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.
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.
(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.”