It all starts with, “You have a pimple.” The grooming process. I wake up. I may gently stroke Wifesy’s arm and her eyes open. Then she says, “You have a pimple.” And if I don’t spring out of bed immediately to get it, she gets it herself. Wifesy loves doing this. It’s a compulsion. If I don’t let her do it, she will slowly go banana crackers.
I’m fascinated by how romantic partners groom one another. To me, it’s the closest evidence that we truly are ape descendants. I may not walk on my knuckles (at least not regularly), but I will grab that stray eyelash off Wifesy’s face.
I will also remove the eye snot from my Frenchie. I do this ritualistically, every morning. I mean she doesn’t have fingers, so if I don’t remove it, the dog will sit there all day, drowning in a river of eye boogers. I can not deal with this. It fecks with my familial feng shui. So, we have a morning ritual, especially when she has full loaves of eye snot collecting on her doggie head. I get down to her level, I use a wet paper towel and I pull the eye snot away from her orbs. My frenchie is so used to this that she sits calmly at the ready every time. I’m even more gratified if I can get her eye snot out of the actual eye itself. If I can pull the end of an eye snot strand from the corner of her eye and then a mile’s worth of it comes out like a never ending scarf pulled out of a magician’s hat, well, when that happens I sometimes feel like I’ve scored a gold star for the whole feckin’ day. It’s fantastic.
I can’t even imagine the grooming you must get used to when you have kids. A female friend of mine with a little boy was telling me she hates sh*t and snot, but she’s practically rolled in it when it comes to her own kid. There’s not a crevice on that boy that she hasn’t worked a piece of poo or snot out of. Now, that’s love.
When it comes to my relationship, Wifesy is the bigger groomer. She picks at zits and blackheads and chin hairs. She loves it. And she will go after these blemishes on my otherwise serene canvass, relentlessly. I’ve read that in the gorilla kingdom, grooming is a sign of relationship satisfaction and relaxation. I’m not sure it relaxes me. When Wifesy goes after a zit, I brace myself for the agony. Thankfully, I’m not very zity or hairy. I have that Irish skin, which borders on hairless like a mole-rat. When Wifesy is hot after a zit, I bound out of bed and take care of it in the mirror myself because I’m always going to be more forgiving than she. Perhaps, that’s because I’m attached to my own nerve endings and Wifesy is only attached to accomplishing the procedure.
I groom Wifesy, but it’s more of a stray eyelashes kind of thing, which fall out as if she has alopecia of the eyelashes only. But, then she somehow spontaneously re-grows them because there they are again the next day – mocking me.
Chin hairs are the anti-christ of femininity. They really are. They are something one develops in their 30’s as a woman right along with self confidence. Again, I have very few (thank god), but I have them nonetheless. And when they grow in, mine feel more wispy like a walrus hair as opposed to what I picture a Frida Kahlo chin hair to be – brillo-ish and defiant. Mine are more limp and compliant. They are hard to spot, you need a bright, interrogation light, and rigid tweezers. Chin hairs make me want to throw myself off the roof of my ego. When I feel one, I rub it back and forth like an OCD patient plays with a light switch, manically and often, until I can get to a tweezers -toot suite- and remove the b*tch. Once I do, the release that washes over me is akin to having the air rush back into your lungs after a very heavy object is removed from your chest. Sometimes, I believe, removing my chin hairs is the sole activity that keeps me in the land of the civilized. The day I hesitate in removing them, is the day I should go off into the woods and live alone in that treehouse as I’ve always imagined. I picture myself doing it with a “feck you world” on my breath and a full goatee on my face. It’s the shame and the beauty myth that will finally drive me there. I am so obsessed with chin hair removal that I sometimes fantasize about hiring a very short man (someone who reaches my chin level) with very good eyesight to follow me around and solely pluck my chin hairs. A friend suggested I call the chin-hair-removal man, “Harold.” And I have to agree. Harold just feels right. Aside from my Harold fantasies, I’ve heard you can get a reiki masseuse who will put on rubber gloves and go up your nasal passages, somehow, to massage your sinuses. I have a lot of allergy / sinus issues and if I could have those little sacks massaged and squeezed (yes, I know what that sounds like…) I would do it in a heartbeat.
Grooming is both horrifying and awesome as an experience. And it is one that has to be done by the right people. For example, if I was ever groomed by my waiter, I’d immediately sign myself into some sort of mental institution after attempting to wrap myself in a cloak of invisibility. But, with your family, it feels different. It is nice to know, as you age, that someone gives a sh*t as to what you look like. It’s nice to know that someone will always say, “No, baby, you can’t leave the house just yet. You’re wearing your underwear outside of your pants and you have a zit on your nose the size of New Hampshire. Let me get that for you because I love you.”
There is comfort in that.
What about you? Do you pick the sh*t out of your clan? Tell me how…gross me out…I’m so ready for it. Pick, pick, pluck, pluck, yum, yum. Love, love.
Sweet Mother is updated daily. If you’d like to follow this lovely blog, you can do so by clicking the “follow” button up top.
You might also like: