When one of my younger sisters was a tot, she approached language with great diligence. For the longest time, she referred to arches over eyes as “brow-eyes.”
Our family had a saying: When we felt someone was making too dramatic a show of empathy, we would say this someone had “concerned eyebrows.”
When I was a teen I plucked my brows into thin lines, after the fashion of the day. My father, who thought Joan Crawford had stunning brows, was not pleased. Now that my brows have gone the way brows do at sixty-five, I wish I had left my teen brows alone. Oh well, there’s always makeup.
Somewhere along the way I embraced the term “darkened brow.” I try to observe myself for storm signs: when my brow-eyes knit together, watch out!
Yesterday morning I kept the Adorable One for some hours. At 19 months she’s picking up language fast. Mouth, ears, nose, elbow, knee — these are old hat by now. So I asked her to locate her eyebrow. She did, and said “eyebrow,” clear as a bell. However, when her granddaddy showed up and I asked her to locate her eyebrow, she pointed to the middle of her forehead. Could she already be practicing the Middle Way? the Third Eye? I wouldn’t put it past her. Or perhaps she was playing a joke on me for trying to show her off. Or maybe she’s seen a uni-brow. Who knows? At any rate she has the most charming eyebrows any child ever had, and that’s not just because I’m her grandma.