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Ah! What’s that! My tongue flicked out and probed the corner of my mouth and upper lip. A tingling prickle. My finger left the keyboard and began an exploratory mission. Hmmm. Nothing. It must have been my imagination. I returned to work.

But a mere moment later an unthinking but stealthy lick of the lips again alerted my ever attentive tongue to an intruder. This time both thumb and index finger pinched and plucked. Damn! The tongue never lies. It was the tickling prickle of a wild whisker in the corner of my mouth.

Where had it come from?  There certainly wasn’t anything there last night, or this morning, or even an hour ago! I rushed to the bathroom, pulled out the magnifying mirror that shows me things no woman should ever look at – crow’s feet, enlarged pores, sagging chins and a wild hair.

Yes, there it was … lurking in the corner of my mouth, curled up along the crease some euphemistically call the laugh line only nobody’s laughing. Long, black and mean-looking like Lee Van Cleef without the cigar. My tongue probed it again. It bit back. “Exterminate! Exterminate!” resounded the Dalek mantra in my mind.

I rummaged through the drawer, pulled out my trusty tweezers and turned the make-up lights to their highest wattage. When I focused through my bifocals I was too far away. When I took them off I was too close. Nevertheless I plunged in. Ouch! I flashed the mirror at different angles to discover a more effective approach.

Grrrr! My eyes steely and my resolve unflagging I pounced again. Ouch! Success! I held the tweezers up to the light and viewed the now submissive whisker. A dark and menacing energy seem to emanate from its glistening length. My God! That sucker was at least an inch long! How did it grow so fast? Is it the steroids I’m taking for the arthritis?

Alarmed by this unsightly spectacle, I launched an intensive investigation. I pursed my lips, pulled my cheeks this way and that, then checked both double chins. All clear for now. Somewhat chastened, which is like woebegone only sorrier, I returned to my desk. My cat Sweetie Pie looked on in sympathetic understanding as I pondered.

What’s up with hair as you get older? Once the essence of come hither, hair has become elusive, unreliable, undisciplined and, in particular, migratory. It disappears from where it is supposed to be and has been for sixty plus years, and then turns up unexpectedly where it should not be and never was before!

Eyebrows that once would have made Frida Kahlo envious now have to be drawn on with grubby pencil named Maybelline. The once downy cheek is periodically sprinkled with unsightly stubble. I now have to use more eyeliner and less mascara. And the less said about hair brushes the better.

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered,” said St. Matthew. Ask yourself if this is not a covert finger pointing to older women and the Red Hat Society. Consider hats and then ponder what they may or may not be covering. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure why older women also wear so much purple. It’s obviously a maneuver to draw attention from said toppers. Think about it.

So, where does all this disappearing hair go? Why to chins and upper lips and cheeks and noses. You have to be vigilant because these wild and crazy hairs pop out overnight like mushrooms and grow one – two – three inches while you’re still have your morning coffee.

Perhaps a study should be underwritten to study this phenomenon. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was tied into the phases of the moon like earthquakes are or are more noticeable in months without an ‘r.’ Is there is a Ripley’s Believe It or Not category addressing this kind of hair behavior? If not, perhaps there should be.

If only the energy involved in this rampant hair growth could be harnessed. For those surgically inclined, those impetuous and undisciplined wild hairs could be transplanted to the top of the head where they are really needed. Or, perhaps there is a way to reseed, so to speak, those hairs already lost. A careful and selective use of crazy glue comes to mind.

As a final thought consider the implications and etymological similarities between whisker, whisper, whistle and whiskey. It seems to me there is a lot of puckering involved. Can this really be natural?

How can I control my life when I can’t control my hair? Anonymous

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