The Urban Erma by Leighann Lord: Brow Beating

By on August 4, 2012

Coming In Hot, Fast & Mad

I went to get my eyebrows done the other day. I get them threaded now instead of waxed. I can’t really say that one is less painful than the other. I suspect years of waxing has probably just deadened the feeling in that part of my face.

I have a regular place that I go to but not a Regular Brow Lady. I’m not one of those women who walks in and just has to have Miss Mary. You’ve seen her: The desperate customer who pokes her head into the shop and says, “Is Miss Mary here?”


She looks around suspiciously as if she’s being lied to, like any of us would dare. Then the inquiring customer leaves in a disappointed huff. Miss Mary, of course, is hiding in the bathroom.

I guess I should be a bit mo’ picky about who’s working on my face but it’s just not that deep for me. I’m only getting my eye brows threaded. Other women look as though they’re having major reconstructive surgery done. They’re reclined next tables that hold a complicated assortment of gadgets that would intrigue the perpetrators of The Inquisition. These women are in the chair when I get there, and they will be in the chair when I leave.

I don’t have the patience for that. I just go to whoever’s available. It’s a small shop: three salon chairs, three ladies. I’m sure they’ve all worked on my eye brows at some point and they’ve all done a good job. And by good I mean no one has ever looked at me immediately post-threading and laughed, cried, or offered me the name of a good malpractice attorney.

There is one lady who has done my brows more often than the others because she’s there when I go during the off peak hours; one of the few perks of working at night. When I walked in she was the first person I saw. We smiled, said hello to each other, and I automatically walked over to her chair. That’s when the argument broke out.

Apparently My Lady already had a customer, a young lass sitting on a bar stool, eyes closed, holding a fan to her face helping the glue dry on her eyelash extensions. Oh, she was going to be there a while, so I didn’t feel too bad about sitting down. However, this meant that My Lady now had two customers while one of her co-workers had none. Technically, the next customer through the door, me, should have been hers.

They began arguing, but not in English. They are from India, or at least this is what I surmise from the unending stream of Bollywood movies playing whenever I walk in. Not once in a while, mind you, but every time. And each time it’s been a different movie. I’ve yet to see a repeat. But I don’t mind. I actually enjoy them and have seen enough to know that Denzel Washington and George Clooney don’t have anything on Hrithik Roshan. He is hella-sexy.

But I digress.

India has over 200 languages, the first official one being Hindi, but the language of mad is universal. Their posture, facial expressions, tone, and volume made words unnecessary. It was getting heated and it was getting heated quickly.

As I laid back in the chair time slowed down. I saw My Lady unspooling way more thread than she needed and it snapping multiple times from the tension in her angry fingers. The same fingers that were about to do delicate work on my face in worrisome proximity to my eyes. I had visions of her fingers coming in hot, fast and mad leaving my forehead bare, bleeding, and in need of a good malpractice attorney.

And now, suddenly, it was that deep.

As she leaned in I gently touched her arm and said, “Please don’t …” She stepped back before I could finish. The look in her eyes said the Hindi equivalent of, “All right, fuck it then!” I then took her hand, looked in her eyes, smiled and said, “No, please don’t be angry.”

And I don’t know if was my words, my manner, our physical connection or my real fear that she and that trembling thread could do real damage, but she understood. I could see and feel her calm down. She smiled back at me, touched my shoulder and said, “Okay.”

As she began to work, she was very gentle and focused. She took extra care and did a beautiful job. And now I have a Regular Brow Lady.

©  2012  Leighann Lord

A very funny lady on the stage and on the page, stand-up comedian Leighann Lord pens a weekly humor column with topics ranging from the personal to the political, from the silly to the sophisticated. Reminiscent of a modern day Erma Bombeck (famed nationally syndicated humor columnist), a fan dubbed Leighann, “The Urban Erma” and the name stuck. It’s a fun, fast read that leaves you laughing, or at least wondering why we don’t have a comprehensive mental health care plan. Follow Leighann on Twitter and be a fan on Facebook.

Leighann Lord

Leighann Lord

Humor Columnist
The Urban Erma is a weekly humor blog featuring the observations and ruminations of freethinking, globetrotting, African-American, female stand-up comedian, Leighann Lord. The name of the blog is a respectful nod to famed humor columnist, Erma Bombeck. Her stories about family life in the suburbs had Leighann laughing all through her childhood. Follow Leighann on Twitter and be a fan on Facebook.
Leighann Lord
Leighann Lord
Leighann Lord

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