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Sudie Crouch: Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin
Sudie Crouch

Hormones are not my friend here lately. I am sure it has to do with my age and all those changes women in my age bracket go through. 

I’m not able to lose weight as easily as I used to, I find myself feeling like I am thermally combusting when everyone else is shivering, and I am noticing a few other upsetting changes as well.

Part of me blames my ever-changing hormones, the other part blames my younger self and the proverbial curse that Granny always promised would befall my sassy, mean self. 

It all started one morning when Granny had asked Mama to bring something to her at to work. 

I am not sure how old I was, but I always enjoyed going in the sewing plant where my grandmother worked. The smell of the fibers being forged into work clothes at the Carwood would burn my nose the instant I walked in, with the huge fans whirling overhead. OSHA probably would have loved to know a small child was walking through the concrete floors, trying to find her Granny. 

Mama sent me in while she waited in the alley between the plant and the Pot Luck Café. Granny’s co-workers greeted me as I made my way to her machine, and the old gal was happy to see me. 

She nodded at me to put whatever I had for her under her machine as she kept sewing; Granny didn’t miss a stitch as she talked and her sewing machine had a loud, steady beat to it as she pulled the denim jackets through. 

I was fascinated at how easy she made it look. No wonder she could slap someone into next week; those coats were heavy. 

“This one made Honor Roll at school,” she said over the machines to her best friend, Pauline. 

Pauline smiled and nodded at me. “That’s great, hon. Helen brags on you all the time.”

I was shocked. My grandmother bragged on me? I needed to stay and soak some more of this in. 

No sooner had I decided Mama could wait a few more minutes, then Granny’s forelady suddenly appeared. 

“Sudie, what brings you here?” she asked. 

“I just had to bring something to Granny,” I answered. I may have been young, but I was smart enough to know I probably needed to head out. 

“Oh, how nice,” she said. “How did you do in school?”

She kept asking me questions about school, my piano lessons, and other things Granny evidently shared to my surprise. 

But all I could do was notice the fact that she had some dense hair on her upper lip.  Like more than I had ever seen on my grandfather or uncle. 

I had never noticed it before. Had this just grown on her since the last time I saw her?

My eyes were fixated on it, and every time she said something, my eyes followed her lip and the hair on top of it. 

I had to know where that came from.

Granny must have realized what I was doing because all of a sudden, in one quick movement she reached down in her bag and pulled out a half-eaten bag of Bugles and thrust them in my hands as she pushed me towards the door. 

“I’m going to make sure she gets out safely,” Granny told her forelady. “I’ll be back in less than five minutes.” 

I was distracted by the corn cones but still intrigued by the moustache. 

I looked up at Granny as she quickly walked me towards the side door. 

“Granny –” 

Knowing what I was going to say, she cut me off with an abrupt shake of her head.  Granny believed some things needed to be said at home. Unless, of course, she was telling someone where to go and how quickly. The Redhead Prime did have some standards of decency. 

When she got home, I was waiting for her with all of my questions

“Granny, did you see her moustache?” I asked. 

Granny sighed and sank down on the couch. 

“I did.” 

“Why does she have a moustache? She didn’t have one the last time I saw her. Does she know she has it?” 

Granny frowned. 

“Shug, she is going through the change. Her hormones are going crazy — she probably does know she has it, but if you bleach it, it’s still there, it’s just lighter. If she shaves it, it will come back worse.”

“She’s going to shave her face?” I exclaimed.

Granny shook her head. “No, she’s not. Like I said, it will be worse.”

“Have you got a moustache?” I asked, eyeing Granny’s face closely. 

Granny pulled back from my intense scrutiny. I was brazened and bold to be a chubby kid. 

“No, I ain’t got a moustache,” she said. “I do get some god-awful hair on my chin every now and then though. It’s awful. I don’t ever see it until I am out in the broad daylight and don’t have my tweezers.” 

One hair? That was it? That didn’t sound that bad. 

She assured me it was way worse than it sounded.

“Is this going to happen to me when my changes hit?”

Granny sighed. “Depends on which curse you get, Shug.”

Trust me, that one hair is pretty dang bad.

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.