Mary Lynn Bruny

For those who are high-risk or live with someone who is and can be COVID-infected by a gusty wind near an unmasked runner, sheltering at home is still our top priority. Or so we thought. But there is one sneaky foe we didn’t count on: dorkiness.

Now that we’re in week who-the-hell-knows-its-been-so-long, not only have we put on the COVID five or ten pounds (hopefully not 19) from our stress and boredom eating, we are also just incredibly bushy. I’m talking hair, haircuts, or lack thereof. For many of us, this fluffy bouffant is highlighted, or actually not highlighted, with a skunk strip of our natural hair color growing out. It’s like we’re all in a bad throwback of the ’70s.

And for some especially lucky souls, of which I am one of due to my Italian ancestry, we also have eyebrows that rival those of Eugene Levy. The type of eyebrows that left unattended become burrows for small creatures seeking refuge.

The problem is that despite the fact we’re stuck at home, we are on Zoom or Skype all the time. The additional poundage can be camouflaged by loose pants we’re (hopefully) wearing, but it’s hard to hide our shaggy heads. That faded “Breck Beer Fest 2014” ball cap is not professional attire. It’s not that when we’re sheltering at home we expect to look so good. It’s just that we don’t want to look so bad.

Some of us have taken matters into our own hands and attempted at-home haircuts. This rarely ends well. Mostly it looks like a toddler with anger-management issues had at it.

I tried to cut my bangs and naturally the scissors slipped a bit.

“I’ll just even it out,” I thought. Two inches of hair later I have what appears to be a big chunk of hair missing because, well, I have a big chunk of hair missing. Yikes.

My eyebrows are even worse. Despite decades worth of attempts, I still can’t pluck my eyebrows without looking like I did so while blind or drunk or both. Now I’m just letting nature take its course and going for the full-on Frida Kahlo unibrow. It fits with my pandemic past times: Spanish lessons and painting.

But you know at some time we won’t be able to take our own fuzziness any longer. At some point we will look in the mirror, just crack inside, and make an appointment with a professional. We will postpone elective surgeries and trips to see family, but we will risk it to not look dorky. Or in the case of some of us, just to look a bit less dorky.

By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn is a Boulder freelance writer who has written about home-related topics for many, many years. Contact her at ml.bruny@comcast.net.