An Ode To Heather McMahan’s Remaining Eyelash

In praise of the strongest among us.

Via Heather’s Instagram, which you need to follow post-haste.

Heather McMahan, for the unenlightened, is a comedian whose humor and podcast are quite frankly holding the shards of my sanity together. Her Instagram, character portrayals, and new loaf-of-sourdough puppy are a mainstay in my daily dabble into Internet things that won’t make me shit myself, and friend—those are getting harder and harder to come by. As we’re all aware, we’re a nation of DIY-ers right now whether we enjoy pickling our own beets or not, and these isolated days (fuck me, months) are showing us just how much we rely on others for certain services. Heather McMahan is a stunning example of one’s dedication to eyelash extensions and I have been following her and the wispy hairs above her retinas very closely.

Having been confined to quarters for some weeks now, it’s not surprising that Heather’s eyelash extensions would give up and depart this world for the next. I mean I can barely get out of bed every morning we can’t realistically expect our beauty treatments to be the thing that’s in this trashfire for the long haul. From the start of quarantine until now, Heather’s eyelash supply has been depleting, and honestly, it’s been a real comfort to watch.

Evidence of aforementioned lash depletion via Heather’s Instagram.

Day by day, as my gray hairs crawl out from beneath their follicles and act like they fucking belong here, I feel less alone. Every ugly and untreated part of me emerging like that girl crawling out of a TV in The Ring brings up self consciousness I didn’t know I possessed, and without my hilarious hero, that negativity might get the better of me. But no, no—Heather’s slowly diminishing lashes dropping out of the game like petals from The Beast’s enchanted rose remind me that we’re all in this together.

Not even Heather, a professional performer and all around put-together and stunning Southern bitch, is able to bring her full beauty game to the table. I’m sitting here crying over remaining scraps of gel polish while painting an original Renaissance work I’ve dubbed The Last Manicure with my nail technician in the middle like Jesus and the only thing that stops my sobs is Heather batting what lashes she has left. If Heather can’t maintain, it’s okay that I can’t maintain. Because if she’s unafraid to share her stubborn-ass lashes refusing to give up, that means the least I can do as a member of Team Responsible Distance is show up to my Zooms filter-free, and proud.

Heather, Heather’s remaining eyelash, thank you. Thank you for making me feel less alone despite the fact that I haven’t touched anything with a pulse other than my cat since early March. Your honesty and dedication give me strength in a time of uncertainty and breakout-inducing stress typically reserved for family trips. We’re living the Passover Haggadah come to life and that shit ain’t exactly a bedtime story. It’s been such a comfort to me to have you as a kind of companion, a friend yelling me to victory from the side of a digital Cheer mat, showing me every day that everything’s going to be okay, and in the meantime, fuck it. If you can hang on, then dammit…so can I.

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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