I am so delighted to offer you this essay by a very talented guest columnist who I’m also pleased to call my friend. —BetsyG
By Ima Hurting
While bronzing beachside just before the start of summer, a friend was sharing with our sisterhood of sun worshippers that she was off for her tri-annual Brazilian. As I pondered what her husband might think of that, she explained that she had been unshackled from the chains (and razors) that bind: bikini-line maintenance.
When my friend Lauren suggested that we, too, were worthy of maintenance-free loins, I was up for it, envisioning a pampered morn spent sipping iced lattes while inhaling the latest Paris Vogue.
My first glimmer that I was mistaken came when my childcare fell through. Lauren and I made a quick recovery, though; we decided our daughters could keep each other company while we were transformed from poodles into Chihuahuas. Note to self: bringing two 5-year-olds to a spa while having your “winter coat” ripped from your nether-regions is just wrong. We arrived armed with enough snacks, juice boxes, and toys to open our own daycare—remaining stoic under disapproving glances—and were relegated to the “special” waiting room upstairs…far from the other patrons.
After we set up Polly Pocket’s Play House, in strolled a beautiful young lady, emphasis on the word “young.” (I have a prescription for birth control pills older than her.) The other word that came to mind when I saw her was “perfect”: perfect makeup, perfectly manicured fingertips, perfect hair. Lauren and I immediately commenced Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who would have to go first.
Well, I suck at Rock, Paper, Scissors. Reluctantly, I followed Miss Perfect, like a lamb to a shearing, to Lounge Area A, where she handed me a piece of paper.
“Where do I sign?” I said.
“You don’t write on that, silly, you wear it!”
I wasn’t in for any eyebrow shaping, which was the only body part I imagined the thing would cover, so I considered alternatives. That’s when I realized that these were special panties, made just for Brazilian wax jobs. Who knew?
Alone in my private lounge, it took me five minutes to figure out how to properly adorn myself with what looked to be a miniature version of a paper hat. Once I was “dressed,” my tormentor, along with her accessories (perfect of course), came in to start what is now known as the longest and most painful 15 minutes of my life, including unmedicated labor.
To hide my discomfort, I spent those 15 minutes working my comedy act, as I tend to do in dark times. Humor and pain apparently being somehow related, the more she waxed, the more entertaining I became. By the end, I was ready for my own freakin’ HBO special.
I assumed the worst was over when Ms. Perfect proclaimed, “Your landing strip is all clear.” (If there is anything on my body large enough for a 747 to land on, I am obviously in the wrong place.) But then, out came…tweezers.
I had apparently drawn the straw for the type-A aesthetician who prided herself on leaving no hair in its follicle. Wasn’t it enough that I had endured the position known as “butt-faced to the ceiling,” all the while thinking, My God, I look like my dog when they take her temperature at the vet’s? Whimpering like a puppy, I tried to convince Ms. Perfect that she had already accomplished the perfect job and could she please put the tweezers away before I actually cried?
When my plucky waxer was finally done, I discovered to my horror that the table paper had become waxed to my butt crack. Ms. Perfect assured me this was perfectly normal, and could she book me again in 4–5 weeks? Sorry honey, but if you think anyone is getting near this landing strip again, you’ve got another thing coming—right after I rip this paper off my privates like a Band Aid. And, oh yeah, how much do you tip someone who has your fuzzy DNA attached to wax strips in their possession?
I returned to the lounge, where my friend took one look at me and asked, “Did they wax your face, too? You’re bright red!” Yeah, well, that was no day at the beach, so how the hell did I get a sunburn in my pants?
The things Mother never told you, and that’s probably because Mom was too smart to undergo a Brazilian: ice packs are a blessing. I spent the afternoon modeling my husband’s sweat pants as the fire in my Brazilian rainforests raged. I later learned something unfortunate about myself heretofore unknown: when a body part is subjected to trauma, it swells. I won’t describe in detail what it’s like to have Angeline Jolie’s lips…only they’re not on your face. It is not a pretty sight.
Who needs collagen, when there are Brazilians? Maybe that’s been Angelina’s secret all along.