I had worked with Nikhil for six months when I asked him if I could pluck between his eyebrows. This was in 2004. He was the PM on Desktop Search, and by the time an intense half-year passed, we developed a jovial friendship.
Let no one say that I went into the question unprepared. The night before, I put a pair of tweezers into my purse so that if he said yes, I could do it right there on the spot.
"Never!" he said. "I wouldn't even let Becca do it." [Becca is his longtime girlfriend.]
Over the past two years, I asked him on and off about the eyebrows. Sometimes we pass each other outside building 43, and we say hello. Then I ask, "Can I pluck your eyebrows?" He says with a smile, "Never!", and we keep going our merry ways.
Last Saturday, Nikhil held a party in the SoMa district of San Fran. He and Becca brought their dog, clothed in a cotton "I Heart Dad" doggie shirt. I'm not a big fan of dogs, but their dog is unobtrusive. It makes a low growling noise instead of barking, and its fur is tidy.
Around 1 am, as Nikhil sprawled on the living room couch, I asked the time-old question.
Venus must have been rising from the proper house of Jupiter, because he said yes. Becca supplied tweezers from her makeup bag. Although it was hard to contain my joy from fulfilling the two-year wish, my hand stayed steady as I pulled out his T-zone hairs, first three and four hairs at a time and then precise trimming along the edges.
The other partygoers laughed and took pictures, which excited Nikhil's little dog so much that he ran over to sniff out the action.
After my handiwork on Nikhil's eyebrows:
The original eyebrows, from 2004: