beauty & the beast

Any woman who has ever been to a beauty therapist knows they provide services that go more than skin deep.

Lying on the treatment table with the lights dimmed and the gentle voice of the therapist asking how you’ve been is the modern take on the confessional. And, sometimes in these unguarded moments, talk turns to the worries in our lives.

This explains how, on a recent visit to have a lash and brow tint, I found myself suddenly in tears.

Now I can tell you it’s not a great idea to cry while you’re having your eyelashes tinted, but it’s beyond stupid to actually open your eyes at the same time.

Symptoms had barely subsided three days later.

So with eyes flaming like fires of hell, my nose streaming and my larynx swollen to the size of a tennis ball I went to the doctor, who listened to the sorry story of the bizarre tinting incident like it might just be the dumbest thing she had ever heard.

“So you burnt your eyes with chemicals by opening when you shouldn’t, which caused an allergic reaction and on top of that you have a very mild respiratory complaint.”

But it was her next remark that truly stunned me.

“Now, would you like something for the depression?” she asked.

I looked at her in astonishment, and miraculously finding myself able to focus clearly again, took in the moustache on her upper lip. Her eyebrows were unshapely and with tweezers I could yank out that whisker on her chin.

No thanks, sister. But I could tell you the name of a really good therapist.


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