Plucking

By Diane DeVaughn Stokes

Plucking

Here’s one of the valuable lessons I learned from my mother. You see, even today at eighty-three, she sits in front of the magnifying mirror every morning and indulges in the ritual of “plucking,” pulling little hairs from her chin and face. Sometimes I will call her and she’ll say, “Can I call you back? I am plucking!”

And now that I am old enough and see the desperate need to pluck, too, I totally understand that this must be part of a daily routine. Skip a day and it’s downright scary.

But what is more frightening is the lighted magnifying mirror that Mom bought for me to better see the hairs, the wrinkles and the imperfections!

However, what I really want out of this article is to share with all of my Sasee sisters this message of caution. DO NOT PLUCK THE HAIRS FROM AROUND YOUR NOSE! You see, I plucked on Friday, and by Saturday morning the right part of my face swelled up like a balloon; even my eye was swollen shut. I felt a knot in my nose bigger than an egg, and I looked like I had a stroke, as my face drooped, and I could not even smile.

I contacted my wonderful Otolaryngologist, Dan Rosner, who knew exactly what this was immediately. He said it is very common. Heck, who knew? I had never heard of such a thing. It was an infected hair follicle. Dr. Dan agreed to meet me at his office even though this was Saturday, because he said if this isn’t lanced soon it will become worse, and he explained the membrane and skin inside your nose is very thin and fragile. Besides it is a staph infection, which we all know is nothing to mess around with.

And while Dr. Rosner was explaining to me that if I ever feel compelled to pluck again, be sure to put antiseptic cream in the area before and after the plucking, I was thinking OMG, could I die from this? It would be an embarrassing obituary, that’s for sure.

Well, the procedure took only twenty minutes, but three shots in and around your nose isn’t fun. I could not help but think about all the women who get shots in their face to look good! Sadly, I looked like a woman whose plastic surgery went very wrong. Dan assured me that I would be black and blue and miserable for the next few days, and he gave me antibiotics and pain meds to get through it.

Friends, I was a terrible sight for six days. I could not breathe out of my right nostril, which resembled a pig’s nose, and the throbbing pain in my face was…well, you can only imagine! Then, as a result of the infection, I had a fever and chills that kept me in bed for a few days.

When I discussed this monster face episode with my mom, she said she has NEVER plucked her nose hairs. She cuts them with tiny scissors instead. My sister also claims to have plucked hers, knowing not about the scissors, but after what she saw me go through, neither she nor I will ever pluck again.

Okay. There you have it, a warning for all of you out there in Sasee-land. The reality was painful enough to experience, but my dog Cagney, who usually looks at me with loving eyes, turned her head away when I spoke to her, I was crushed. Thank goodness Chuck, Prince Charming, did not. He even emceed an event for me on Sunday that I could not attend.

As soon as I recover, I’m heading to buy tiny scissors. You should too. If I have to, I’ll braid my nose hairs before I ever pluck again! My plucking days are over.

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3 Responses to “Plucking”

  1. Diane, this is not a laughing matter, but you certainly brought it to light in a humorous fashion. I am going right out to purchase a nose hair trimmer in the men’s department, because my nose hairs are stronger than steel.

  2. Rose Ann says:

    LOL . . . misery loves company. I’m so glad I’m not alone in this plucking ritual. But, I’ll stay away from the nose–thanks for the warning :)

  3. Diane,
    I even have to pluck right after using a dipilitory cream!
    Joan

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