Sense of Propriety, Part I: Personal Grooming on Safari

I knew there would be schedules to keep on this trip and I was right:  “Breakfast at 7, cars at 8,”  “Bar at 6:30, dinner at 7:30.”  And, I also knew that propriety would dictate that standards would have to be maintained . . . all standards, including those concerning personal grooming.

Unfortunately, as some women get older, they are confronted with the unsightly problem of facial hair.  Much to my dismay, I am one such women.  Since I could not depend on all my fellow travelers having the eyesight of a rhinoceros, the aesthetic preferences of a wildebeest or the sensitive obliviousness of my husband, I had to come up with a solution to plucking on the trail.

So, while others were no doubt trying to decide if 8×25 binoculars would be satisfactory for the trip or if they should upgrade to something with a little more power (10×25, or perhaps a spotting scope?), I was considering the options available in illuminated, magnifying make-up mirrors.  Would 12 magnification be enough? Would 15? Do they even make something more powerful that isn’t part of a satellite?  Would there be a place to plug the thing in? Yoiks!!

Let’s just say that I made a decision, which proved to be mostly satisfactory (although there wasn’t always a place to plug it in).  However, as we negotiated our way through the parks of Tanzania, I was struck by the variety of animals and the faces they present to the world.  At one point, I thought, why is it that facial hair on females of the human species is not highly esteemed?  Guys get away with it quite nicely.  And, really, the female wildebeest carries it off very well.

Being a person who understands the power of words, I thought maybe if we just thought about it in different terms it would turn the whole situation around and illuminated mirrors on safaris would become a thing of the past.  So, I offer for your consideration:

Women with whiskers . . . Babes with beards . . . Girls with goatees . . . Misses with mustaches . . . Moms with mutton chops . . . Soul mates with soul patches . . .  and, my personal favorite, Vanderbilts with Van Dykes.


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