Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wax On, Wax Off

Before anything more is written on this blog, I would like to remind my readers – all six of you – that I am, and always have been, a girl.

This information is particularly directed to my son, David, age 22, who evidently suffered Acute Mouth Vomitage after reading my last post.

That his mother has, for lack of a better euphemism, boobs, comes as no surprise to young Master David. But, like thoughts of Roseanne Barr living in Utah or the ever increasing national debt, he chooses to ignore the more disturbing implications of such realities.

Nevertheless, having been a girl long before I was a mother, and realizing as I do that most of my readers are also females, I offer no apologies for discussing the complexities of Chestal Region Containment on my blog.

Life isn’t always pretty, Dave. I simply can NOT shield you from everything.

However, let me now warn you, the following observations are also distinctly feminine, and should be read with the understanding that women frequently share insanely personal secrets about themselves in an admittedly perverse effort to build intimacy.

“If I tell you this thing about my early experiences with mole removal,” the reasoning goes, “I’ll always have a special place in your heart.” Were the planet to some day find itself ruled entirely by women, Camp David would turn into the world’s biggest slumber party, and international trade sanctions would be imposed simply because President Nancy refused to discuss her most embarrassing moment with Prime Minister Maureen.

At any rate, male readers have now been briefed, and this might be a good time for you guys to go hit a bucket of balls.



A few weeks ago, while engaged in my Sunday morning tweezing ritual, I heard one of the three voices currently living inside my head tell the others:

“Hmmm…it looks like I’m getting a little bit of white in my beard.”

That’s right. You read correctly.

That hateful voice – who I’m hoping was later cornered in the parking lot and given a solid beat-down by the other two – actually used the words “my” and “beard” in the same sentence. How it managed to notice that one little hair and make the leap to “goat-like” was just beyond me, and you better believe I was determined to take action.

So when presented with the opportunity earlier this month to participate in a Group Face Wax, I came as close as I ever do to exercising, and jumped at the chance to rid myself of my freak show résumé.


Girls' Weekend 2009
Back row: Kim, Jill, Mom, London, Vanessa, and Amber
Front row: DeNae, Jennifer, Sally, Corinne, Avery, and Madisson



This was in Park City, where the women in my family had gathered for our annual Girls’ Weekend. This year, our sister-in-law Jennifer joined us, and of all the activities on the agenda, it was clear the one that held the most appeal for her was the promise of waxing.



This is Jennifer. You can see how embarrassed she is over that full-on BEAVER she's wearing on her lip. What? You don't see the mustache? Well any woman will tell you that is TOTALLY beside the point.


Unfortunately, the expert waxer – our other SIL Alison – opted out at the last minute, and we were left with a jumbo pot of hot wax and no one to apply it.

No one, that is, except Amber.

Amber is the most easy-going woman you will ever meet. Seriously, her middle name should be “Heck, why not?” or "Sounds fun! Count me in!"

So when it became clear that Jennifer was NOT leaving that condo until she had dealt with her little mustache problem, Amber stepped up to the hot plate, as it were.

While the rest of us gabbed in the living room, Amber took Jennifer, a first timer, into the bathroom, where she had a candle warmer, that fabric stuff, a gallon of wax, and our mother’s emery board waiting. (The little popsicle stick thingies had been thrown away by that same mother, a situation to which Amber of course responded, “Emery board instead? Heck, why not?”)

After a murmured consult, the waxing began. We knew it had started because the yak-fest was briefly interrupted by a “yeeeeeeeeP!" which indicated that Jen, the waxing virgin, had just been deflowered.

A few minutes later, Jennifer emerged, red faced but slick as a whistle, and Amber invited her next victim into the room.


She looks so happy here, doesn't she? It breaks your heart, it really does.

Sally is Kim’s beautiful new daughter-in-law. Her mother is a professional makeup artist, working on movie sets and backstage at theaters. Why she ever thought it would be a good idea or even particularly necessary to subject herself to Amber’s ministrations I can’t imagine. It may have had something to do with wanting to be a good sport, or assuming, naively, that nothing much could go wrong.

