The Cat’s Whiskers


Last edited: 13th January 2020

Can there be such a thing as too much honesty in a relationship? Are there some things you should just keep to yourself? There was a moment in my relationship with Mr Control when I realised I had said something that had drastically altered his perception of me, thereby changing the course of our relationship, and there would be no going back. Had I shared with him intimate details of past relationships? Hell no! Had I admitted to him that I’d reached the point when I only really fancied him when we were out and about and I would see some girl looking at him with lustful eyes? Of course not. Or revealed that he was an average kisser and locking lips with him made me nostalgically long for the kiss-me-dizzy embraces of my first love? Err no.

This is how it was. It was a picture of romantic loveliness. The scene was set for some ‘boom-chica-wow-wow’ action; the lights were off, candles were burning, and the ex-beloved, Mr Control and I, were cuddled up on his couch watching a film. He had one long-limbed arm around me and with his free hand, he was shovelling sour cream and onion ridged crisps into his mouth like he’d never been fed. He had his t-shirt off, revealing gym-toned pecs and tuffs of hair on his chest in all their glory, but the pungent aroma of the crisps intermingled with eau de body odour was not really doing it for me. Whilst I pretended to ignore my revulsion at the animalistic feeding frenzy of the alpha male beside me, I absent-mindedly stroked my chin. And then it happened. There was a whisker. Underneath my chin, unbeknownst to me, a surreptitious whisker had been burrowing its way out of my skin into the light. A chill ran through my entire body upon the discovery. Panicked questions ran through my mind: how long has that been there? Are there more of them? Am I turning into a bearded lady? Internally, I was freaking out. I patted my chin on the hunt for more imposters. I was overwhelmed with relief when I realised this whisker was a solo squatter and felt my body relax. Without thinking, the words just came out of my mouth and once they were out there, there was no taking them back: “Baby, I just found a whisker.” There was a sharp intake of breath and he physically recoiled away from me. I looked at him and saw the horror in his eyes. The goddess he had been professing undying love for was tainted. We tried to laugh it off but it was an awkward evening and we went to sleep that night un-spooned, both of us claiming to be too tired for shenanigans. Something in the relationship had shifted.    

Finding the whisker made me feel old and was a shock to the system. It was a reality check that as we age, our bodies metamorphose in unexpected ways. I had anticipated becoming rounder and saggier but no one warned me that I would become hairier too. For ages after, I was paranoid more whiskers would sprout. So far so good but I still conduct a weekly inspection of my under-chin. Apparently legends Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor used to shave their faces to exfoliate and enjoy a fuzz-free complexion. Well, if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me ha ha. I will admit that when seated next to a beautiful young woman at the theatre a few months ago, I was surprised by the fact that her head was shaved but her legs were not (unless yeti tights are now a trend?) but good for her – every woman should decide for herself the amount of body hair she is happy with.       

Between you, me and the cat’s whiskers, Walter the whisker and I have come to an understanding. He means no harm. Each time he makes an appearance he is instantly tweezed away and I have accepted that ageing is inevitable. We all have things about our bodies that we don’t like and there are more important things to worry about than the fear that a rebellious whisker is potentially waving to everyone as I make my way in the world… Love yourself, flaws and and all.

Take care, Lisa.