Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Moral support

Some weeks ago I went on an outing with a friend at her request. I went as her moral support.

Normally I am a good friend. I will go and sit in hospitals, dentists or wait in dressing rooms while friend tries on millions of [insert type of clothing that makes woman friend lose the will to live.] But this time… I can’t believe how badly I let my friend down.

Woman friend had never plucked her eyebrows nor ever had them plucked. Now, don’t get me wrong, woman friend wasn’t sporting a monobrow or Dennis Healey set but they were a little straggly. A new eyebrow spa – straight from LA, I’ll have you know – appeared in one of our malls and we discussed the idea of her going.

We went. We asked the ‘eyebrow stylist’ if I could join her as she was nervous. Now this eyebrow spa has a system (the same system that they use in LA, so it must be good) and you have to sign to say you agree to them using their system. It involves measuring and marking the ideal eyebrow shape from the side of the nose to the ends of your eye. Then they place a stencil over the victim customer’s own eyebrows and use a black pencil to fill in the ideal shape. When they remove the stencil, they can see the stray hairs that need to be waxed and plucked.

I knew that the black pencil was just so they could identify the hairs that could go but woman friend lay back in the chair in this beautiful pink spa, gripping the arm rests wearing these ferocious black eyebrows… so much worse they’d been before we started. They looked as though they might start having a life of their own. And I am ashamed to say that I started to giggle. The more I giggled the more embarrassed I became because the poor, lovely, Thai eyebrow stylist was just doing her job. The more embarrassed I got the more I giggled.It was such a smart spa too.

Have you ever done that? I remember doing it in a Latin class once at university. It’s something about the environment too; the more unsuitable the time or the place, the more uncontrollable the giggles. In the end it’s not about anything funny but more like hiccoughs, something you have no control over.

By this time she was having the exposed non blackened hairs waxed and the skin around the black bits were steadily turning scarlet. I thought I might have to leave the room – I think woman friend would have been okay about that frankly, relieved even. In the end my horror at embarrassing the eyebrow stylist finally gave me some self control.

Anyway, I thought I should just pop by to say woman friend, your eyebrows are perfect. And sorry, obviously.


Angie said...

Oh, JJ, I so understand! My mom, sisters, and I have all been cursed with the inability to control our giggles at the most inappropriate moments. I tend to laugh when people fall or (gently) hurt themselves, partly because I am such a clutz and I'm used to laughing at myself, though I can control it if there's actual damage done. And you're right, it feels exactly like hiccups, the harder I try to stop, the more uncontrollable the giggling!

JJ Beattie said...

Angie, I'm still so mortified (that's of course why I'm blogging about it!) but I am also still chuckling...

I am very glad to hear it's not just me.

HelenMHunt said...

Once you start it's so hard to stop!

Chris Stovell said...

You HAVE to put that in a book (sorry JJ's Friend)!!

The worst fit of the giggles I have ever had was - can you believe it? - when my poor dad was dying! Mum, my sister and I just cracked and couldn't stop!! I do hope he understood.

Debs said...

I empathize completely.

One of my worst case of hysterical giggling was when my father fell off a metal ladder. His legs were badly cut and he couldn't get up as he was entangled in the ladder. I couldn't help because I was laughing so much, so he had to call my sister, who was not impressed with me.

CC Devine said...

Oh that is funny! Moments of solemnity such as in mass or at school assembly always seemed to have a peculiar effect on me and my sense of humour. Nervous giggles escape and then you can't control the overwhelming urge to burst out laughing.

The image of your friend with her fake brows will keep me going all day! Glad she survived the experience!

Flowerpot said...

I'm always getting the giggles at the wrong moment JJ!xx

Denise said...

I'm laughing just reading that! I got the giggles at a wedding once, and had to pretend it was a coughing fit. Every time it went quiet I was off again, nightmare!