Or it could just be that some people have to learn things the hard way.

Whatever the case, there was little left to the imagination when Amber suddenly shouted from the bathroom, “I’m not a professional, Sally! I’m a freaking waitress for hell’s sake!”

When Amber poked her head out the bathroom door and asked us how many eyebrows faces are supposed to have, we knew Sally would be wearing a Wal Mart bag over her head for the duration of the weekend.

Then it was Vanessa's turn, and she wound up with wax on her teeth. I have no idea how Amber managed that, but you can't argue with the results.


My daughter, Vanessa, back when she still had, you know, enamel.

Now most folks would consider these three raging successes and conclude their chances would be better just sticking their heads in a french fryer. But the echoes of that crazy voice describing my chin as ‘bearded’ drove me into the bathroom, recklessly abandoning reason in favor of the hairlessness we have come to worship as a society.

(Raise your hands if you wax, Veet, or shave your arms. Yikes! Put them down, put them down! The light reflecting off your skin is flagging down low-flying aircraft.)

I knew our culture had hit a too-much-time-on-our-hands low when the commercials for hair removal on men began airing. While I was always the first to cry “Weed whacker!” whenever the East German swim team showed up at the Olympics, I am still a little perplexed by this relatively new obsession with having skin that feels like it came off a pudding.

Kim followed me in to the room, assuring me that having my entire face and neck waxed would change my life.

“You are going to LOVE how it feels! Your makeup will lay down SO much better now.”

I hadn’t particularly noticed my foundation standing up and waving at passers-by, but evidently it had been a subject of some concern for my sisters.

Not wanting to cause them any more pain, I told Amber to start at the bottom. Well, not the bottom-bottom; Alison was the only one trained in such advanced waxing procedures, and even then I would only allow her to do so if I had first been run through a saw mill. There is just no way someone I share Thanksgiving dinner with is going to wax the south forty while my head is still attached to my torso, no matter how many graduate classes in “Keeping a Straight Face” she’s taken in Aestheticians’ School.

Amber dipped the emery board into the vat o’ wax and brought it up, sizzling and – I swear – flaming, and smeared it on my poor, unsuspecting chin.

I don’t remember what happened after that; I think I blacked out. Until then I had always understood how men could consider women “weak”, what with our only having child birth and mammograms by which to measure our tolerance levels.

But when a woman sits calmly while someone deliberately and systematically covers her face with the sort of stuff used to pour over castle walls against invading marauders, then applies a sheet of cotton, rubs it into place, and rrrrips it off with the hope that not only the hair but the roots and, if possible, the DNA strand governing facial hair growth will be yanked through multiple layers of skin, I have to believe the term “weaker sex” requires a re-think.

When I came to, Amber was almost finished. All that remained was a patch right along my jaw line.

I hesitated when Kim suggested I have that part waxed as well, but Amber encouraged me to go for it.

Pausing for just a moment’s consideration, I deferred to her expertise.

“After all,” I confided, “You’re the waitress.”

40 comments:

Perpetual Mommy Exhaustion said...

Hi! I'm new and you don't know me, so I can safely tell you things about myself you will wish you didn't know! Luck, lucky you.

My room-mate in college and I decided to wax our bikini lines together at home in preperation for spring break. We applied the product to both legs (or thighs, or extremely tender skin areas, or whatever). We calmly yanked off the first strip. Then we cried and screamed. We were horrified to see that we were bleeding! And we still had to do the other side!

Never, never again.

Not even for a qualified waitress.

Pedaling said...

i am so glad we were talking chin...
just sayin'

have you ever had the inside of your nose waxed?
i do it a few times a year and talk about free and clean and liberating...
that is the ticket.
and it doesn't hurt!
weird, i know!

Lacy said...

I'm just saying (with absolutely no experience) anything that says "wax" and "inside" in the same sentence is NOT GOOD! No matter how much they claim it doesn't hurt there has to be a line....

