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I tend not to fret too much about my appearance, but I do enjoy a few indulgences. I like to get the occasional pedicure, and I treat myself to facials every few months, but I am pretty regular about getting my eyebrows threaded.

After years of pecking at my face with tweezers, I gave in and got my eyebrows threaded for the first time a few years ago. I wish I could say it’s painless, but it’s not. Not for me anyway. I still tear up as the hairs are twisted and ripped from my face, but it’s fast, and it means I don’t risk over-plucking or shaving off a part of my eyebrow when my lazy self thinks I can maneuver a razor across my face to shape my brows. (Yes, it happened in college, and I learned my lesson.)

Trips for eyebrow maintenance have become routine, but something changed during a recent visit. As the woman was finishing up with my brows, she asked, “Would you like me to do your lip, too?”

Busted. I’d noticed the baby-fine hairs on my upper lip a few months prior, but I was taking the ignorance-is-bliss approach. Of course, I noticed the change. It’s my face. But I was hoping no one else would notice. Not for a while anyway.

Granted, I don’t think most people look at my face all that intently. I was paying this woman to search my face for unwanted hairs. I’d just hoped she’d stick to my brow and not examine my entire face.

I left the shop feeling a bit dejected, but I hoped it was a fluke. Maybe they’d just installed a new light bulb and it was brighter than usual.

However, she asked again the next time I visited. So much for that.

I recently turned 35. There is nothing monumental about turning 35. I guess the dusting of lip hair is just another sign that I’m getting older. Eventually the hairs will darken and my threading buddy will reap the benefits. I know the next step is that stray hairs will grow on my chin. And before you know it, I’ll join the menopause club and welcome hot flashes into my life along with all the other joys that go with your body closing up the baby-making business.

In January, I went to see my doctor. I’ve accepted that my metabolism has been reduced to a slow crawl, and the girl who used to eat a box of mozzarella sticks at midnight in college now has a chance of getting heart burn if she eats anything after 9 p.m. I get tonsil stones because I have silent acid reflux. If I let out an earthquake of a sneeze, I may wee a little. These are just a few of the changes I’ve noticed in the past year.

So I went to my doctor for a physical. When she asked what brought me in, I said I’d like to focus on living a healthier life, so I’d like to get serious about losing weight. I’ve had enough ups and downs over the years. I was hoping a professional could set me straight, but she did something no other doctor has ever done in the history of doctoring: she laughed.

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“Join the club,” she said.

We ended up having a very frank discussion about life and the choices we make and how that translates in our physical and mental health. It was difficult to say the words out loud about how I’ve been feeling about myself and my body, but it was also a relief to get them out of my head.

Throughout my life, I’ve typically marched head on into the challenges before me and come out alright on the other side. It’s taken years to sort through my mental health struggles and find a way to battle each day like of a survivor and not a victim. Why should taking control of my physical health be any different?

So here is to another year of a simple and sassy life. I’ll keep you posted.

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Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register online editor. Simple & Sassy runs every other Sunday. She can be reached at


Online Editor/Calendar Editor

Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register online editor. Her column Simple & Sassy runs on alternating Sundays.