Irreverent Mama

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I was in Toronto. Matthew had some business to take care of, and I was whiling away the time in my old city, shopping, strolling, taking it in. I don't wish to live there again, I'm quite happy where I am, but I didn't leave because I hated it. It's nice to go back.

I dropped in at a coffee shop. I had another hour before I was to meet Matthew to catch our train back. Time enough to have a coffee, rest my legs for half an hour before walking down to Union Station. I popped into a Second Cup, hoping for a decaf skinny latte.

(Virtuous, no? And to those of you who say "Why bother with coffee if there's no caffeine?" I reply, "Because I like coffee. I like the taste of coffee, the smell of coffee, the feel of that hot cup in my hands." Otherwise, I'd just pop a caffeine pill. They do exist, you know. If caffeine's the only reason you're drinking the stuff, you don't really like it.)

I get in line. Service is very slow, but I'm not too worried. If worse comes to worse and I actually have to leave before I get my drink, so be it. I'm enjoying the funky decorations of the place (the Second Cup franchise leaves its franchisees a lot of leeway in decor), the crowd of funky people around me, the crowded shop, the buzz of the city. Just as there's more to a cup of coffee than caffeine, there's more to a coffee shop than coffee.

Even as I'm thinking this, I'm surprising myself. I must've needed a day off. I'm extraordinarily mellow.

I'm not so mellow when the funky young things behind me start sniggering, and it evidently has something to do with me. Apparently this Second Cup, unlike any other I've ever been in, uses a pull-a-number system, and "Your number came up ages ago." Well, it couldn't have, could it, since I didn't know to take a number? Smug little prats. Like most urban teens, they consider themselves so very wordly and urbane, but haven't the life experience to know that how it's done in their neck of the world is not how it's done throughout the world. That's not urbane, kiddlies, that's provincial.

All this sneering occurs in my head. In reality, I simply move forward to order my drink.

When it arrives, I hunt around for my purse -- and it's gone! Or rather, the purse over my shoulder is not mine. In the crowded line, I must've, somehow managed to set down one black leather purse and pick up another, without noticing! I scan the floor behind me. The line-up was along the counter, and there are a surprising number of purses set down there beside their owners. Easy to see how this could have happened. None of them, however, are mine.

I scan the shop. Don't see it. Could someone have picked up mine, as I've managed to scoop the wrong one, and walked off with it? Is she still in the shop somewhere, as yet unaware of her error? I think to call my cell, usually snapped onto the side of my purse, thus alerting the person of her error (because at this point, I'm still assuming it was an error), but my cell phone is in my hand.


What to do? The panic is rising. Sternly pushed back, but rising. I'm five hours from home, I have a train to catch, I can't even pay for the coffee waiting for me on the counter! My train ticket is in my purse! Money! All my ID to replace! Ugh.I have my cell. I can call Matthew, so there's that. I look around the shop once more, scanning floors and tabletops, backs of chairs. Maybe I should check the bathroom?

I'm starting to catch people's attention with my anxious face and movements. Faces glance toward me, away, then back. People pause over their coffee to stare. No one is showing concern, though, no one is offering to help, nor even a sympathetic smile. Callous lot, just staring at me as if I'm a bug in a jar.

Then I realize why.

I am wearing nothing but my large red bath towel.

I am filled with relief. This is a dream!

I try to leave the dream. Nothing doing. But I know it's a dream, because the only times I'm ever naked or semi-naked in public, I'm dreaming. So now, even though it seems I have to continue in it, I'm a whole lot less worried about it all.

The manager of the store graciously gives me my coffee for free, and I sit down to savour it. The anxiety of the dream still compels me to keep scanning the room, and I'm a little worried at what nastiness my subconscious will have dreamt up for me when I get to the train station with no ticket, but hell! It's a dream!

May as well just enjoy the coffee and the funky, busy, urban ambience.

I woke up before I left the coffee shop, as it happens, which was a relief. A relief to be out of the situation (though once I sat down, I appeared to be fully dressed again), and a relief to know that yes, it really was a dream.

I don't interpret dreams. I rarely believe they have anything significant to tell me, that they're anything more than the farting of my subconsious. But they're entertaining, no?

Anyone care to take a run at determining what that was all about?


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I knew it would hurt. I'm not an idiot. I picture the procedure (as described in fairly graphic detail by a helpful girlfriend), and I just know, you can't have that happen without pain.

However -- and here I haul out that tried-and-true test of female fortitude -- I have had three babies. More to the point, three labours, and even more to the point, all of them without drugs. Sure, they hurt, but I was up for it. I can deal. I am focussed, I am stoic, I am capable. I don't like pain, but I can manage.

So yeah, this was going to hurt, but I knew I could cope.

So I lie down on the table, wearing nothing south of the navel but a pair of disposable panties. (Indeed. Who knew those existed?) And the sweet young twenty-year-old sets in to deforestration.