Debi (Dubs2007) said...

I've gone in twice to get my lower legs waxed - plus usually my eyebrows and once my lip.... yeah and both times I vowed I would never do it again.... crazy what women will do once they forget the pain again...

Lara said...

There are too many horror stories about waxing for me to do it very often. I occasionally go get my eyebrows waxed, but I think I'm allergic to the stuff, because I itch for days afterward. Come to think of it, my friend and I once waxed our upper lips (the beavers, you know) in Jr. High, and I broke out in hives instead.

Kazzy said...

I go into a weird panicky state when I can't find my needle nose pliers, I mean tweezers. A daily ritual for sure! I wax every now and then, but have never trusted anyone to do it for me. Sounds like you guys had a real bonding kind of weekend!

Kristina P. said...

So, I am having breakfast with Amber this week, and now, I am in fear for my life! Have you seen my posts about my hairy neck wattle? Seriously, I have to SHAVE it. I probably should wax, but it hurts and I break out!

L.T. Elliot said...

I love the wax for the eyebrows but anything else and I seriously swell up for days. So on top of being "shiny (and I mean shiny) new and hair free" I'm also freakishly similar to quasimodo mixed with a peanut allergy.
Sometimes it ain't fun being a girl.

Hel said...

Pedaling!!! I totally wax my nose hairs, but my waxings are a bit more often than a couple of times a year. Out of necessity (and to avoid nose hair comments from my husband) I wax them at LEAST once a month. It's a cross I bear.

DeNae - six readers! pshaw! you are too modest. As you already know I am strongly against all chin hairs, so I am glad you are taking up (stronger) arms against them. I hear those white ones are harder to get out. Is it true?

My first self waxing episode ended in a rather nasty shin bruise that didn't go away for 2 weeks. Jealous?

Brooke said...

I'm wondering . . . Do you have a legal document written up which all of the "Girls" must sign at these outtings? Something which waives all their rights to anything that they may say or do during the duration of the weekend, and with a warning (probably in very small print) warning them to pose for photos, participate in "activities" and fall asleep at their own risk?

If so, can I get a copy of that for my family reunion? 'Cuz I have a couple siblings that would probably sue the pants off me if I tried a similar blog post. :-)

Loralee and the gang... said...

The waxing party sounds like it was "fun".

And I went back and read your prior post. I bet your poor boy was traumatized after reading that!
:~D

Cherie said...

Oh my gosh - so funny! I think my sons and my husband stay away from all blogs for this reason. You never know what might pop up!
I was afraid to wax until just last year when it was either wax it or shave it. So I took the plunge. I do it myself, when no one is home, and I drink strong drink (straight Coke from the can not the sissy diet stuff!) right after I finish screaming!
Good job on being brave! ha ha Loved your whole story :D

wonder woman said...

Never. Never. Never.

Unless I grow hairs on my chinny chin chin like my momma. Only then would I consider waxing.

Here's to sharing embarrassing and personal details in the name of intimacy!

Jessica said...

Only at a girls retreat would I be conned into waxing. And I think that your sisters could con/shame anyone. I love your stories and your family! I hadn't seen any of your sisters since the bottle of dark took over their hair.

Kim with a Daughter in law? That makes me so old.

aunt dyanne said...

I'd say... "haven't any of you girls heard of electrolosis?"

but then - I would have to be honest and say....the pain from waxing is over rather immediately....electrolosis is painful for the entire time you are on the table...

just sayin - so now ya'all know... I'm a decendent of sasquatch...talk about crosses to bear...

Gloria (The Mamafamilias) said...

In the immortal words of Larry the Cable Guy, "I don't care who you are, that's funny".

Lisa said...

