Whenever people ask me what I like to do in my spare time, I find it difficult to answer. This is because what I like to do in my spare time is sort of embarrassing and self-centered, and also because there’s no real term for it. I guess you could say I like to spend my time, um, attending to myself.
See, that sounded kind of dirty, and this isn’t going to be a Karen’s Sex Toys column, thank God, because, Hello, Mom.
No. What I mean is, I like to groom: I get my brows done, because your eyebrows make or break your face. Did you know that? I learned that in modeling school. Yes, I went to modeling school, in 8th grade, when the only thing I could have modeled is the Awkward Collection from Sears. I like to get facials, and weird things like Ayurvedic oil treatments on my third eye.
I also like to do New-Agey-crystal-hippie-Birkenstock-patchouli stuff (see above reference to Ayurvedic third-eye treatments). I like psychic readings and aromatherapy and so on.
Now do you understand why I just want to tell people I enjoy scrapbooking? Why can’t I do something honorable, like helping out with Habitat for Humanity or something? But, no, I’m busy getting deep-conditioning treatments. More like Habitat for Humidity.
Los Angeles, alas, was the perfect place for my weird hobby. Now that I’ve moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, I’m gonna need to find a new way to pass the time.
In Los Angeles, I got my brows done by this guy named Damone. He’s been on those makeover reality shows and he does so much better on his eye makeup than I’ve ever done. When you walk into his Beverly Hills eyebrow salon, there’s a big Buddha in the entryway holding tweezers on his lap.
In Greensboro, I go to the back room of a manicure place, in a strip mall, and get my eyebrows waxed for $6.
In Los Angeles, I went to this place that specialized in facelift acupuncture. They gave you a special tea, and stuck needles in your face, both guaranteed to turn back time.
Here in Greensboro? They recently had half off of generic Oil on Olay at the grocery store.
Los Angeles was a hotbed of stupid attending-to-yourself activities. And oh, how I loved it. I once schlepped out to Malibu and got a past-life reading. My ex-husband said to me, “I’ll give you a past-life reading. An hour ago, you had a hundred more dollars than you do now.” I also had a pet psychic for my cat, someone who read my tongue to determine the state of my health and a woman who’d put hot cups on my back to release toxins.
I remember when my ex and I were thinking of moving to North Carolina. I was on Rodeo Drive, talking to him on the phone while he checked out our new town. “Do they have yoga there?” I asked him. I used to spend entire Sundays going to this guru who’d lead you in yoga and meditation till you wept with spiritual fulfillment.
“I don’t see any,” he said, walking down a main street. “But there’s a sign in this restaurant that says they have fried bologna!”
The good news is, there’s Botox in North Carolina. I’m glad that’s become universal. And there’s a cute psychic lady in a crystal store who told me I’d find a man who brought stability and fire to my life. She pronounced it “stay-bility.” And she was right.
I really don’t miss the traffic, the ludicrous house prices or the earthquakes in Los Angeles. I’m glad to be in the South, with its cicadas and magnolia trees and the funny, kind people. But oh, what I wouldn’t give for an afternoon of an astrology haircut followed by a nice lunch that was created based on my vibes.