“Wax on. Wax off. Yeah right!”
Mr. Miyagi was full of shit. The wax does NOT come right off…not even with a little elbow grease.
Anyone who knows me even a little would probably agree that “graceful” is one adjective that does not apply to me. My husband has repeatedly said that I am the most accident prone person he has ever known. I might tend to agree. Even the little tasks carry a risk of danger when it involves me. Even the simplest grooming tasks. Nothing life threatening…usually. Still, I think I’m the only person I’ve ever met who has ever stepped on a hot curling iron. It fit perfectly into the curl of my toes. It’s amazing how hot actually feels cold at first, until the brain registers what’s happening. And blistering burns are interesting to treat when they are on the soft fleshy underside of your toes. I don’t recommend it.
I wouldn’t say I was ever against the grooming rituals, per se. I willingly risk the inevitable catastrophe with a smile nearly every day. And there is nothing more dangerous than taking a razorblade into a wet shower.
I’ve been shaving my legs since Junior High, and despite the tediousness of the whole regimen, I imagine I’ll be doing it well into old age. But, shaving the bikini area has never been my favorite. First of all, it involves a fair degree of yoga-like positions to reach everywhere, and then, as I said, it’s fraught with peril. So sure, I had often considered the alternative methods of hair removal for this area of my body. All it took was one spur of the moment decision in the grocery store, and the rest as they say, is history.
It was a typical Saturday night at my house, back in the time that I refer to as “between husbands” and by that I mean I was left to my own devices. Bored out of my mind. The kids were in bed, and the house was quiet. I had showered and brushed my teeth, wrapped up in nothing but a towel, and on this particular fateful evening, I was readying myself for my very first bikini wax. In hindsight I realize where my tragic mistake occurred. I had never as much as waxed my car at that point in my life, let alone my bikini area. Yet, here I was, heating the thick, melted peanut buttery substance to a near boil in order to smear it over the tender skin of my groin area.
Hindsight is a valuable tool that would only be valuable if it was foresight, which it is not. And so, I smeared. In my own defense, I read the directions twice, and followed them to the letter. My skin was clean, and the hair in the area to be waxed was of the specified length. I applied the desired amount of wax to the area, letting it cool for the allotted amount of time. So far, so good. I just had to grip the edge of the wax and pull in a fast upward motion in the opposite direction of the hair growth. It was just like pulling off a Band-Aid. I could do that. No problem.
There was no handle to this wax. It was just a layer of sticky mud, hardened onto my body like superglue. Try as I may, I couldn’t find any spot that I could pry up to use as a starting point to begin the required “ripping out the hair” motion. That was what this all boiled down to, the ripping out of hair. Had I taken the time to think it through, that simple sentence would have stopped me cold and saved me from myself. Hindsight is always too late. So there I stood in my bathroom, completely naked, staring dumbly at my reflection in the mirror.
But, I went to college, I was a smart cookie, surely there was a simple solution for my dilemma. And then, I remembered seeing someone having their eyebrows waxed at a salon (I had never gotten mine waxed at this point) and the technician used a small linen cloth to tear the hair out with. That was it. I would have to use a cloth. So I began digging in drawers looking for anything that would work as a linen cloth wax handle. I ended up cutting a swatch from a spare bed sheet.
I pressed the credit card sized swatch of sheet against the hardened wax and tried to quickly pull as I was instructed, like pulling off a Band-Aid.
Well, the cloth pulled off easily, but not a single trace of wax was attached to it. I stared at my crotch in the mirror yet again and at the edge of despair, an idea came to me. The wax was cold and hard. I needed to add more so that the cloth would stick. It made perfect sense. Get the cloth to stick, fast upward pulling motion, like pulling off a Band-Aid, no more wax.
So, I dipped the spreader back into the sticky gunk and buttered the area like a piece of toast. My internal dialogue was something to the tune of, “press the little cloth to the wax, ok, so far so good. Let it cool for a second. Done. Now, pull in a fast upward motion against the hair growth, think Band-Aid, think Band-Aid.”
Think more hardened wax attached to my groin like plaster. Think panic.
I thought about calling the 800 number on the box but I decided that regardless of my predicament, that was too embarrassing. Instead, I started to pick at the wax like old finger nail polish, an equally futile practice that yields little if any real results.
I thought about running really hot water over my crotch to melt the wax, but the temperature required to melt the wax would have undoubtedly caused serious burns to an already tortured region, so I scratched that idea. Last resort? I pulled my Lady Gillette off the side of the tub and started shaving. Not an easy job, I promise you. The Lady Gillette razor was never meant to shave hardened wax off the skin, just hair. But, after thirty odd minutes, and six blade changes, the majority of the wax was gone. Unfortunately, a good amount of wax residue remained like the gummy leftovers from a sticker that had accidentally gone through the wash on an article of clothing, and for over a week, every time I bent over I stuck to myself. And I wasn’t the only thing sticking to me. The insides of my clothes left a nice little lint trail behind. The blue lint from the insides of my jeans was particularly colorful.
I can honestly say, and I mean this as a stern warning to anyone who has ever cruised the feminine hygiene aisle at the grocery store and contemplated buying a home waxing kit, the worst possible mistake a woman can make is to attempt her own bikini wax without previous experience. I only wish someone had warned me about what thereafter would forever be known as, “the bikini wax disaster.”
Until next time…