“You have a hair!” he shrieked. From his tone of voice, one might have thought he’d seen a zombie from ‘Night of the Living Dead’ heading right for him. “You have a hair!” he repeated vehemently, as if I were hearing-aid dependent. “Growing out of your face. Right there!”
I was wounded by his obvious dislike of the hair so I paused before answering to give the moment a bit of drama. “Well thank you for informing me,” I uttered in a less-than-thankful tone
“I’ll pluck it.” He nodded in a manner suggesting that sooner would be preferable to later.
While digging through my make-up bag in search of the tweezers, I began to ponder the conversation of a moment ago. Why was I so put out when my husband drew attention to the coarse, black, ugly hair that had sprouted forth, full grown, from my face? At least it wasn’t gray and curly too. But it was quite long and had mysteriously sprouted sometime between breakfast and the cocktail hour. (How is such a thing possible?)
Deep down inside, I recognized that I should be grateful to the man for helping me avoid a potentially embarrassing social situation. After all, I could have left the house with the hair in tow for all-the-world to see. But Hell, couldn’t he find a kinder, gentler way to break the news that I was eligible to up-and-join the next carnival sideshow that rolled through town? Couldn’t he at least say something endearing like “Honey? You’ve got a cute little hair growing out of that beauty mark on your cheek. Maybe you haven’t noticed it; you are a bit far sighted…”. Guess not.
Let’s face it, that conversation would never take place here on planet earth where un-realistic expectations crash head-on with reality more often than I care to admit. Actually, conversations such as this had become the norm around our house, him shouting about things like the hair and the fact that I had stopped cooking for him altogether and me trying to find some peace among the searing bullets of his disappointment. What had happened to civility? Was it gone for ever? I wondered, as I searched my face for other unwanted foliage.
And why, I asked my mirror image, did the sighting of a UFH (Unwanted Facial Hair) have to inspire the same level of fear and loathing as the sighting of a dead rodent? Was the hair really that awful? Hadn’t he ever seen a mini-beard in the making and if not couldn’t he just, for once, have a little empathy? Control his visceral reaction to the hair that ate Manhattan?
It was at this moment that I realized that my husband had no intention of reigning himself in. He was going to continue on in his burgeoning career as an insensitive and insufferable bully, when it came to facial hairs or anything else he found distasteful about me. And I realized that I either had to accept this fact or make plans to move on. I started making plans. I was uncertain what I would do next or how I was going to reconcile the growing feelings of loneliness and abandonment within my marriage. The only thing I knew for sure was that the hair, in all its tangled beauty, had been my wake-up call.