Chinny, chin, chin

Everybody has something they do in the privacy of their homes that they don’t want anyone else to know about. There is some weird little oddity we never discuss, not even with our spouses or roommates. It is unspoken. Despite the knowledge that what I am about to tell you may well cross some personal boundaries, I’m going to share one of my oddities, in hopes it makes my fellow oddballs feel a little less, well, odd.

But first: the back-story. When I was a kid, I hated the fable of Three Little Pigs. It scared me. I believe English majors call it foreshadowing, but I digress. Perhaps that was my personal prophecy. (Admit it, you are afraid of where this column is going.)

The story is a tale of three little pigs, a family of brothers who leave their mother’s home in search of their place in the world. Realizing you are nothing without debt in real estate, each pig cuts a deal to build his own home. The first had a home of straw, and the second used wood. They were doomed. But the third pig had the good sense to get a trade (as opposed to a history degree) and thus become a successful bricklayer. My husband, the Carpenter, declared him the wisest pig, because surely the brick home had a concrete foundation.  Naturally.

Yet the moral of this tale is not what annoyed me; it was the dialogue. I mean, here is this great big, heavy-breathing wolf threatening to huff and puff and blow their wee houses down, and the best those three even-toed ungulates could offer was “not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin.”

Really? That’s the best comeback they had? Who says that?

Whenever a schoolteacher would read that story aloud to my class, I would be so annoyed at that phrase and the irritating shrill voice narrators used to repeat it.

I don’t know if you believe in all this power of intention business, but I suppose my disdain for the chinny-chin-chin remark created some universal karma to foreshadow my personal secret: I am a chin hair plucker. There I said it.

I don’t know when that evil strand of silver floss decided to protrude out of my chin, but I suspect it followed just shortly after if I realized that if I did not hold my head high and proper, my chin had the audacity to blend in with yet another chin.  Ah yes, the pre-menopausal years are very hot, indeed.

I am not a vain woman, but a thick strand of chin hair is not attractive, especially when it grows like a Chia Pet on my face and, if not tamed, could invite others of its species. For Christmas, I asked for a magnified mirror so that I could see and nab the chin hair and clamp it with tweezers (the Carpenter was perplexed by that request), because goodness knows the human eye cannot find the chin hair at close range. It is in an impossible task.

There I stood in the bathroom with a microscopic mirror and tweezers, reflecting the personal horror of every open pore, rogue eyebrow and a mole that only Cindy Crawford could endure. I became the big bad wolf. Chinny-chin-chin, for sure.

Perhaps that was too much information.  Perhaps the pigs were right. Shut your door and stay inside and tell no one what you do behind closed doors.


Kelly Waterhouse