It's not so bad. The wax goes on, warm and almost soothing. The wide strip of cloth is applied. I press where instructed, to hold the skin taut, and -- FZZT! -- the cloth is ripped off, taking a decent amount of foliage with it. And sure, it stings like a bugger. My skin is burning. It ain't pleasant, I'm not having fun, but it's nothing I can't deal with.

And that's as bad as it would have ever been, had I just been getting a "bikini wax". But, brave, gallant fool that I am, I was not stopping there. For I was getting a brazilian.

Why? Because I am a generous and considerate woman, that's why.

See, we've just passed an anniversary, my sweetie and me. Our first, if you're measuring from the wedding. Our twelfth, if you're measuring from our first kiss. (Yes, we married on the anniversary of our first kiss. Isn't that so sweet and romantic? It was he who made note of the First Kiss date, not me. I'd never have been more specific than "sometime in the spring, wasn't it?")

So, because he is such a wonderful, sensitive man, and because I am still very happy to be with him, I thought to commemorate this occasion in some way. In addition to the small piece of sculpture I bought him, more of a desk ornament than anything, I thought I would get him something more personal, more ... intimate.

Given how many highly satisfactory hours the man has spent (all told over the years) nuzzling about down there, considering how he gets far more up close and personal with the lady bits than I've ever managed -- more so than any of the various medical personnel, even -- I thought I'd buy "him" a wax. And no half-measures here. We're doing the full monty. Nothing between him and the object of his affection but ... air.

The sweet young twenty-year-old bends to her task. "Press here." "Just once more, then I'll move over there." "Push down here, please." "Just once more for this spot." "Gee, those ones are stubborn, aren't they?"

Gradually, she moves in from the outer edges. Gradually encroaching on ever-more-sensitive tissue.

And when she gets to the crux of the matter? When she's into true brazilian territory?

"I'm going to use this kind of wax now," she chirps, indicating a different pot on the table beside us, "because it's gentler."

She daubs it on, taps it to test for consistency, gets a good grip, then ...

I passed out.


I only WISH I had.

There is nothing, people, nothing more painful than what happened next. There is no pain on earth to match it.

Okay, I exaggerate. We all know that. If you've had an arm gnawed off by rats, if you've had toenails removed without anaesthesia, if you've had smallish portions of your body seared with hot irons, you've experienced worse. But in the ordinary run of things painful?

Nothing can match having goodly sized chunks of hair ripped from the edges of the lips of your labia. (Too graphic for you? Too bad. I lived through it. That's far, far worse.)

I stared at my focal point. I did the labour breathing -- the third stage, high-level, I'm-going-to-die-if-this-doesn't-ease-up-in-12-seconds breathing. It helped. I know it did, because I stayed there on the table. I did not, as flashed through my mind at intervals, beat the sweet young thing unconscious with the magnifying mirror and make a break for it.

I did not even scream, though at times my head jerked back and my chin jutted to the ceiling as my eyes rolled up and gasps, ohmyGODithurts gasps squeezed past clenched jaws.

And, when the waxing is finally, finally over, when she puts away the pots and the wooden spatulas and the bits of cloth, just as you're starting to think you have indeed survived... she goes in with tweezers. For the hairs that didn't come out with TWO kinds of wax. That is, the REALLY, REALLY STUBBORN ONES. Tweezers.

My labour analogy?

A brazilian at its epicentre is worse than all but the very worst moments of labour. In fact, if a brazilian lasted as long as the average labour, women would go insane. Totally mad with pain. And possibly never recover.

If labour hurt as much as a brazilian throughout its entire duration, women would certainly never have a second child. Not without heavy, heavy drugs.

I am not having a second brazilian without heavy, heavy drugs...

On the way home, shaky with a combination of pain, adrenaline and sheerest relief, I phone my girlfriend, she of the graphic description. Who has had, I now note, never had a brazilian, but only the far gentler bikini wax. Because when women experience something we need to TALK ABOUT IT. At length.

I inform her that when the esthetician left the room and I had a look ... there were a fair number of stray hairs. 45 minutes of unpleasantness which included 30 of sheerest agony, and there is STILL HAIR DOWN THERE!

"So did you call her back to finish it off properly?" A reasonable question. I paid an exorbitant amount of money for the procedure; the damned thing should be done right.

Did I call her back in?


"Call her back in"... Good lord.

Matthew is delighted. And very solicitous of my comfort, and beside himself with appreciation for my self-sacrifical agonies. I have earned many, many, many Wife Points.

So there's that.

And I will never, ever do that to myself again.

The End.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Did you know ...

Did you know that a "bikini wax" and a "brazilian" are not precisely the same thing?

In fact, did you know that "brazilian" is NOT a subset of "bikini wax", and so...

if you schedule a "bikini wax", thinking that when you arrived the esthetician would ask you what kind of waxing you wanted, and you would tell her, and that would be fine -- if you thought all that, you'd be wrong?

And did you further know that just because an esthetician can do a bikini wax does NOT mean she can do a brazilian?

Ha! Neither did I !!!

So I'm going back again, tomorrow, to get a brazilian. And it will take forty-five minutes. (Did you catch that? FORTY-FIVE MINUTES).

Ye gods and codfishes...

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