It’s no secret that women do strange things in the name of beauty, and I’m no exception. But I think the craziest has to be exercise in madness that I got myself into today….
I’m about to leave for a family vacation; a Disney Cruise. (Shout out to Disney, they are best cruise line ever) In preparation for the trip, I decided it might be a good idea to get a leg wax. If you have ever taken a cruise before you know how tiny the stateroom showers are; they are awkward, have crappy water pressure, and, on our last cruise, shaving my legs was a bit of a pain in the ass. So the idea of not having to worry about shaving was quite appealing. As I’m scanning the website of one of our local day spas looking to book my waxing appointment, I notice something else on the list of services offered: A Brazilian Wax.
I am going to be spending almost a week in a bikini; getting a wax in my, uh, “bikini area” might not be a bad idea. The thought of a completely shave-free trip was starting to sound like a really great idea. Now, I was well aware of what a Brazilian wax is, have known several women who get them and none of them appear to be insane (Key word here: appear– I now have my doubts as to the sanity of said women). I had never gotten one myself but I had considered it before. To be honest, the only hesitancy I had about a Brazilian wax was the awkwardness of being pantsless with a stranger; the idea that it was probably painful was not really on my radar. (Foreshadowing alert!) So, I go right ahead and book a Brazilian along with my leg wax.
Some women vehemently disagree with me on this one, but leg waxes are really no big deal; I don’t find them particularly painful. I mean, they don’t exactly tickle but they aren’t torturous. So why not get a bikini wax? Waxing doesn’t hurt much and besides, I have a fairly high pain tolerance. I’ve done all sorts of crap that is supposed to be horribly painful that wasn’t so terrible- pierced my tongue in college, didn’t really hurt. Had two c-sections, really not as bad as you might think. Cut my face open on a barbed wire fence when I was four years old- ok, that probably did hurt badly but I don’t remember the pain, so I’ll just say I managed to get over it. I get blood draws and IVs with barely a flinch- you get it, I’m not afraid of pain. Bring on the Brazilian!
Yeah. Those of you who have had a Brazilian know just how stupid and cocky that last paragraph was. I was about to know pain, up close and personal, and I didn’t even see it coming.
I cheerfully roll in to the spa this afternoon, blissfully unaware of how quickly the smile on my face was going to disappear. The woman doing my waxing greeted me with equal delight and we headed into her service room, i.e. torture chamber. After a brief explanation of the process, I drop trou, hop on the reclining chair, and we get down to business. I can’t stress to you enough how unworried I was at this point about what was about to take place; I was a so much simpler person before 4:30 this afternoon.
The esthetician and I are idly chatting as she begins to smooth wax on my nether region, and I must say I was completely taken by surprise as she yanks the first strip off.
Ouch, ouch, ouch. Ok, that hurt. That hurt considerably more than waxing an eyebrow. Whew, I think to myself, ok, damn. This is going to hurt more than I expected.
Next strip- RIP! Shit, shit, shit- this is serious. It really freakin’ hurts! It’s beginning to dawn on me that this might not be like waxing my legs. At all.
Next strip- rip! And again, rip! I’m starting to dig my fingernails into the chair, biting my lip, and desperately trying not to jump with each yank of the wax. Finally, one especially hard yank hurts badly enough that I jerk my head up.
“Shit, ouch!” I accidentally yelp out loud. I’d been trying to keep my misery to myself as to not freak out the woman doing the waxing. She gives me a sympathetic look.
“Ugh, I know, right?” she says to me. “It’s pretty painful, but you are doing really good.”
“Oh good,” I say with the weakest of fake smiles, trying not let my eyes tear up. “Well, I knew it wasn’t going to feel good. I’ll be fine.” I even gave a little chuckle. I laugh in awkward, unfunny situations all the time. It’s a weird flaw of mine.
She nods, gives me an encouraging smile, and continues to smooth more wax over my poor tortured lady parts. I take a deep breath and decide to try to relax. I’m surviving, I can handle it. The pain is not past my threshold, I can do this, man!
“Ok,” says the esthetician, meeting my eyes and giving me a tight, pained smile. “This is the bad part. Ready?”
Wait, what? The bad part?! You mean, the worst is still to come? I began to break into a sweat- literally. My palms and underarms turned into swamps as I took a long breath in. Real fear set in; if that last part was the easy part….oh dear God. I let the breath out slowly.
“Um, yeah. I’m…ready.” She nods and quickly gives the wax strip a quick, hard yank.
Do you remember the scene from the movie 40 Year Old Virgin when Steve Carell starts screaming obscenities during his chest waxing? Good, because you can picture the sheer amount of expletives that went through my head when she yanked that wax off. Holy. Fucking. Shit. I think I might have actually seen stars for just a moment, the way they used to in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. This pain….it’s legit. I thought I knew pain before this day; I was dead wrong. I bit my lip and struggled to keep breathing. To my credit, I kept the agony inside and managed not to verbally abuse the poor woman holding the wax. But I was beginning to have to fight the urge to hop off the table and run.
For the rest of the waxing, I just gritted my teeth, held my breath, and prayed for death. I was never so happy in my life as when she smiled brightly, patted my leg and said, “OK girl, all done!” You would have thought I had just won a flippin’ marathon for how proud I was of myself that I got through that whole ordeal without cracking, screaming, crying, or hitting the esthetician. I hobbled off the chair, aware that the lower half of my body was extremely displeased with me at the moment, and got (carefully!) dressed again. As I paid the woman for her services I felt not unlike someone who had visited a BDSM Dungeon; I just paid someone good money to torture my private parts.
All I can say now is that I hope I really appreciate the results after all of that. At the very least, have I earned a little street cred here for being fearless and hardcore? I hope the results really do last as long as they say because I don’t know if I’ll ever have the guts to do it again. I think my Venus razor and I are probably going to be resuming our lifelong friendship after today, but who knows? The next time I need to prove to myself that I can handle anything, I know what to do.