I’ve stopped at a red light and, contrary to my regular obliviousness, I actually look at the drivers in the cars next to me. I almost never do this. It’s a little bit of a family joke that one of them can drive next to me for blocks, miles and I won’t recognize them; I see the cars, but I don’t actually “see” the cars. To me they’re just moving objects.
So when I look at the cars next to me, it’s intended to be a quick glance. But it ends up with me staring rudely into another car for far longer than I should. I know I’m staring. I want to stop. But I can’t.
The woman in the car to my left is plucking her chin hair while we’re at the red light. She has a small mirror in one hand and tweezers in another and she’s plucking hair from her chin one by one, meticulously. Pluck, pause, pluck, pause, pluck. And I can’t look away.
Does she not realize that we can see her?
Is she under the impression that the windows have some sort of privacy blocking feature?
Does she actually think it’s okay to do this in public?
And I continue to stare as all of this goes through my head. And then she notices me staring.
I smile and look away when she glares at me, as if I’ve somehow invaded her privacy by looking into her car and watching her pluck her chin hair … while we’re sitting at the red light. And she gets back to finishing her task.
Then the longest red light in history changes to green and she goes her way and I go mine.
However, I’ve decided that I need to address the issue of whether or not it’s okay to do this in public. I’m thinking that I need to start a viral “I promise” campaign. “I promise not to pluck my chin hair in public. It’s not okay.”
Pass it on. Maybe it’ll reach chin woman and she’ll stop inflicting her grooming habits on those of us unlucky enough to be stuck at a red light with her.
And maybe next time I won’t stare.