An impromptu trip to Cabos, organized at the last minute to get over a disappointment, found me packing bathing suits and sundresses in a hurry, leaving me no time to get my body “bikini worthy”, meaning unwanted hair reared its ugly head in places not usually visible when fully clothed. Oh, I’ll take care of it there, I thought.
And so I did. The first call I made upon arriving at the hotel was the beauty salon handily dandily located in the basement. An appointment was quickly arranged and, before dinner, I sauntered down the stairs to said salon. In my barely serviceable Spanish, I explained to the young girl that I needed a bikini wax. “No problema”. But I realized there was indeed a problema when hotter than usual wax was poured on my skin and, even worse, when the young lady in question started pulling with tentative hands. My high tolerance to pain was being tested but, in my unfailing politeness, unable to scream and tell her to back off, I endured another 10 minutes of torture before actually paying her and, to add insult to injury, adding a tip for having my nether territories mangled.
Back in my room, it took me another hour to tweeze out bits and pieces of wax, using a mirror and swearing violently while inflicting more pain to my bikini area which, when all was said and done, was an enduring shade of purple closely resembling an eggplant. It turned out I had sustained a second degree burn, all in the name of beauty.
This extreme episode happened a few years ago and had since been confined to the trunk of funny travel memories but I was reminded of it today, while lying on my beautician’s table, legs akimbo, having the millionth wax of my lifetime and wishing I had the funds to invest in laser therapy. For a split second, I even considered following in the footsteps of the bra burning sisters of four decades ago who chose to let it all grow.
If I had to add up all the time spent on tweezing eyebrows, shaving legs and armpits, waxing vagina, having facials in my lifetime so far, I figured I could have spent weeks catching up on lost sleep instead. And for what? Let’s be honest. We do it for the opposite sex – in a world entirely populated by women, each and one of them knowing the exact price of proper grooming, we just wouldn’t bother. And the feminist in me gets a bit angry. Because no matter how much I insist that I dress, style my hair, put on make up just to please myself, I know there is a grain of a lie in there.
If it were just Ottie and I, my grooming would be more like his – a hair brush now and then and nail cutting when strictly necessary. Although, since time immemorial, women have submitted themselves to all sorts of beautifying processes so, at this point, it might be in our DNA. That would give me an excuse to add to my shoe collection without feeling guilty. I just couldn’t help it.