Waxing is for wimps. If you`ve ever experienced torture then you have used the Epilady. Do you remember that device? Three circular devices, covered in thin wires, that literally yanked the hairs out of your arms, legs...etc. The first, and last, time I ever used it, I did not follow the instructions to 'soften the hair follicles' by having a warm bath and a loofah. Poofah loofah...who had time for such preparations as that? I 'epilady-ed' my legs...it was so cool watching the plucked hairs get flung across the room! The pain! Oh, the pain! But it was totally worth it because this newly plucked me would stay hair free for 6 weeks! After I finished I sat down at my desk to study and after awhile I got very itchy. Mere rubbing one foot against my leg wasn't enough so eventually I reached down and scratched. My hand came up all sticky...covered in blood. I looked down and I was bleeding from every pore!! I had hives and scabs for weeks! No hair mind you...so I guess it worked.

InkMom said...

I'm about to run off at the mouth about things that should never be in print . . . but here I go.

My sister-in-law is Brazilian. Did you know they start waxing really young, so by the time you're a grown up and you're ready to be . . . infant-esque, it's no sweat, it doesn't even hurt, blah, blah, blah. She's a liar, I swear.

And so when I was complaining about going to the lake this summer, and not being able to really see my bikini line anymore (pregnancy, in case you couldn't figure it out) she suggested waxing. She gave me all of her Brazilian stuff and sent me home to take care of my hair problem.

Enter my husband. You see, if I can't see my bikini line to shave it, I sure as heck can't see my bikini line to wax it.

Seriously, I needed a belt to bite on or something because it was . . . well, let's just say it was something less than foreplay. Significantly less.

But it worked. And my bikini line looked great (not that I could see it) and masochist that I am, I have required my dear one to help me out with hair removal several times since. Poor guy.

What price beauty, right?

DeNae said...

Darling InkMom, I have never felt closer to you than I do right now.

Never.

AS Amber said...

Oh. My. Gosh. This was so dang funny! I had to read it out loud to Tavis. (I already told you ((and him)) that he's not smart enough to read your blog.)

But ya, it was so freaking fun! A ha ha ha!!! I'm still laughing!

I'm gonna follow in Ink Mom's example and tell a story of my own. I had a partial Brazilian a few years ago. Yes, it hurt. Yes, I bled. But I was silky smoothe so it was worth it.

So then I bought the wax kit you partook of and decided to do my own. I slathered the hot goo on my...self and then lost my nerve. I couldn't do it! I didn't have enough mind over matter.

So I hit Alison with a text to find out how to get this wax off my...self but she was working and couldn't answer me for several hours.

So I worked the strip of fabric off my...self very slowly but of course that left a ton of goo on there. For the rest of the day my undies were GLUED to my...self until Alison got back to me and told me to use baby oil.

It worked. Whew! NEVER AGAIN will I try THAT at home.

Then five days before I had Harley I went in to get "cleaned up" since my yoo-hoo was going to be on display.

Holy, holy, holy crap. Never, ever, ever (bone marrow biopsies, lymphangiograms, two previous labors included) have I felt pain like that. You see, when your're pregnant your skin is a lot more sensitive...there. I had bruises for a week!

Needless to say, labor was a full-on BREEZE compared to that! Buy hey, I looked "pretty".

Whaddya say? Waxing party at Thanksgiving???

Jami said...

I feel so bad laughing at your pain. I'm such a wimp--nothing except--actually strike that--no except. Nothing would ever talk me into waxing. Besides my tweezers would get jealous.

charrette said...

HA! That DID make me laugh..which is such a good thing!

I too occasionally have one stray white hair show up under my chin. But the tweezers always manage to get it somehow.

Waxing is a torture I had only to endure once, and vowed never again.

Mallory said...

Hilarious! I wax my legs and pits...but only because I have a toddler and don't have time to shave every week. So, when I can practically braid my pit hair and my legs look more masculine than preferable, my excuse to my 16 year old little sister (who exclaims, "Gross!" at the hair) is...Oh, yeah, I am waxing tomorrow.

Homer and Queen said...

Yup...chin is nothing, try a brazilian! And yes the Epilady thing was the worst thing ever!

Sarah said...

