I don’t usually read articles about Beauty. They can be hard on your wallet. Still, the one in the paper recently about achieving lush brows caught my eye.

There are lots of beauty articles. They’re there to keep the ads for beauty products from running together. I ignore them. Play Up Your Cheekbones! Not applicable. I’d need joint compound and a Sharpie. Best Swim Suits For Your Body Type! Got it. Something in a split-level, with an awning and good foundation plantings. A Firmer Bottom In Ten Steps! No thanks. My bottom is plenty firm and it took way, way more than ten steps.

But I read the whole lush eyebrows article. I never had lush eyebrows, but at least I had eyebrows. My mom told me I was lucky to have them, because she didn’t. Since I take after my mom, I should have taken that as a warning.

Because one day I noticed they had gone away. No note or anything. I don’t  know if they got paler, fell out, or just rode the last estrogen bus out of town. One day they simply weren’t there; I looked like Mrs. Potato Head between renovations. Now obviously it couldn’t have happened overnight, but I hadn’t noticed. That’s kind of normal, that lack of attention. It’s why some men spend more time on their hair the less they have. Bit by bit their hair falls out and doesn’t come back, and day by day they attempt to patch things up, until after a few years they have a routine that produces an effect everyone finds highly comical. But they keep doing it. Don’t they realize how it looks? They do not. When you’re coping with hair loss one day at a time, every day requires a new affirmation that you have things under control. I used to work with a guy who parted his hair just above his right ear and glued the longest strands over the top of his head. It’s his last battle. He parted his hair a little further down the mountain every year and sent the troops charging up, but in time the forces were depleted. Now they don’t even make it to the top of the hill. One day all he’ll have to send to the fight is mercenary ear hair.

Another fellow on my mail route was well into his dapper nineties and still spent the better part of each morning creating his coif out of optimism, red dye and back hair. He had eighteen long strands at the base of his neck and he motivated them with antique hair gel and sent them up his nape and over his crown, where they sat curled up on his forehead like a thin, damp rat. I admired him, I really did. He just wanted to look nice, and everyone who looked at him smiled back, hard, so he knew he was doing a good job.

I, too, for a while, was able to imagine I still had eyebrows, because if I rumpled my brow into little hills, the shadow they cast mimicked the original equipment. As a woman, I don’t have that much of an eyebrow ridge. It’s the men who have a prominent jutting forehead, part of the original gorilla kit they still enjoy. I’ve only got enough of a ridge to fluff my remaining eyebrows. For years now they’ve strung themselves out up on that hill, brave, thin little soldiers peering out over the landscape, only to be picked off by sniper zits from below. Who were probably tipped off by a mole.

And I know just which mole. It’s hunkered right up there on the eyebrow ridge, and I’ve had it all my life. There was always a little nubble under the skin, but it wasn’t anything anyone noticed. At least I don’t remember it casting a shadow before. I don’t remember it getting in the way when I watched TV, or sending out for its own pizza. The only thing I can conclude is that the mole ate my eyebrows. If we sliced it with a lancet, fur would fly. I’m afraid to have it removed.

So I read the whole article hoping for a revelation. Apparently the key to achieving lush eyebrow growth–you’ll want to jot this down–is to quit pulling them out. You need to get all your brow hairs on the same growth cycle, because otherwise the ones you want will stay underground in case you were planning to tweeze them too. They’re very sensitive that way. Mine are presumably so sensitive they react to other people’s eyebrows being plucked, because I’ve certainly never done it. Also, in extreme cases, you can have a transplant of your own hair into your brow. This could work out. You know, depending on the source.

As far as I’m concerned, we missed a genetic bet not crossing Frida Kahlo with Martin Scorcese. Their descendants would have to mow their foreheads, but for the sake of humanity, it would have been worth it.