Eyebrows for Esther

by Laurie Bosley, 2003 copyright. All rights reserved.

My older sister Esther was very easy to tease. She was smart, but lacked in the common sense department. Every day I’d have her doing things that didn’t make sense. For instance, I’d stand beside her and say, “Hold my leg.” I’d lift my leg up and she’d hold it! Why? I don’t really know. Why did I do this? I guess it was fun for me to see how many times I could get her to obey my silly commands.

I was always doing things to make my life a little more enjoyable. Sometimes my weird sense of humor ended up disturbing Esther’s calm little world that she inhabited. She liked everything neat and tidy – everything in order.

Being the jokester of the family, I tried to do things to upset her perfect world. In church one day, I for whatever reason, pulled out some eyebrows. I then very calmly placed them on Esther’s open bible. She nearly jumped out of the pew. Her eyes widened briefly, but just as quickly they narrowed as she gave me a look of pure disgust. Jackpot! At once I knew that I had a great new way to tease my sister.

Over the course of the next year, I continued to find creative ways to torment Esther with my eyebrows. I would pull back her comforter and sprinkle eyebrows on her pillow when she was out of the room. At night when she’d pull back her covers, I’d wait with a smile on my face till I heard Esther yell, “Laurie!” I’d know then that she had found my present and did not think it was funny. I, on the other hand, enjoyed it immensely.

Over the course of the next few months, I ended up pulling out virtually all of my eyebrows. Sure I looked a little strange, but that’s what bangs are for. Plus, the joke was too good to give up yet. So I started pulling out my eyelashes next. All in the name of sisterly love.

When my eyelashes were dwindling down to nothing, my mom started looking at me funny, wondering what was going on. She thought maybe her pre-teen daughter was having psychological issues. She kept a close watch on me, wondering if I needed some counseling.

Finally, after weeks of walking around with no eyebrows or eyelashes left, my mom approached me. She sat down to talk and said, “Laurie, is everything alright? Are you having any trouble at school?” I looked at her, taken by surprise by her question. She said, “If there’s anything you want to talk to me about I’m here to listen.” I racked my brain trying to think of why she was so concerned. Finally, she said, “Are you stressed out about middle school? I know it can be a big adjustment.” I said that school was going well – no big deal. Then she took the plunge and asked me the question I surprisingly never knew was coming. “Why are all your eyebrows and eyelashes gone?” she said at last. My mom started talking about how maybe I needed to talk to someone, a counselor perhaps. My eyes widened. I never dreamed it would come to this. Naively, I thought no one had even noticed my lack of facial hair.

I knew then that the gig was up. I decided to come clean and tell her that I’d been pulling out all my eyebrows and lashes to play a joke on Esther. She seemed disturbed, but relieved at my confession. She then asked me to stop tormenting my poor sister. “Besides,” she said, “You look strange.” And I guess I had to admit, I did. Well to the relief of Esther, I stopped tormenting her – at least in this manner – for years to come.

Eventually all my eyebrows and eyelashes grew back in as thick and full as ever. Even to this day I can’t help but chuckle as I pluck my eyebrows. And every few years, even as an adult now, I still secretly sneak into her room and sprinkle eyebrows on her pillow.