I think I need a black light

This morning I could be seen squinting into the mirror and stroking my chin obsessively. I was looking for my pet.

Generally the hair that grows on my face tends to be of the fuzzy unobtrusive variety.

Except for my pet.

My pet hair is dark and grows underneath my chin, just out of my sight, and has the horrible ability to grow to the length of an inch or more.

Not only does it possess the length gene, it also possesses the stealth gene. It has the terrifying talent of staying entirely invisible to me until it has become a fearsome beast.

I have now plucked it out four different times, shuddering at the realization of HOW LONG it had to be growing there to have gotten that huge. Each time I find the thing has regrown, I think fearfully of all the people in the last few weeks who must have been watching it in horrified facination as it bobbed away on my chin.

Every few days, I survey my chin from as many angles as possible, hoping that I will actually manage to spot the thing before it looks long enough to belong to a gorilla. But so far, each time my pet has eluded me, waiting till it has become full-grown to make its gleefully presence known yet again, once again causing me the greatest of dismay.

This morning while pet-hunting (this time skimming the underside of my chin hopefully with a scissors) I remembered the time that our cat had ringworm. We brought him to the vet, who took him into a closet and stuck him under a black light. The black light clearly illuminated the ringworm so that we knew where to apply the medicine.

You suppose I could get a light that would illuminate my pet?

Might be worth a trip to the vet every week or two.

Or maybe I should just break down and Nair my entire neck.


  1. Your humbleness can be very funny. I was wondering if that is why your profile pic cuts off your chin…

  2. You are not alone, I have one too. It keeps coming back!

  3. so funny. my mom, sister, and I all this same exact “pet”. same place and everything. comforting, it is, to know that we are not alone.

  4. Make “pet watch” one of your husbands regular duties. He won’t mind.

  5. You’re not alone, but you’re braver than I am to post about it!
    Yes, I have several pets with the same ability to grow undetected. I was really, really tempted to post as anonymous.
    Recently I plucked 3 of them at once and hubby casually commented, “Yeah, I was wondering when you were going to do that…”
    He noticed?! Ewwww!
    Now I also have 2 eyebrow hairs that grow freakishly long and stand straight out from my head. Guess what: I can’t see them when I look in the mirror because they are sticking toward the mirror. I have to brush my eyebrows upward and look for anything reaching halfway up my forehead.
    Yes, they get sneakier. It’s becoming a battle of wits.

  6. I have one on my chin that is black as coal and really “pointy”. Gag. My hubby calls it “The Bandit”.
    The worst is that when I finally notice it I’m sure others have been eyeing it for quite awhile.
    Wow. Hair in places you never thought of, huh?

  7. I thought I was the only one that had one of these!!!!

    I don’t call it my pet, though. More like witch hair.

  8. So I’m not alone … it drives me crazy!

  9. I now have a whole patch of pets due to tweezing and missing the actual original pet. It’s quite terrifying. So nice to know I’m not alone. I don’t understand how they get so long when I’m not looking, because I’m pretty vigilant about checking for them. 🙂

    My mom used to sit in church running her hand along the side of her face and neck to search for them.

  10. My friends and I have a pact. When we are too old and feeble, we will make SURE that one of us sees to it that there is someone who comes weekly to remove all horrors, shave legs and paint nails. We are not going to go to seed. Look around when you have a crowd of girls together………. at some stage everyone starts feelign under their chins! Hysterical.

  11. Bwahahahahaha. My favorite quote is “I don’t think of them as chin hairs, I think of them as stray eyebrows”. It’s attributed, I just don’t know to whom.

  12. please remind me to never read your column while eating dinner again 🙁

  13. wait until it turns white and your up close vision goes!! mine is a real treat to find these days, i can feel it, just can’t see it to pull it out. so i wind up pinching myself with the tweezers time and again before i finally latch on to it. mine has always been in the exact same spot with the ability to show up and grow with no warning, mid day, at the worst possible time! at least being white, it’s harder for everybody to see. oh, in my family they are called ‘pig hairs’.

  14. My husband calls mine my “Jed Clampett.” I was on a search and destroy mission just today with a pair of tweezers and my 5 year old asked me what I was doing. I went into some long drawn out explanation. At the end of it, all she could say was, “gosh, I hope that never happens to me!” Oh it will, my dear. It will.

  15. You are hilarious. Hunting indeed. You’ll have to tell us all if it works out.

  16. So you have one too! I must say, it had never occurred to me to think of mine as a pet: so fond and affectionate. Maybe I start…

  17. Maybe I can’t talk…

    (That was supposed to be “Maybe I SHOULD start…”)

  18. You all have me laughing hysterically . . . except I’m trying really hard to be quiet, trying not to let hubby and kids know. I just can’t bring myself to TALK about it, though naming it sure is a fun idea!

    Linds, I’m gonna make a pact just like that with my friends! I love it!

    Hahahahah – thanks!

  19. LOL you are the best Mary!!!

  20. Uh, depends on what kind of relationship you, um, have with your vet…

    Inept with tweezers, I just yank mine out with my bare fingers! Takes a few tries, but it works.

    I cannot BELIEVE we all are talking about this… A veritable support group… =)

  21. I have several wicked black hairs that show up on my face and, like you, I never manage to see them until they’re about 2 inches long. I can only wonder who’s been seeing them for the past several days. I also have eyebrow hairs that are super long and bend at crazy angles… this really worries me because I am only in my twenties. I can only imagene how I will look at fifty or sixty years old. Really sad.

  22. Bwahaha . . . as you were probably writing this yesterday, I was searching in the van’s makeup mirror for the elusive “pet” on my neck that somehow goes from nothing to 2″ overnight!! We were behind a school bus, and considering my husband was driving and teaches the students on the bus . . . he said, “Oh, don’t worry, sweetie . . . you’ve just given my students fodder for plenty of joke’s about Mr. Peach’s wife yanking hair out on their way to school in the morning. I’ m not embarrassed in the least . . .

  23. Just think, in 30 or 40 years, we’ll have a whole pet store and not even care about them, let alone try to remove them.

  24. You mean you only have ONE pet?

    I’m jealous.

  25. This is a crazy coincidence! I’ve just been wondering who I can ask about this. My question is: Should they be tweezed or bleached? I’ve been tweezing, but they start coming in more stubby. So, as long as we’re on the subject… anyone know?

  26. OH, my FINALLY some honesty!!!!
    I think that the “Pig hairs” was the funniest! I with Chris….I jealous cuz you only have one.

  27. OOps! Evidently I was in too big of a hurry to post with any accuracy. I AM with Chris….I AM jealous because you only have one.

  28. I have one really long eyebrow hair that I haven’t seen in a couple of years because I pluck my brows. My dad found it the first time, and was so proud because he has really long bushy blond brows that stick straight out and he considers them his trade mark. I have another on my chin as well but it has also not made an appearance in recent memory.

  29. AGHHHH! Except for your cleverness, this could have been written by me, but I am not so brave! It’s nice not to be alone. For those whose husband’s have named their pets, I think that I would die!!!

  30. That was a funny and brave post!! Wow. I had no idea this happened to anyone else.

  31. As I read this I was stroking my chin checking for the ONE wiry whisker that sprouts every so often. Glad to see I’m not alone. If Mary has one then maybe I’m not a female freak of nature after all.

  32. Oh geez! Coffee almost came out my nose this morning! The thing that freaks me out is that I will be pet free in the morning, go out for the day, and return home to discover a pet has appeared! When did it sprout? How many people saw it? Did any of my friends see it and not say anything, but are now talking to each other about it? They are cruel little stinkers!