Valentine's Day. That wretched Hallmark non-holiday that seems designed to make single people reflect upon their uniquely underappreciated status in society.
Last year, I was happily ensconced in the safe cocoon of relationship-ville. It made the day come with a warm-and-fuzzy feeling, mostly because I was living deep within the delusion that all would be well with the funny man who I'd chosen for his trustworthiness and kindness, rather than my usual trick—choosing someone because they have the adventurousness of Indiana Jones or the rugged good looks of Viggo Mortenson.
But you don't have to look like a movie star to be cruel. Damage helps too. By June, I had been informed of my "blip" status. My future-February 14th dignity was suddenly in question.
I was determined not to wallow in self-pity for Valentine's Day. I'd stay busy. I had a lot to do, as I'm leaving for Kuwait on Wednesday night and have to teach both Tuesday and Wednesday nights this week. I'm actually leaving straight from class to the airport on Wednesday for the midnight flight to London. Frontline and the BBC will both interview me in Kuwait. And on the way back through Europe, I'll stop in Barcelona. I have some shopping to catch up on.
I won't have to show my legs in Kuwait, but I might have to in Spain, so on Valentine's Day, I went for leg waxing. Last time I did this, before Colombia, the waxing woman got carried away. This one understood my limits, thank goodness. I then went to the office for a bit before stopping for a manicure and pedicure at Soho Nails.
"Special, free brow wax with mani/pedi," whispered the nail woman gently. "You want brow wax?"
I felt my eyebrows. Not much in the way of stray hairs. But free is free.
A hour later, I was staring aghast in the mirror.
I now have crescent-shaped red welts on my eyelids. Maybe from the heat. Maybe from the wax. Maybe from the cream she put on my eyelids after the waxing. She got the stray hairs, but she left skid marks behind.
Horrified, I hoped they'd be gone by the morning.
Nope. Still there.
I hope these marks fade quickly. I don't really want to go on Frontline wearing eyeshadow.