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The Day I Went Bald

February 20, 2012

Once upon a time, I decided to go bald. No, not on my head. The other kind of bald.

Blessed with blonde body hair and pluckable eyebrows, I have never needed to resort to waxing. I couldn’t relate when others spoke about this beauty maintenance staple. The awkwardness of baring all in the salon, the strips of scalding wax, the brief desire to murder someone post-hair ripping–it was all foreign to me. Although the inability to relate on such an agonizing experience might please most normal people, it really bothered me. I felt like I was missing out. So I scheduled a Brazilian.

I was really excited for my appointment–until the day arrived, when I had a bit of a mid-morning panic attack. What does one even wear to a waxing?, I wondered. Should I wear a dress for easy access? Is freeballing appropriate? Then I realized with horror that my eyebrows were in a state of disarray. This was a problem–based on other peoples’ tales of judgmental manicure technicians, whose harsh words (“Ooh honey, let me fix those hairy caterpillars!”) often result in the forking out of an extra twenty bucks. So I hurriedly plucked my caterpillars, determined that only one area was to get waxy that day.

On my way out the door, I popped two ibuprofen (okay, six) and considered making an OJ & vodka for the road. Then I decided that “vodka” and “for the road” don’t really go together, and especially not with my rather breakfast-less stomach.

Besides, I was too busy Googling “waxing FAQs” on my phone. Mostly I had learned all about how popular it was among soon-to-be mommies to schedule pre-birth waxes. Because, and I quote: “there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be as smooth as your soon-to-be baby’s bottom!” Yep, I’m judging.

When I arrived at the salon, I was greeted by my waxer, Marlene, who covered her mouth with a french-tipped hand. “It’s so nice to meet you,” she said in muffled tones, “but I have something to confess.” She removed her hand from her mouth, “I broke a tooth last night.” Sure enough, only one-third of her right front tooth remained. There was a jagged line where the rest of it must have snapped off, and it was mildly terrifying. “As your esthetician, I do NOT want you to think this is an aesthetic I approve of,” Marlene assured me, “I know you’re probably freaking out, and it doesn’t help that the woman about to perform your beauty treatment looks like a hillbilly.” Marlene then told me that, once she started waxing me, I was allowed to scream anything I wanted, aside from “You toothless bitch!” She then promised (no less than four times) she would get her tooth fixed soon.

Once we got into the treatment room, half-tooth Marlene was clearly in her element. “You’re going to love this. If you can get past the initial shock, it’s absolutely addicting!” Somehow I doubted that. Then she started doing her thing. “I need you to get rid of any embarrassment you have right now. I do at least thirty of these a week, so I’ve seen it all. And Valentine’s week, ohmygod, I’ve got girls in here from dusk ’til dawn. I’ll probably top two hundred that week–and the cute thing is, they allll think they’re surprising their boyfriends.” Marlene chuckled to herself, “It’s precious.”

Riiiiiiiiiippp. The first strip was the least painful, because I didn’t know it was coming. It was almost refreshing. I exclaimed (like a total dork, I might add), “Wow, I can do this!” My waxing cherry had been ruthlessly pummeled, and I was actually quite proud of myself. Except then came the anticipation…Riiiiiiiippp. As each strip-ripping became easier to anticipate, the thirty or so subsequent strips (yes, it normally takes that many) were progressively more excruciating. It took every ounce of self-control to avoid writhing around on the table in agony. By the end of it, I hated everything and everyone.

For the record, any man who expects his girlfriend to keep her tuft clean-cut, and who is not regularly getting waxed himself, deserves to have his junk tattooed with Tabasco sauce as ink.

But then it was done–finally. Why does anyone do this?!!?, I asked myself in utter anguish. I asked Marlene how long we had been in the room. “Oh, about ten minutes,” she chirped.

Before we parted ways, Marlene gave me a lecture on safe waxing. The major driving point was “no double-dipping”, which sounds way grosser in the context of pube wax (and not just plain ol’ queso). Marlene reminded me once more, “If you can get past the initial discomfort, waxing can change your life.”

So far, no major life changes have occurred. And frankly, I’m not sure if I’m willing to lighten my wallet another fifty big ones to get thatch slashed off again.

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