When I got up and looked in the mirror this morning, it was as I had feared. Between my nose and top lip, I have a big red angry graze. And as strange as it may sound, I felt I would rather tell someone I got stubble rash in a random encounter with a stranger, than admit to why it is that I have a graze above my top lip.
My brother mistakenly thought it was eczema. I was Skyping him, so that was easy to pull off! But I’m not sure that I’ll be able to pull it off with everyone else. School run won’t be a problem. I’ll just stay in the car and wave through the window, and they’ll send the kids out.
You’d have thought that my face had taken enough battering this year, what with my smashing my head on concrete and giving myself two black eyes.. but oh, no…
Gay friend Julian has been on the phone in tears of laughter – and has promised to come over later to have a closer inspection, before having another good laugh at me.
Even he admitted that despite looking like his head has been boot polished, he too would rather admit to stubble rash from a random sexual encounter, than what I did to myself!!!!
Finally, at lunch time, I met Running Man in the park. Unlike Julian, RM was a bit more polite. He did that very ‘British’ thing that I do too. He pretended not to have noticed.
Why do we Brits to it? Why do we like to ignore the elephant in the room? And why do I have some weird need to explain myself?
I decided that there was no way that I could go running for an hour and not mention the bloody great red marks on my face! So I hit it head on.
“Have you seen the mess I’ve made of my face?” I enquired.
“Well, I didn’t want to say anything.” He replied. “But, yes! What the hell did you do?”
And so I confessed. In vain hope I begged him to promise not to tell everyone I know… but frankly, I’m not that hopeful…!
“Tell them it was a random sexual encounter, tell them ANYTHING – but DON’T TELL THEM that I had a bit of bother trying to wax the fuzz on my top lip!”
“Moustaches are very ‘in’ this season!” he quipped. “Have you thought of wearing a novelty moustache to hide it?”
Ha bloody ha!
My attempts to try and maintain my appearance went horribly wrong, when I used the wrong waxing strips on my top lip. The wax was thick and gooey, and just bloody stuck to me. In my desperate attempts to get it off, I managed to remove a few layers of skin, leaving myself bleeding, sore and down right embarrassed.
But why do I feel so embarrassed? Why should something like waxing your top lip – a thing that women the world over do on a regular basis – be something I’m so desperate to hide? And am I alone? I really doubt it.
It’s all about mystique isn’t it? Wanting to create a perfect image of ourselves, where we don’t have hairy legs or a bit of fuzz on the top lip.
It’s a symptom of our society. Wanting to kid everyone that our lives are perfect.
But our lives never are. And they would be so much happier and easier if we could just relax and ‘let it go’ a bit.
Strangely, confessing to Julian and Running Man was the worst and best thing I could do. It had a very cathartic effect. Maybe it was just the endorphins released when laughing our heads off – or maybe by ‘letting it go’ a bit and admitting that I’m human, just like everyone else, I felt released from the pressures and constraints of ‘womanhood’.