Chicago Reader

I'm waiting for the day I can surgically rig my armpits to produce BO that smells like flowers. Since it's now possible to get my asshole bleached and my vagina tightened, that day will surely come soon--the sky seems to be the limit on remedies for the perceived misfortunes of the privileged.

Another case in point: the Lashe Spot, a brand-new Gold Coast salon devoted solely to beautifying hair in the ocular region. I rolled up to the grand opening last Thursday and was surprised by what I saw--or, rather, by how much I could see from the outside. The blinds on the windows of the tiny Delaware Street storefront were at half mast, allowing passersby to peek in and watch as well-heeled women lay on duvet-covered beds, enjoying complimentary brow shaping (the spa usually charges $30), eyelash tinting (usually $25), and the application of semipermanent lash extensions ($75), which owner Melinda Rodriguez refers to as "flirty eyes."

I'm used to spa services, especially ones designed to mask inadequacies, being performed in discreet, clinical, does-she-or-doesn't-she settings, but once I stepped into the small, white, one-room outfit, I caught the fever. The idea of ditching the clunky medieval torture device that I use daily to pitch my lashes dramatically upward, making me look more awake and Bambi-like, made it seem almost sensible to indulge in an eyelash perm. So I did.

Ignacia Garcia, my aesthetician, applied pads treated with antiwrinkle cream under my eyes, holding down the lower lashes. She then affixed a tiny rod that felt like it was made of flypaper to each upper lid and pressed my lashes against it, sticking them in place. Dipping a little paintbrush into tiny vials, she gingerly dabbed skunk juice onto my lashes and told me to relax for ten minutes. The sensation danced between burn and itch, which I found not unpleasant--but I'm one of those sickos who actually enjoy a hearty bikini wax after months of rocking it animal-style. (Tip: Haleh at Rocco and Rocco in Downers Grove does an immaculate Brazilian for cheaper than you'll find at any reputable place within city limits, and it stays rash free.)Then came neutralizing solution and an eyelash conditioner. Yes, I said eyelash conditioner