The other day, SaraDraws over at Laments and Lullabies posted about a subject near and dear to my heart, hatred of shopping. We are kindred spirits, Sara & I. Through my grousing about shopping, we also discovered that we mutually loathe a lot of the same girlish activities – such as bra fittings, shoe purchasing, going to the maul (sic) and shaving.
And through the magic of back and forth commentary, called on-line conversation, an idea was born. I need to post something about the horrors of shaving…at least the horrors I’ve had shaving.
So let’s start with some honesty. I’m a hairy freakin’ beast, hirsute, if you will. And, of course, it’s COURSE DARK hair…and I’m basically a lazy & cheap individual. So I don’t have my caterpillars eyebrows maintained nor do I get myself waxed. I will shave my legs and pits on a semi-regular basis…but that’s about all I can handle. Sporadically, I will tweeze my brows and take care of any other extraneous facial hairs that need eradicating. I envision going camping for a couple of weeks, forgetting to bring a tweezers and razor – and thus emerging from the campsite as a Sasquatch sighting. I’m grateful I don’t grow chin hairs (at least not yet)…there’s the silver lining.
But let’s get to the ha-ha…
It Was a Nair Scare…
when I was about 13 Nair Torture Cream became very popular. Those ‘short-shorts’ girls, with their hairless thighs made me green with envy.
I wanted ‘hairless’ to be part of adjectives that I attached to my thighs…”elephantine bowling pins” were how I normally referred to them…but “hairless elephantine bowling pins” had a nice ring to it.
Soooo…. I tried the Nair. Obviously those lassies in the commercial must have had 3 thin hairs per leg…because Nair did not do the trick on my forest. Yeah, sure, it burned off some of the hairs – but the ankle, knee and inner thigh hairs were still going strong. I also decided to ignore the post-rinse skin rash and the during-application burning skin sensation when using this product-from-the-gods.
If at first you don’t succeed, try & try again…so like any clever 13 year old, I decided it would be in my best interest to combine shaving and Nair-ing. Yes, people, I applied the Nair – waited the required amount of time then proceeded to SHAVE it off. It worked like a FUCKIN’ CHARM. All the hair was gone. I thought I’d hit ‘ pay-dirt’.
About 30 minutes later, my legs felt distinctly odd. And by ‘odd’ I mean they felt like they were on fire. Oh yes, yes they were on fire…then the rash started…then the swelling began. For almost a week my legs – from ankle to thigh – were swollen up like elephant legs, with a beautiful rash that itched. For the first two days, I had to stay home because I couldn’t have anything touching my elephant trunks…turns out I’m allergic to Nair AND it is highly frowned upon by ‘those in the know’ to shave off caustic lotions. Lesson learned? Meh… But I have a couple of nice scars left over from scratching my legs so much.
Hot Ball o’Lemon Candy
I used to be a belly dancer when I was in my 20s. One time my dance studio hosted a guest dancer from the Middle East for a weekend workshop. This amazing woman shared with us some of the non-shaving techniques that women in her country use. One of them was sugar wax which is basically taking sugar, lemon and water and boiling it until it reaches the soft-ball stage on a candy thermometer. Then, once it’s cooled (this is the important part), you apply the candy ball to your hairy bits and yank it off. Very efficient and painless – that was the promise.
Needless to say, I was sold! Here’s another factoid about me, I bend like a twig in the wind… this is one of the main reasons I don’t go to places where sales people get commission…I’m way too convince-able.
So anyway, I went home and made myself some hot soft ball o’lemon candy. I let the ball cool (or so I thought) and then sat myself on the kitchen floor with visions of soft silky hairless legs. TWO PAINFUL HOURS LATER I had blistered, puffy, sorta hairless legs. Here’s the deal, a candy ball may FEEL cool on the outside, but the inside is still BLISTERING HOT. I did not let it cool down nearly enough…and then proceeded to just burn the crap out of my legs. Sure it ripped the hair out – and the skin…and what skin didn’t rip off, just blistered. And stupid me, I thought “well, the candy will cool down as I use it” so I did it for a couple of hours. Stubborn and stupid – not a good combination. The really tragic part of this is that I WAS A PROFESSIONAL BAKER AT THE TIME…you’d have THOUGHT I would know more about candy making…nope – I didn’t let a little professional knowledge get between me and my dream of smooth hairless legs sans shaving. I have scars from that too…
I’m not even going to start on the vibrating spring that yanks out hairs….that ‘invention’ was masochistic… I can’t even remember what it was called – but I do remember my brother having me use it on his back and enjoying HIS pain from it.
Now, I pretty much just shave my legs. I did it dry a couple times in the past and paid for that dearly too. But my skin HATES shaving – and I get razor stubble about 2 minutes after shaving. I don’t see the point in doing it on a regular basis. And yes, I have some nice leg scars from ripping off the skin on my shins (I’m pretty sure every leg-shaving person out there has done this). I’m a body hair maintenance failure. I admit it freely.
I also tried threading – and even taught myself how to do it. It’s kinda hard. So one day, on a whim, I got my brows ‘professionally’ threaded. I was so excited until about 2 days afterwards when I had a line of blemishes over each eyebrow…just in time for Christmas!
I’ve also tried electrolysis – which combines PAINFUL with expensive. Sigh… and still the hairs grow back. I’m wishing for selective alopecia; where I can just choose to be hairless from my nose down to my ankles.
Anyway, I’ve made my husband PROMISE that if I’m ever unable to tweeze my embarrassing facial hairs that he would do it for me as an act of love (and so that he doesn’t have to look at me and see what kind of creature I’ve become).
A big “THANK YOU” for SaraDraws for inspiring this post…