I woke up the other morning and, for some reason, heard my grandmother’s voice in my head saying, “Always wear nice underwear. You never know when you’ll be in an accident … God forbid, spit, spit.”
My brain immediately went into connecting-the-dots overdrive. Clean underwear, I thought, is a given, but I do get lazy about grooming myself in the winter. So I hopped into the shower and shaved my legs. Once that was finished, I looked further up and realized that I had not been tending to the garden ... hadn’t mowed the lawn. Unbeknownst to me, I was now sporting what looked like a full merkin (see Wikipedia explanation here).
Before I reached for my Lady Bic, I remembered a Groupon I saw for The Hollywood Wax (I’m sorry, this is just the way my mind works). The Hollywood Wax, for the uninitiated, was not a landing strip or a Brazilian. It was simply gone in 60 seconds, bald eagle, no happy trail ... you get the idea. I thought if you’re gonna go, go big, go all the way. Which is to say that I really didn’t think it through at all.
I immediately called my 20-year-old daughter and asked what I should wear to this momentous ... er, trimming. If I wear a dress, I imagined, I’ll be naked on the table, but in less pain on the way home. If I wear pants, I can keep my shirt on, but wouldn’t I chafe? She lovingly reminded me that I had given birth three times and this bikini wax would be marginally less invasive. And when did I become so uptight and prudish? She was right.
I hung up and called my 27-year-old daughter for further insight. “Mama, that’s wonderful that you’re embracing your sexuality after so many years,” she said excitedly. “Good for you!” Ugh! What had I started?
This Hollywood Wax was turning into a "sweet 16" production, table seating and all. I'm not sure why exactly, but I was so nervous. I eventually chose yoga pants and a T-shirt. This would prove that I wasn’t shallow or perverted, just a healthy, spiritual 51-year-old woman who wanted to go commando!
I drove to the shop and was greeted by a lovely, young woman from Turkey who immediately made me feel like we had been cousins back in the old country. Her shop was clean and smelled like cucumbers and lavender. I sat down and just as soon as I picked up an Us magazine, she told me to go in the back and remove everything from the waist down.
Grateful for have chosen the T-shirt ensemble, I neatly folded my yoga pants and carefully tucked my underwear inside of them so that the woman who was about to see all of me would not see my underwear. Thanks, Grandma!
I lay down on the waxing table and, to my dismay, realized that there was no sheet or gown to cover my exposed situation. I was just lying there, crossing and uncrossing my feet, with my arms down by my side, but thought that looked too formal, so I put one hand under my head while placing the other on my stomach. I wanted to look as nonchalant as possible, like I’ve done this hundreds of times, but on the other hand, I didn’t want her to think I was a porn star.
She knocked, walked in and immediately put me at ease. She started asking about my kids and talking about her little girl, and we were a full four strips in before I felt any pain.
Then the reality of the Hollywood Wax became oh so real. Without getting too graphic, there are three strips in particular that still keep me up at night when I think about them. Let’s just say they made the shape of a small triangle and they were almost internalized. And someone should think about making a horror movie based on this beautifying torture.
The first rip was so intense and severely painful that my shock trumped my pain. That moment was fleeting because the second rip happened while the shock was wearing off, and I fully realized I was in the thick of it. Number three was obviously going to be the mother lode from personal grooming hell, and AARRRGGGHHH!!! — it was. I temporarily feared that a very important part of my female anatomy — actually the most important — had been ripped from my being.
After catching my breath and regaining my composure, I noticed that I looked a little like a naked Barbie doll, although I was still anatomically correct. My older daughter would be happy about that. I assumed the worst was over and just smiled bemusedly, content in the knowledge of having chosen to be violated. And then, well, you know what happens when you assume. My sweet waxer instructed me to turn over.
And before I could even start another inane conversation — rip, rip — it was all over. She patted my behind with baby powder and told me I did great. Speechless, I turned over as she walked out humming what I thought sounded like "A Hard Day's Night."
Still stunned from the intense pain I had endured (why didn’t I ask for an epidural?), I got dressed, wearily unrolling my perfectly hidden underwear, and went out to pay.
“That wasn’t so bad, was it?” she asked while smiling her giant sweet smile. I vaguely remember mumbling something and gingerly walked out of there. I had survived my Hollywood Wax. It felt weird, looked weird, and the whole experience was weird.
That was a month ago and I’m happy to report that I’m finally getting back to my natural self.