Nobody told me this would happen when I turned 40.
I expected all the usual signs of aging: the wrinkles, the grey hairs, and the sagging. Even the non-existent metabolism. Those I was ready for.
What I was NOT at all prepared for was the hair.
All the hair in all the weird places.
That crazy, inch long white chin hair that shows up out of the blue and makes me wonder how long it has been there and how I had not noticed it growing an INCH LONG.
The extra dark hairs on my toes that make me resemble a chimpanzee.
The dark hairs above my lip- okay, fine, my mustache- that I now have to have waxed religiously to avoid looking like Groucho Marx.
And the hair that suddenly sprouted in certain crevices where there had never been hair before. I was not prepared for the dark, coarse hairs that now inhabited by butt crackal region. Damn you, 40!
I tried what I could to get rid of that unwanted hair. I tried to shave. I tried to use an electric razor. None of it worked. It’s really hard to remove hair from an area of your body that you cannot see and can barely reach. I was feeling pretty desperate to get rid of that hair. It is hard to feel clean when every time you go to the bathroom it feels like you are trying to wipe up something out of shag carpeting.
One morning I came across a Groupon for a brazilian wax. I have never waxed any part of my body except for my eyebrows and lip and I scream like a baby every time I do that, so the thought of waxing any other body parts, especially super-sensitive ones never seemed like an activity in which I wished to partake. But I was desperate, remember? So, before I could change my mind, I purchased the Groupon and made my appointment.
Now, something else someone definitely should have told me somewhere along the way was that a brazilian wax is best done by somebody great, probably recommended by a friend, and not some random person who is selling Groupons to get more customers.
For the entire week before my appointment, I was a nervous wreck. I don’t care who you are, displaying your lady bits to a stranger who is going to put hot wax and rip out every hair down there is TERRIFYING. One of my friends bought me some numbing cream to use before the wax. Some of my girlfriends started a prayer chain.
On the day of the event, I had to drop my youngest at Vacation Bible School. According to its directions, the cream was to be applied 45 minutes before my appointment. So, after dropping off my son, I went into the church bathroom to “lube up”. Apparently the lock on the stall was broken. A lady walked in, I screamed “OCCUPIED”, and I prayed to God that I would never see that woman again. I’m sure he listened. I was in his house.
I surprised myself by not chickening out and actually driving to the appointment. The receptionist who looked exactly like Gunther from Friends, called back to my waxer. She came and retrieved me and I followed her down a hall to a room with a small bed, candles, and some cheesy, relaxing music. It would have been more appropriate to listen to Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” because I was definitely in hell.
The first thing the wax lady, I’ll call her “Michelle”, said to me was “did they tell you when you made your appointment that you should shave first?”
“Um. No.” Doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Why would I shave first to get hair removed?
“Well, if it is too unruly, I can’t do it. I can’t wax more than 1/4 of an inch. Is it longer than 1/4 of an inch?”
“Um. I don’t think so? I haven’t really, um, measured it.”
She stared at me.
Then she shrugged. “Okay, we’ll give it a shot. Hop on the table.”
She turned around from the wax she was mixing.
“You need to take your pants off, honey.”
“Oh. Well you didn’t tell me to!”
“I figured that was implied.”
I very ungracefully and with utmost mortification removed my pants in front of this bedside manner-lacking stranger and laid on the bed where she proceeded to scrutinize my most private parts.
“I think this will be okay,” she said as she started applying the wax. “I really hate doing brazilians. I told my manager that I wanted to do a Groupon for legs and underarms and she made it for brazilians. I didn’t want that, she never listens to me.”
“Um, I’m sorry?” I felt like it was a little late for us to be changing our minds at this point, but I didn’t really know what to say. “I can go to someone-”
Oh Holy God in Heaven! My eyes started to water.
“Honey, you need to relax! I can’t wax you if you are tense.”
It is very hard to relax when someone is pulling your hairs out one by one in a very violent, painful manner, but I was slightly terrified by this pissed off Groupon woman, so I tried hard to relax.
“Um, so, like, what is the after care like after having this done?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean….. is there some sort of cream I should use, or….?”
“Uh. Oh. Okay. Cool.”
More rippage, more pain, more watering eyes, more mortification. She informed me that there was some blood, but not to worry, that was totally normal. I found out later, it is not.
Finally, blessedly, it was over.
Then, “do you want me to do your back?”
I immediately thought of the hairy-backed men I see daily at the pool.
“No, I don’t have hair on my……. oh”, it dawned on me that she was referring to the actual reason I was there in the first place. “Um, yes, please.”
She then proceeded to demonstrate the position she wanted me in to be able to reach the back and got down on her elbows and knees with her ass in the air.
I flipped over and copied her pose.
“No, you need to back up. Back up to me like I’m your husband.”
I backed up and squeezed my eyes shut tight more out of humiliation than the possibility of the impending pain.
She applied the wax and, waiting for it to dry, while I was in that compromising position, took a seat in a chair at the head of the bed, made eye contact with me and tried to ask me about my kids like we were hanging out at the park.
“I don’t usually talk to people like this” I giggled self-consciously.
“Would you rather I be at the other end?” she asked, somewhat aggressively, while staring at me.
“Um, I mean, no, I guess not.”
She removed the wax. I bit my lip so I wouldn’t yell “Kelly Clarkson!” and, thankfully, I could finally get dressed. I looked around to see if there was anything to clean up the blood (it was more than a little), but there wasn’t, so I got dressed as quickly as I could and practically ran out of the room.
On my way out, Gunther asked me if I wanted to schedule my next appointment with Michelle.
“NO! I mean, I’ll just call when I’m ready, thanks.” I will never be ready for that again. Maybe in another 40 years. But probably not.
I would rather look like Chewbacca than do that ever again.