wax on, wax off.

In an effort to tame my mad-professor eyebrows, I scheduled an appointment at the uber-posh Jeremy Todd Wellness Spa and Salon. Some prices are outrageous, but I figured it harkened on the real estate tenet: location, location, location. It’s tucked in the pocket corner of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, formerly The Four Seasons. In a very Gatsby way, the lobby smelled like money. A woman with bright coral gems boa-constrictored around her neck walked by me, saying in a weighed-southern twang to another woman in equally reptiilian jewlery, “Oh honey, you can use mah phone!” Wading through these ritzy folks, I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman sans the prostitution.

A blond woman named Nancy led me to a room with flickering votive candles and soft plucking music. The bed felt marshmallowy and comforting. Nancy swiveled a magnifying lens over my head and flipped on the lens’ bright white-blue light. In that dark, womblike room, I felt like one of those corpses on CSI. The wax was uncomfortable, but not torturous, like almost-boiled water. It was not the searing disabling pain I had expected.

When it was over, Nancy handed me a mirror. In that fierce white-blue light, my eyebrows looked perfect, even and gorgeous. But the rest of my face was horrible. My foundation seemed thick and caky, as if it came out of a mortician’s makeup line–something you would slather on a corpse. This is how they sell product so as to dupe you into believing that you can maintain their work: guilt-inducing lighting. I bought the pencil and brow set she used. When I paid at the front desk, the gal said, “Your eyebrows are perfect,” she smiled. I know she wanted to add, “…but the rest of your face looks like shit!” And with the same energy and enthusiasm, she would have continued, “Would you like to make an appointment for a shit-face-erasing facial?”

Once back into the more forgiving natural light, I drooled outside the windows of Luly Yang. A woman waited for me to take the photo, and I motioned for her to continue and explained that I was done. She said, “Oh no, go ahead! I’m actually supposed to be headed in the opposite direction, but these dresses are so gorgeous, I had to walk by!”

And after all this silk and glitter, I see this. A grown man in a jean skirt, strikingly familiar to the Utilikilt, attire which confuses me all the same

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