My friend Stacy, who is 10 years older than me but similarly hirsute, recently took the following hair inventory:
Face and throat: Growing like wildfire.
Vagina: Can’t keep up. Accepting sea anemone-like state.
Brows: Bald spots and cowlicks. Using Lady Rogaine.
Lower legs: No hair.
Upper legs: Random 2-inch-long sprouts.
Big toes: Long, dark, curb-feeler hair.
Former prehensile tail area: Whorls of primate fur.
Despite declaring herself Hair Overwhelmed, Stacy manages to look saucy and well groomed every day. But then again, she is offspring-free and can thus afford the extra 7 to 9 hours each week to wrangle her lupine lips, tarantula toes and other situations into submission.
But, I implore you, what about me? As a mother of two under the age of 5, shouldn’t I be excused from the hair-removal gulag? Of course, you say. Who cares? Forget the wax — just nurture those babies! Well, my naive little chickadees, here are the hard facts.
Left to ramble as it pleased, the natural line of my bikini area would extend down my thighs, across the floor and partially up the wall. Same goes for my brows, which completely blotted out the sun across the New York area for six hours in 1987. My best friend in high school once sat me down, intervention-style, to somberly inform me that it was time to start waxing my arms. And, in addition to these burdens, there are now new problems vying for my attention: Fresh on the scene is the single four-inch-long, fine-blond hair that sprouts overnight along my jaw line. I do so enjoy brushing a flyaway hair out of my face and then realizing that it is attached to my face.
Further complicating the matter is that all of my neighborhood salons are staffed by Asians. Before you jump down my throat, please understand that I’m not impugning the hair removal skills of all Asians, everywhere. What I’m saying is that a hairless, hip-hugger-wearing, platform-be-flip-flopped Chinese girl in purple glitter nail polish is simply not emotionally equipped to handle my business. The last time I hazarded a bikini wax at the place up the street, here is what happened: Faced with my exposed bikini line, the hairless 22-year-old gave a sharp intake of breath that sounded like Heee!, then covered her perfect bow mouth with both hands and said through clenched fingers, “Ohhhhhhhh! It is going to hurt SO MUCH!” Not the words you long to hear from the person tasked with ripping out the hair near your vagina by its roots. I promptly sighed, gathered up my fluffy self and the remaining shards of my dignity, and went in search of a proper Russian.
Growing up in New York, I had instant access to thousands of zaftig eastern-European aestheticians ready to hand me a roll of my own fat and tell me to “hold this” before savagely tearing a strip of hot wax off my body. But here in the Bay Area, appropriately merciless she-men in nurse-white tights and orthopedic shoes are few and far between. Those who do exist work in downtown San Francisco, not Oakland. Where does this leave me? I wish I could tell you. It’s awfully dark in here.