One of the side effects of an old medication led to my face becoming furry like a baby rodent. It was kind of awful. It was too big of a task for plucking and I was worried about my skin if my whole face was waxed. I'd heard of threading: a less painful South East Asian import. It was supposedly better for your skin and many women used it on their entire face.
Threading salons were all over New York. So one day after a meeting, I happened upon one. The price was right. It looked clean and tidy, so I decided to go. There were a few girls there getting their brows done. As the Indian girl with incredible hair and brows rolled her thread up and down her client's face, it seemed almost hypnotic. The client's eyes were closed and they both appeared to be in a zen-like state of hairlessness. I was excited. I lay my head back, ready for this amazing, transcendent excavation of face fur. A young woman with thick, black hair began to wind a white thread, twisting it between her fingers a half dozen times. She approached my face and began to roll the miniature rope across my cheeck. I screamed. Loud. Back and forth the little threads went, ripping my baby hairs out, 10 or 12 at a time.
I've had my freaking chest cut open twice but this was certainly some of the most pain I have ever been subjected to. And I was doing it voluntarily.
I felt entirely deceived. Those girls who made it look so effortless -- dare I say -- meditative. How dare they!? It was a violation of a common bond of sisterhood. They should have warned me. They owed it to me. This must be against the law, I thought. Outlawed by some international convention or treaties having to do with cruel and unusual punishment. I think I asked if it was.
The next thirty minutes seemed like hours -- days, ever. I screamed, squirmed and yelped in pain. The other women who worked in the salon gathered around. I think they found my cries for help rather entertaining. Clients would come in and out, giggling and giving me sympathetic glances. What can I say? I've never been particularly good at keeping my feelings in. When I was finally done, my face looked like I had had a chemical peel or something. -- I was pretty sure the top few layers of skin had been removed. But my cheeks were smooth as a naked baby's bottom.
I'm going back to New York for Rosh Hashanna and while I no longer need the full face, I might just get threaded tomorrow. If you need it, it is true: it does work very well. It is supposedly better for your skin. It hurts like the Devil. And it makes me wonder, what goshawful painful routines do men engage in to stay beautiful? On that note, have a beautiful, hairless new year this Rosh Hashana.