I like to say that I'm not vain. I am practical, in that I will chose a nap over a shower, and I often am startled to realize that even though I looked in the mirror at my clothes, I forgot to look at my hair until I was in the car. I was raised by lesbians - I can spurn fashion with the best of them.
However, not so deep down, I am vain. My children were startled to learn (through photographic evidence acquired in the baby book mentioned in a previous blog) that my hair isn't really the color it appears, and that they, in fact, have no memory of me with my natural hair color. I don't wear makeup most days, but I do care about how I look. (Note: I had a chalazion cyst last year that has made it impossible to wear eye makeup everyday, even if I wanted to due to sensitivity of my eyes. When you have a cyst type object an inch long on your eyelid for 10 months, you get really afraid of reoccurrence.)
My views on beauty have changed over the years. I may not be aging gracefully, but I'm not going into my forties kicking and screaming, either. The older I get, the more I recognize beauty in non-traditional forms. For example, I saw a man at the pool with huge, well-defined pecs and 6-pack abs, and my first thought was that he looked deformed. I saw a cheerleader TV show, and thought the teenagers looked imbalanced with big boobs and no tummy or hips to speak of. They seemed to defy the laws of nature, and I feared they might topple over. Perhaps because I no longer fit the beauty standard of a hard stomached, non-wrinkled 20-something year old, I no longer aspire to be one.
That being said, my vanity comes out in strange ways. I choose to obsess about random body parts that no one else notices. Lately it is my eyebrows. I have recently noticed that I have a bald spot in my right brow. Eyebrow alopecia. Normally, when the boys are taking a bath, I sit in the bathroom with them and clean the sink, paint my toenails, or pluck errant hairs to pass the time, or, lately, obsess about random uncooperating body parts.
This brings us back to the eyebrow. I have a vague memory of maybe waxing too much brow, but perhaps it's a pimple, an ingrown hair, too dry of skin, or old age that's too blame. My mother's eyebrows abandoned her almost entirely as she aged - perhaps it is heredity!
I actually feel anxiety in the pit of my stomach over this from time to time. I know it's silly. I know I'm not about to be discovered at the next middle-aged divorced Miss America or something. I know no one else probably will notice (except for a perfect eyebrow connoisseur).
I'm currently debating moisturizers, eye brow pencils, bangs and Jungian therapy. Advice is welcome.