“Avert your eyes. I’m not here. You’re not seeing this,” I hollered at Paul, still in the shower, as I sat on the edge of the tub, lathering my legs from the travel-size can of Barbasol my daughter left here last Christmas.
Starting with the right leg I continued, “This is on the same continuum of how I neither burp nor fart. I am also effortlessly smooth.”
Stepping out of the shower, Paul laughed and repeated a bit of wisdom that makes me love him tens times more every time he says it,
“I’m still not sure why women do all those things, except that society seems to expect it, and I don’t know why women simply don’t kill all of us in our sleep.”
Yes, he is the best.
Scraping away, we were already cutting it fine if we were to make it to church, I considered that a large part of my toilette consists of Doing Things to/with/about Hair.
Shaving is the least of it. As a fair-skinned, blue-eyed blonde, my eyebrows are, well, blonde, so they’re augmented with Aveda’s Sepia pencil; my eyelashes are dark blonde at the root, pale at the ends, so these hairs are darkened with Clinique’s brown/black mascara.
We will not discuss what happens to hairs requiring Tweezers. They do not exist. Please see the first paragraph.
Finally, there is the crowning glory, the mop of fine, but plentiful, wavy blonde hair on my head. It is an independent entity, with it’s own (hopefully rewarding) life, opinions, and activities. It is contrarian, curmudgeonly, and it has always been. Whatever the fashion for hair is, it doesn’t want to do that. In my youth, it was truly beautiful, naturally sun-streaked and every color of gold. Now a lovely and talented woman named Kim helps me maintain the illusion and my vanity about my hair, which is, unfortunately, a lot.
Every time it’s washed we step into the arena, The Hair and I, generally resulting in a draw. I bring the weapons of blow-dryer, de-tangling brush, vented round brush, flat-iron, heat protective sprays, hairspray and determination, to which The Hair laughs, enjoying the home-field advantage of Texas and the fact that nothing Mankind has yet invented is a match for thick Irish hair coupled with 80% humidity. One step out of the door and I can literally feel it curling, frizzing, growing exponentially with every moisture molecule it absorbs.
How much time do I spend on Hair? Say, five minutes to shave legs, another two or three for lotion after, maybe five minutes to apply mascara and eyebrow pencil? Ten to fifteen minutes at least dealing with The Hair, so approximately thirty minutes spent just dealing with hair before I present myself to the world, not including the completely unnecessary Tweezers. Men don’t do this. Even the ones with giant Bro beards don’t do this, do they?
And I haven’t even discussed waxing, if there were a need for such. Like Tweezers.
All these unwritten rules put in place long before I was even born seem unfair, but of course I could opt out at any time. Grow The Hair out to it’s middle-aged, dish-water blonde, wear a lot of pants or just be furry-legged and proud, an eyebrow-less, eyelash-less middle-aged woman spitting in the eye of Societal Convention, embracing the passage into my Crone years.
I wouldn’t make it a month.