nearly slouching out of the optometrist’s chair every time he even comes near me with eyedrops.

Soon I notice myself in the same semi-prone position, this time halfway out of the salon chair. Sudden… startling… hot… white… heat.

“Holy crap! You didn’t warn me!”

“If I had, you’d have been all tense, and it would have really hurt.”

“Okay. You did say it would feel like a band-aid being pulled off. I guess it wasn’t all that bad.”

I settle in for the rest of the ride, ready for whatever she has left to give me on the other side.

There was no such thing as a bikini was when I lived in Brazil in the 1970s.

Thank God I am way past the age of bikini waxes.

Last time I dared put on a bikini was 1973, on the beaches of Brazil, and I don’t think they even did waxes in that country back then. Although they later gifted the world the infamous thong (and I don’t mean the ones we were wearing on our feet back then).

And a final daring dental appliance fitting

For an encore daring deed, I went to the dentist today and had a new piece of hardware installed in my mouth.

The genesis of the five-point dental bridge: eighth grade at Grandview Junior High School. I had an abscessed molar. I could see the pus pocket on the exterior of my gum. I’ll bet my breath by that time could have knocked out anyone I happened to have a conversation with. Must have finally managed to talk to my mother because I landed in a dentist’s chair for the first time ever. He extracted the painful piece of flesh-covered enamel and I was certainly glad to see it buried in bloody gauze in a metal wastebasket.

Eventually that gaping hole got filled by a crown. That, only after getting married and being able to afford advanced dentistry. But pregnancy, a busy career and junk food does things to tooth enamel. The crown came off while eating taffy and a cavity caused the tooth next to it to become abscessed. Extraction number two. Hole widens. In comes spider partial number one to the rescue…a cute little plastic thing that clips into my mouth and fools me into thinking I don’t really have a hole there. After eight years, it wears down and out. Spider partial number two gets manufactured by the lab. At age 70, spider partial just isn’t chewing up my Longhorn Flo’s filets like it should. When my ship comes in in the form of the sale of some real estate, it’s time to put the final hardware in my skull.

Only an archaeologist will know. If I don’t open wide, you’ll never be able to see my new 5-point bridge.

As the dental anesthesia wears off this afternoon, imagine my relief in knowing that when archaeologists dig up my body (assuming I don’t opt for cremation) they will marvel at the dentistry of the 21st century.

I’m just so glad that I decided to live life on the edge after coming out of the pandemic of 2020.

I got my first eyebrow wax. I now have this wonderful new five-point bridge (five teeth in all). I can now easily chew a nice steak. It’s just too bad that I can no longer digest beef.