I made my way the twelve minutes north and west from my house and parked in the large-enough-to-hold-three-vehicles side of the driveway. Making my way along the north side of the house, the part which contains Arborcrest, I entered to the familiar chime which announced my arrival. As I grabbed a fun-size candy bar from the inviting bowl, Barb the Impaler appeared and greeted me with her cheery, “There she is!”
Easy for her to be upbeat, she wasn’t about to spend an hour of poke after jab after stab of an electrified needle pulling hairs out of her face. No, that would be me on her table. And, this day, we would pass the one-hundred-hour mark in our odd relationship.
The male face holds approximately 30,000 hairs. My best estimate is that Barb has seventy percent of my beard cleared. That would mean that she’s removed 20,000 or so hairs. That’s 20,000 times she has inserted her needle, zapped the root of the hair, and pulled it out. That means I can look forward to about 10,000 more.
Almost every week—usually on Tuesday, so that I can shave for church and then allow my now-sparse beard to grow on Monday and Tuesday, so that the hairs are long enough for her to grab—in one-hour sessions, Barb pokes and zaps and snatches a couple hundred hairs, many which leave me wincing and whining, and then I pay her good money for the experience.
Sadists and masochists got nuthin on me.
I recall the beginning of this long process, how after the first session I could barely see where she had yanked hairs from the tip of my chin; to when I could finger areas which were now smooth; to where enough were removed that I no longer had a five o’clock shadow and didn’t need to cover it with makeup; to where I am now, that I can skip a day of shaving and can run to the store without concern.
I set a goal of being done this calendar year. If I don’t miss more than a few weeks, I should be close to achieving it. After this, the hope is only to have to see Barb once every couple of months, to touch up where formerly dormant hairs have decided to once again grow.
I want to say that I will miss our time together. Forgetting the pain which The Impaler inflicts on me, I can say that I will. Barb is fun and funny, wise and kind and smart. She could put her personality to work as a therapist or bartender, and excel at either one. If a person has to go through a process as lousy as is electrolysis, what a blessing for it to be with someone whose presence you enjoy.
Two weeks ago, I asked her how many of her clients she enjoys, with whom she has good conversation as she works. She said that about five percent are unpleasant, another five percent are always a joy, and the rest are neither here nor there.
Since I gab away every hour, I figure that I fall into one of the two five-percent extremes.
I was afraid to ask which one.