A Parable of Woe or A “Hairy-Tale”

December 2, 2008, by Connie Stetson

Frida Kahlo Self Portrait, 1940

Frida Kahlo Self Portrait, 1940

On my father’s side of the family I am part Swedish (Ecklund) and part Portuguese (Frias)…Ooh…I’m a Porta-Swede.

Up until the time of the Menopause, the Swedish ruled the Queendom of Connie.  Fair, liberal and free of excess body hair, they ruled all parts of the Connie with good judgment, equilibrium and ease.  The Swedish in Connie laughed and played and worked in the warmth of youth and vigor, proud of her lack of excess body hair.  Little did she suspect that just under the skin, awaiting some deep genetic signal, a coarser, darker presence was lurking.

Then, in its time, the Menopause came and the light was gone, and the ghosts of her father’s mother’s mustache burst forth as the thorns upon the rose, and the Portuguese reined the land of her upper lip and there was sorrow, and great wailing—and there were whiskers.  “Will no one help me?” cried the Connie.  “I am not prepared to harvest what has been up till now a fallow field. I have no scythes, no machetes, no tools.”

The sisters from other lands and other tribes—the lands of Italy, Spain, Greece, Mexico and the very wise tribes of the Ashkanzy, all heard Connie’s pleas and took pity.  And though the Connie had not been kind, had teased her hirsute sisters, and had been filled with hubris, the sisters came forth with gifts of bleach and exotic waxes, and brought unto Connie that which at last tamed the Portuguese, the one true magic, the TWEEZERMAN. And it was good.

Not great, mind you, but OK.

And now for the moral of our story:

Don’t be such a smartypants.  Be happy with where you are now.  Don’t make fun of women with moustaches.   The way you look in your thirties and forties is not what you are taking with you into the great Mordor of Menopause.  They don’t call it the “change of life” for nothing.  Everything changes and continues to change, if you’re lucky and you live long enough.  Embrace it all, the whole bloody roller coaster.

Gone today…Hair tomorrow, ya know?

Blogging off,

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11 Responses to “A Parable of Woe or A “Hairy-Tale””

  1. dearpru Says:

    I don’t mind changing, as long as it’s for the better, but geeze Louise! More hair here, less there, wet when you’re supposed to be dry, dry when you’re supposed to be wet, and that’s just our bodies. Can we talk memory lapses, the need for a solid nine hours of sleep AND a nap? And now, thanks to morons at the helm of our government, we Boomers have no retirement money to spend on frivolities like electrolysis, visits to the spa or recreational Viagra. Is there no justice?

  2. Cathy Says:

    When asked: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring two things with you, what would they be? I answer without hesitation, “My Tweezerman and a magnifying mirror.”

  3. Rebecca Floeter Says:

    I laughed till I need a DEPENDS. I am an “accidental” parent who adopted 3 kids 10 years ago so I’m never really braced for the “kids say the darnest things” moments. I too, have blade ginzu knives that now sprout out of my chin. I asked my lippy 13 year old daughter, Kai to pluck my protruding chin hair. Her delightful response? “Which one Mom, there are zillions. Do you mean the one that is 5 inches long?”


    Thanks, Connie for a quick laugh and a change of underwear. Just kidding on the underwear.

  4. rosemary Says:

    Do I get brownie points for having the electrolysis done before the stock market crashed? I think so.

  5. cfinhollywood Says:

    I love the “mustache bursting forth as the thorns upon the rose” part.

  6. Jeff S Says:

    Women don’t have the market cornered on unwanted hair.

    When on a date with a younger woman a few years back, we were sitting in a coffee shop when she commented, “Gee, you have have hair growing out of your ears just like my grandpa”.

    Not only did I raise the minimum age limit on my dates, but I bought a trimmer.

  7. Lori Oliver-Tierney Says:

    Aging certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. Thank you for helping us laugh at ourselves Connie. Life is certainly peculair, I have always thought youth was wasted on the young.

  8. Christie Says:

    Connie, I noticed that the hair on my legs is getting more sparse… guess that so it can spend more time growing on my face! Laughed my arse off at your truly biblical parable.
    PS: Wouldn’t you just know that Dal LaMagna aka Tweezerman, is a liberal political activist.

  9. c8c8c8 Says:

    The view from another country:


    Connie, I hope a cheap laugh was worth it. I can understand if your friends are thoughtless / clueless / banal – most people are – but you know ME, and you should know better.

    Lori, youth is only wasted on the fair. Those of us who were young and ugly/hairy/fat/malformed/queer/smart/deep/different used our youth to develop strength, skills, courage, compassion, depth of intellect and character, and patience.

    Those of us not “blessed” with bland acceptability don’t need to hear how cruel, superficial and condescending you used to be before the horrible tragedies of ageing beset and humbled you. Don’t you think we freaks knew what you thought and said, even if you had the dubious decency to do it behind our humped backs?

    Is there justice? Ohhhh yes. It’s seeing, after 50 years of ridicule, that the congenital anomaly that made me hairier than many men has kept my skin younger, my cunt wetter, my libido hotter, my body stronger, my mind more interesting and my soul deeper than all the smug, smooth beauties I’ve tolerated all my life (you do realize we oddities tolerate *you*, and not the other way around, right?). It’s knowing that you all are agonized and distracted and wasting your time and money on trivialities, that your sense of self and sexiness are diminishing while mine are growing, just like my magnificent mustache, and that the same judgementalism that you perfect twits used against people like me is now what you have to suffer every time you look into your lighted magnifying mirrors.

    It would be just fine if folks who think of a few stray hairs as cause for “sorrow and wailing” wound up on desert islands with your Tweezermen.

    Go pluck yourselves.

    Catherine, The Bearded Woman – Absolute Monarch and Warrior Queen of the Land Where Every Hair is Wanted.

    ps – Frida Kahlo is remembered, respected, and revered precisely because she DIDN’T change herself to fit a shallow society. You don’t deserve to use her sacred, suffering, self-wrought image.

  10. Cathy Says:


    Connie is on vacation, but I’m sure she will want to respond to your thoughtful and articulate comments.

    I wish that I were able to go beyond the manipulations of a society where sameness is revered. Bravo to you for your courage, anger and pride. As for the Frida image, that was chosen by me, and with great respect. I chose it because in this context I think it’s ironic, and after all, many of us find this “parable” very funny. If we can laugh at how silly it is to spend all this time and attention fretting about “unwanted” hair, perhaps we aren’t all that dense after all.

    Thank you for sharing you enlightening “view from another country.”


  11. c8c8c8 Says:

    Here’s a post from the wonderful Shark-Fu at AngrBlackBitch:


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