When kids malfunction Vol. II
Some of you are already familiar with another blog post of mine, “When the kids malfunction.” When I had written that post, I was having a hard time finding photographs of myself misbehaving as a small child–I’m sure a few exist, but scout’s honor, even my family will tell you that they are few and far between as I was a well-behaved happy-go-lucky child (I do, however, have some awful diva-proportioned meltdowns captured on home video at different times during my toddler years…). Today, I was looking through photographs and came upon a couple old ones of myself and was reminded of a kiddie malfunction that I experienced well past toddler age.
I clearly remember the malfunction taking place: it was an early Sunday morning at home in Miami. I was nearly 11 years old. I was sitting on the ottoman in front of the television watching Looney Tunes. I decided that while I watched my favorite cartoons, I would “reshape” my eyebrows…
As the morning went on, the rest of the household began to crawl out of bed for late breakfast and lazy day lounging about. I went to greet my parents in the kitchen and my mother gasped. “LISE! WHAT DID YOU DO??” I feigned ignorance and gave a weak “What do you mean?” in response. “Bas! BAS!” my mother called out urgently–my father’s nickname. My gut sank a little further when my father walked over. See, my father is an ophthalmologist (translation: eye doctor/eye surgeon), and he was about to find out that his foolish daughter was now without half of her eyebrows. He cupped my face and peered down, squinting, studying my face. His commentary: “OH! (the quintessential Haitian Creole interjection, which defies description; you’ve got to hear it in person to understand it) Why did you do that? You shouldn’t have done that. Don’t do that again.” My older sisters saw the damage soon after, looked a bit shocked, then laughed hysterically, chiding me (gently) for my actions whenever they could get a breath in between the fits of laughter.
My mother looked slightly heartbroken the next morning while she prepared me for school, as it wasn’t a regular school day. That particular Monday, I wouldn’t wear my traditional Catholic school uniform of plaid skirt and monogrammed white polo shirt; that Monday was Picture Day, the day that we get to wear a nice outfit of our choosing in order to look our best for our photo session. Removing half of one’s eyebrow hairs the day before Picture Day without using a mirror–not recommended. All I can say is it’s a good thing I’m not easily embarrassed.
I’m pleased to report that in the roughly 20 years that have passed since Picture Day, my eyebrows have made a full recovery.