Seasons in California include tarantula season, earthquake season, fire season, and shaving season. Which is moderately popular with most women except for maybe Europeans. The beach can be a grand place to relieve these traditional stresses. Sand sculpting and dipping your tootsies in the surf seem far more engaging. The mollusk shells and even the coralline algae create a sedimental atmosphere and is where people tend to get away from everything. But not me. I’m usually attending another burial at sea in my bathroom.
Or more specifically, the bathtub. After decades of sprouting body hairs, more strands are about to be stripped clear from its creator and buoy their way downstream. At the first signs of my unwanted mane, I pulled out a razor, some gauze, thirteen band-aids, and a shot glass with Ouzo. Because nine times out of ten I’m left suturing my skin. Thank you God. I’ve always wanted to be a glutton for this kind of impairment. I would appreciate Him giving me some sort of warning me before I get severely injured and detach several arteries. I may never dance again if I become legless. Coming to the table covered in bloody dotted tissue pieces are not what I call part of a balanced breakfast. And with all the bristly little buddies floating in the tub water, I could probably knit a sweater for somebody. So you see, while us shepherds and shepherdesses are off skinshearing, someone else is having a blast at the beach. Unless they work for a living.
I had a French teacher once who never shaved. How others take care of themselves is no concern of mine. However, when you have the whole student body treating you like an orangutan every time you raise your sleeveless arm to write something on a chalkboard , it may be time to reconsider your system of sanitation. I myself was horrified seeing bushes both on her armpits and her legs. And it wasn’t just a little bit of peach fuzz. One undergraduate and animal rights activist actually gave her five razors with three cans of Noxzema and told her to “take it off, take it all off.”
It feels like I’m forever mowing my lawn. Now I see why they call it crabgrass, when it sticks out like a sore thumb and leaves people grumpy. But I’m not sure why they call cries, crocodile tears. Reptiles weep while devouring their prey, which I can be certain isn’t because of remorse. I’m very remorseful after pruning myself raw. Mine are more King Kongish cries and Tyrannosaurus Rex tears. Shaving is equally as annoying as calling outsourced tech supporters that speak with little or no english. You’ve probably sprouted a few follicles yourself while reading this. Because it’s only a matter of moments before a full on marsh appears. The sleek sensation of ultra smooth and hairless skin sparred me to succumb to this razor addiction. I wonder if there’s a support group for this. At one point I was seeking alternative ways for hair removal. This was before Nair, Lasering, the Brazilian bikini wax, duct tape, tweezing, and other trimming trends. Women can rip every hair by its root, scar their shins, and somehow endure scalding wax. Yet still be leery of a daddy long legs.
As I paid homage to grand finds at garage sales, I stumbled across an antique vintage Gillette shaver patented at about 1906. Tarnished, but a rarity. One problem though. I wondered what sharpologist used it before I was about to. That’s when I chose to find an updated model like an electric shaver, or 21 blades of titanium that will cut so close I will be able to see well below the epidermis. Although I doubt anyone would want to witness that.
Steadying my hand for yet another blow to the body got old. So I went on a shaving sabbatical between the months of November and March since my body is usually covered up and shielded from the cold, and kept hidden from eyes that will never even see my stubbles. It’s the rest of the year I have to worry about. And since I have many other time consuming things to attend to like exfoliating, cartwheeling, fantasizing, and basically living, it’s just one more thing that takes up tons of my time. Not to mention making wake arrangements for all the many legged creatures that cruise by me while I’m teetering on the edge of the tub. They must never notice that I have a sharp object in my hand. Except try killing spiders with a Venus Divine. I’ve applied enough pressure to sever them, and through the very surface that they are crawling. What can I say. One minute I’m having a near death experience, the next I’m a spider killer. Which goes against my mind numbing natural instinct to squash. But what goes on in the butcher’s bathtub, stays in the butcher’s bathtub.
Even though it’s still early in the year, I’m making out my Christmas list. I’m penning my plea for a three way flex head Norelco, for that close and more comfortable annihilation. Although now that I have carved out a solo career as a shin slicing specialist, I’ve resolved that I no longer want to be a grown woman. I can dream that impossible dream of never having to trim myself again. I can fight the impossible foe, bear the unbearable sorrow, and try to hang in there when my arms get too weary. But I’ll be at the beach building sand castles. It’s safer that way. The alternative is to stay home and turn my legs into a Schick filets. I will need to get Schickfaced first before I let that happen.
(Posts can be seen in the weekend edition of The Parson’s Sun newspaper in Kansas)