old (2007), Uncategorized

feeding my addiction

411 won’t give out her number. Until January, you needed a referral to get through her door. Her salon is on Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park, but you’d have an easier time waltzing into Estelle’s Saturday at 3am than locating it. She’s so secret, I won’t even tell you her name. No, I want her all to myself.

I visited my eyebrow stylist’s website (the only way clients can make appointments) today. There’s always pressure to plan ahead with her. Don’t visit within eight weeks, and get relegated to junior stylists (who are probably just fine, but they are NOT HER). Wait much past four weeks and get Tsk-tsk’d for too-unkempt brows. Try to pluck a few hairs to stretch out the time between four and eight weeks, and she’ll know, and she’ll lay a guilt trip. Big time. Like my Catholic Nonna big time.

Planning out my eyebrows for the next quarter — visit before that wedding! — I notice she’s raised her prices again. My maintenance appointment ($35 a year ago; $40 last time I visited) is up to $47. And $47 a month for eyebrow maintenance is a lot for someone who can’t afford to get her stilettos re-heeled, someone who’s perpetually three weeks behind on the rent, someone who sometimes eats toast for dinner, someone whose CD collection appears to be sadly un-hip because of all the selling-of-used-CDs she’s had to do as of late.

But $47 is the price of my addiction to the woman I warmly and affectionately refer to as the Eyebrow Nazi. It is the price of not-usually-perceptive ex-boyfriends who say your eyebrows look wonderful at dinner. It’s the cost of one less thing I have to worry about because a professional — WHO KNOWS WHAT SHE IS DOING — is taking care of it for me. And for that 15 minutes a month I feel like a rock star, a celebrity, a put-together person who is damn willing to spend $47 (plus $10 tip…) for the luxury of having fine, fine eyebrows… until three weeks roll around, and stray hairs appear, and the urge to take matters into my own hands becomes so strong I need another fix.

I’ll admit it. My name is A. and I’m addicted to the Eyebrow Nazi.