Monday, June 02, 2008

I didn't know what to call this post, but I want to tell you about waxing. Yes, it's a tricky thing to talk about - but it is a random blog, so you know, it was bound to come up eventually I guess. I don't want to make it a... er, how do I say this? a provocative post at all. Because waxing, even though it does involve getting a fair amount of your kit off, is not in any sense enjoyable. At all. I'd like to make that as clear as possible. Let me see if I can give you a sense anyway.

Okay, so picture this. You're shown into a little room with a stretcher bed, (like you get in a hospital) a little table with large pots of steaming wax and lots of little paddle pop sticks. The wax is usually bright fun colours, like bright blue, bright green, hot pink, and paddle pop sticks come with nothing but good associations - so so far it seems not so bad!

Depending on what you're having waxed, you might need to strip off and put a little terry towelling velcro robe on, which leaves you feeling quite exposed, vulnerable, and usually a wee bit cold.

So, the beautician (waxician??) then tries to make some small talk, you make a self deprecating joke about how long it's been since you were last waxed, and how you hope she's seen worse, and she (if she's a good sport) agrees that yes of course she's seen worse, and to make you feel better usually chips in with a story about having to wax an unusually hairy man who was akin to something from the zoo, so you feel a bit better about yourself and relax.

And then you remember that you are relatively naked and entirely exposed and about to have astonishing pain inflicted on you, for which you are entirely to blame as this is a voluntary activity, and you remember that relaxing is not what this situation is about.

When she first puts the wax on, it's actually a bit of a nice feeling. It's warm, which is nice because you're getting quite chilly by now in your little robe. If you're having your legs done, she'll put a thin layer all the way from your knee to your ankle, and then your upper thigh down to your knee, and it feels a bit like having a very long, very warm sock. Which is nice! And then you remember. You remember why it is that it has been so long since you came. It hurts! The pain comes back to you! And just like that first calm slope on the rollercoaster where it dawns on you that the big drop is coming soon and there is no option for you to get off at this point - you realise that there is no way you can stop the pain that is about to commence. You tense your muscles as she pats the wax to check if it's dry enough yet. You breathe in, squint your eyes and hold your breath.

It's not dry yet.

She puts some more wax on somewhere else instead and pats that for a while.

Your stomach muscles are clenched, your hands are pressed hard (but flat) against the table (because you wouldn't want her to see how terrifed you are, for some reason that would be even worse) you clench your toes in anticipation, and then suddenly WHAM! A streak of white hot pain erupts into flame along your leg, she puts her hand on the area and presses down, and then it's gone just as fast as if it had never happened.


"That wasn't as bas as I was expecting!" you mumble in a jolly tone. She just mm-hmm's non-commitally, she's heard other girls say the same thing before. All of a sudden she turns into a whirling dervish of candy coloured wax, paddle pop sticks and pain. Spread, rip, spread, rip, spread, rip and pause. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

And that's just the front of your first leg. And that's before you've even gotten to the other more sensitive areas that you'd decided to leave til last.

You try to relax your face muscles, press your hands back down against the bed, and gaze off into the distance or focus on the air conditioning vents on the ceiling - pretend you're not there, pretend the pain isn't still blossoming (Spread, rip, spread, rip, spread, rip and pause) try to remember why you thought it was a good idea to come here again, mentally add up how much you're paying the nice lady for torturing you, wonder how it is that someone would want to do this for a living - and then all of a sudden you're done. She's putting some moisturiser on your red inflamed skin and then leaving you so you can get dressed in peace. You put your clothes back on, they stick to your skin where the moisturiser went, your hair is messed up from lying down. You hobble out to the front of the salon and then hand over money, (money!) for the pain you have just experienced, and then continue on your merry way. Red, sore, exhausted, and with less maney than you started out with - yet oddly satisfied.