Friday, April 01, 2016

Chapter 11: In Which We Lighten the F**k Up


So I am not always a high-handed semi-know-it-all, trying to pass off my opinion of the world as some version of wisdom.  I have, in the past, not been shy about tackling subjects such as semi-public nudity, hair removal, sexuality, social taboos, hang-ups or telling embarrassing stories about myself in the interest of a solid belly laugh.

If you’ve ever enjoyed any of these, dear reader, today is your lucky day…because today?  Today, we’re going to incorporate all of that into a single post.

Today, we are going to delve into the not-so-gentle subject of the Brazilian Wax.

First, a bit of background: or, “How I ended up sitting in this ridiculous position with a complete stranger’s face just inches from my hoo-ha”

My husband likes to grow a beard in the winter time; he really hates to shave pretty much under any circumstance, and he uses Mo-vember as a convenient excuse to begin an annual four- or five-month shaving hiatus.  He takes pride in achieving a truly outrageous growth of facial hair, both in terms of its length and sheer, Hemmingway-esque volume.  To wit: a few weeks ago, he was wearing a red ski jacket and was seriously mistaken for Santa by a dear friend’s grandson.

I have made no secret of my lack of affection for the beard.  Sometimes to the point of borderline shrewishness. (I know that this may come as a surprise to some of you; what with me being of such a meek, gentle, and biddable nature in nearly every other instance.)  A couple weeks ago, in the midst of one of my anti-beard tirades, my husband threw down the gauntlet: “I’ll shave the beard off if you get a Brazilian wax.” He smiled triumphantly.

“Done”, came my equally triumphant answer.

In the intervening couple of weeks my work schedule got pretty nutso and then we were called out of town to take my MIL to Florida.  And then, on Easter Sunday, my husband emerged from the bathroom, minus the beard. I was thrilled; he looked so handsome and clean! And I knew it was my turn. 

Tuesday night, I casually tossed out to him, “I made an appointment for Friday with the waxing place.” 

He stopped and looked at me. “You know you don’t really have to do this.”

“Wha-? Dude, a deal is a deal. Let it never be said that I reneg on an agreement.”  I could swear out of the corner of my eye I saw him make a little fist pump and whisper “yyyyessss!’ under his breath, but he soon straightened his face and said, “Well, it’s your choice.”

I've never been shy about trimming and shaving, but waxing is a new thing for me. I’ll say up-front that deciding where to have this sort of service done is not a trivial matter. It’s not exactly the type of thing you can just casually bring up among the ladies at work, or even among your close friends for that matter. “Really, these little pepperoni bites are delicious; can you give me the recipe?  Also, can you recommend a good place to get a Brazilian? No; the wax, not the cabana boy. Asking for a friend.”

I turned to Yelp.  Choosing the top-rated place on the list, I clicked through to the web site. “We make sure your Betty is always ready, including crystals and fun colors for your hair down there!” I blinked. Twice.

Then I clicked through to appointments.  I mean, seriously. How do you NOT at least check that out?

I used to keep a list of “Stuff I never expected to Google”.   This list contains items such as “Do parrots masturbate?” (they do) and “Did I just eat a poisonous mushroom?” (I hadn’t); I found myself adding “What is the etiquette for Brazilian waxing?” to the list.  Yes; there are pages that cover this.  The rules can be summed up as follows:

1)  Yes; you must take off your panties for this.
2)  Yes; you should shower beforehand
3)  You might want to avoid anything hard to digest the night before.

One might expect the first two at least to be self-evident.  I was puzzled about the third one, however.

They also say that the process does have some pain involved.  I’ve had my brows and underarms waxed before, so I was under no illusion about this.  But I’m tough, I thought.  I can handle it.

The proprietress of this establishment was a 30-something brunette named Nicole, who was friendly and efficient.  This is her business and she takes it seriously.  She greeted me with a brisk handshake.  "Hey, I got your note. Don't worry about being a newbie; I'll talk you through it.  We're not going to just dip you in wax and pull your hair out."  I told her I was grateful for that.

She led me to a room that contained what looked like a fainting couch, which should have been my first clue.  She came in and grabbed the pot of hot wax and her stack of fabric strips.  "Just relax; so what do you do...?"

I settled into a good-natured banter around politics as she started applying warm wax and fabric strips to my bits down below and I was feeling more or less about as comfortable as a visit to the gynecologist.  Which is to say, not exactly relaxed but not terrible.  I don’t have a lot of privacy hang-ups. 

“So, apparently there has been a Twitter hashtag called #TheThing that refers to Cruz’s extramarital affairs that, like, everybody has known about for weeks but nobody talked about until Trump’s camp rel-"


I studied embryology in college, and it’s well-documented that as we develop in the womb, we actually grow and then resorb a lot of features that are part of the anatomy of our evolutionary predecessors.  It would appear that at one point, we have retractable claws that we inherited from a feline ancestor somewhere along the way.  I know this, because as she tore off the first fabric strip, I devolved, shot off the chair six feet straight up, and embedded my now-extended claws into the ceiling panels, where I dangled uncertainly for a full 45 seconds.  I also spontaneously sprouted a tail, with the fur standing straight up on end. 

I was suddenly grateful to have heeded rule #3 above.  Good call.

“I warned you”, she said. “Just so you know, tail waxing is going to cost extra.”

Claws successfully retracted, I plopped unceremoniously back into the chair.
We repeated this process, sans dangling from the ceiling, perhaps a dozen more times. By the end, I had invented six previously-unheard curses in three languages, but managed eventually to resorb the tail.  I was just thinking “Wow; I’m glad we’re done” when I came to the realization we weren’t done. 

If you have ever had your eyebrows waxed, you know that the wax tear-off gets *almost* all the unwanted hair off.  However, there are always a couple of ‘strays’ that need tweezed out at the end.

I have to say that I hadn’t thought this part through.

So there was Nicole, tweezers poised, bent over her work.  I elected at this point to pass the time by singing Brunhilde’s Immolation Aria from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.

There are women who repeat this process every 6 weeks or so.  

1 comment:

Alison said...

I used to get my Betty waxed (but always had the esthetician leave a landing strip), but it's been ten years or more since I've had it done. I think I stopped caring about my Betty's beard, and since I'm not the hairiest gal, it doesn't really matter. My armpit hair won't even grow longer than half an inch.