Mon | Jun 14, 2021

Beauty is not pain, vanity is pain

Published:Monday | August 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM

"You must learn to satisfy."

It's an expression my grandma used to say to me often that I never quite understood or agreed with. To my then young and adventurous mind, it seemed the motto of the underachiever. It suggested to me that you wouldn't push any farther than you were. Wouldn't try.

You would simply be thankful for whatever ordinary life and circumstances you were born into and that you never dared dream of greatness. I always saw it as the kind of expression that kept slaves 'in their place'. Learn to satisfy.

Well, folks, an unexpected situation drove the message home to me in the 'realest' way, and I changed my mind quick-quick.

I don't know what came over me, but last week I decided that my eyelashes were lacking, and I was not satisfied with the way that God had designed them. After several phone calls trying to find someone who did lash extensions, I was referred to a guy upstairs a barber shop that everyone described as 'bad'. I should have known.


long-term solution


In my excitement, I was first in his chair the Monday morning and told him what I required. He said he knew just the thing and offered me a long-term solution that was waterproof, natural-looking and lasted 30 days. Sounded perfect to me.

Putting them in was uncomfortable, but I figured, 'beauty is pain', so I endured it. When he was done, I had two giant peacock tails flapping from my eyelids. This was nowhere near natural, but in 30 days I'd return to my normal self. Fine. My eyes had turned a little pink, but I suspected that was from the war and tear of installation. Off I went.

Apparently, I'm allergic to the glue, so by that night, my eyes were fuchsia. Not only were my eyes getting pinker by the hour, but my vision was fading as well, both from the irritation and the fact that the lashes were blocking my line of sight.

What should have been a product that lasted 30 days, I couldn't tolerate for 30 hours. I returned at the crack of dawn the next morning and begged that he take them out. The removal was far worse than the installation. Forty-five minutes with a solution on my eyelids that burnt like pepper, unable to blink for fear my eyes would glue shut. Then the lashes were plucked from the root one by one. Torture, I tell you.

I left with my lids throbbing,.but I was thankful the ordeal was over - or so I thought. How very wrong I was. Two days later, my left eye turned red. I can only assume that Fada God saw it fit to smite me wid a piece a vengeance because I wouldn't 'satisfy'. The offending culprit that caused the reddening was a remnant wad of glue lodged close to my eyeball. With the help of tweezers, a needle and my one good eye, I had to dig it out (and five eyelashes from the root). I doubt childbirth is as painful as rooting out that piece of glue was.

I learnt my lesson. I started out wanting more eyelashes and ended up with fewer. This is why Grandma used to tell me to satisfy. Sometimes, what you have really is good enough. Accept yourself, love the one you're with, stop working so hard to earn more money at the expense of family time. Sometimes you just have to satisfy. Be at peace with who you are and where you are, and take time to enjoy just that.

Dear Fada God, please allow the now five missing eyelashes to grow back fast-fast. They all came from the one spot in the middle and now the eyelash looks like it part. Sorry for not satisfying. From now on, I'm keeping it real.

- Patria-Kaye Aarons is a television presenter and confectioner. Email feedback to and, or tweet @findpatria.