You have the best way of describing what it truly means to be a woman. My grandma used to always say you have to suffer to be beautiful, you proved this to be correct with this post!

Tara said...

I think this is now my new favorite blog! Thanks Brooke!

The Garden of Egan said...

Wow! I just think I know you like a sister and then....you shock me again!
I would NEVER discuss my chin hairs over the blogland! I would never admit out loud in blogland that I have 90 pair of tweezers all over the house just so that in a moments notice I can drop what I'm doing and go after the errant hair! Nope, I would never admit that.
Anyway, I do a second job just to be able to take care care of that. I would never wax...I insist upon only using a laser on my face and pits. Yup a laser, you have to wear eye protection and everything...nothing like it in world.
Hopefully Camp David will recover from the shock of realizing that his mamma has maammaaas!

R Max said...

I can't imagine why a group of grown women would volunteer for this! I didn't know you were so enamored with pain. I'm pretty sure they don't even treat Al Qaeda POWs to waxing sessions. It probably violates the Geneva convention.

Mom said...

O.K. Denae, Do you ever remember Grandma Christensen's brother Puz? Well his wife Till and he were at a Scofield fishing overnighter with us. My Mom tells us not to look at Till because she would be shaving in the morning.Yeah like that would happen,we could hardly wait for morning. Sure enough, her mirror was nailed to a tree and she was lathered up and shaving. We were shocked and glad she'd married into the family and we didn't share her hirsute DNA.

M-Cat said...

1. Love the fact that your usual humor is BACK!!! I am laughing hysterically picturing you and Amber.

2. Since we are confiding, my boss's mother told her she didn't feel old until she found a gray hair "down there" You know - brazil......

3. Really Pedalig? For reals???

DeNae said...

"Mom", aka Julie, do you marvel that we didn't all end up as hillbillies, with relatives named "Puz" and "Till" and a grandmother named "Fanny"? Seriously, who was choosing the names back in the 20's??

Motherboard said...

Oh my goodness! My face and my cha-cha are hiding. I have never waxed anything on my body, and I plan to keep it that way.

(WAY funny btw!)

Jen said...

K...just for the record, I’ve been waxed SEVERAL times before, just got sick of paying for it!! UMMMM...after this experience I’m thinking I’ll just pay the money!! NO, Just KIDDING…Amber was a great sport and did a great job. After all, she is just a waitress, and a DAMN good one at that!!!!

Melanie J said...

Wax is for pansies. I go after those damn hairs with lasers blazing. I AM NOT MESSING AROUND!

But I see I'm the minority. I also bet I'm the hairiest person that reads your blog, so there. Do you feel close to me now, too?

Uptown Girl said...

just remembered that I need to get some waxing done...

hi, I just found your blog thru "Lets have a cocktail" and I'm definitely hooked.

Kim Almond said...

Good job, Sister! That's pretty much how it happened. I'm sitting on the couch laughing so loud that my family is getting annoyed! Jessi...yes! A daughter in law! You think that makes you feel old? I could be a (shhhhh... ) grandma!

Ladyluck said...

Very funny and relatable. I found your blog by doing a "my very funny blog" in google, just to see what kind of person might name their blog "my very funny blog." Your blog came up about four or five spots down in the search results and I'm so glad it did! I especially like your justification of the name...who doesn't have moments like that?

Amber Lynae said...

Denae, you must now explain to my husband why i was laughing so loudly, and keeping him awake.

I only laugh because I can relate. Well that and you express yourself so well. Thanks for sharing.

Debbie said...

Good mercy, woman. How you do make me laugh. You can tell a tale like no other - and I have met most everyone by now.
Anyway, I've never been waxed and hope to be able to say that for quite some time. I did give birth in my bedroom but waxing sounds waaaaay too painful for little old me.

JennyMac said...

I’m not a professional, Sally! I’m a freaking waitress for hell’s sake!

this might be the funniest thing I read all day....and it is only 7 am here. You crack me up!!!!