Friday, March 18, 2011

I am Italian. I am hairy. Deal with it.

In the tenth grade I lost a significant amount of weight. My parents had taken it upon themselves to put me (under a doctors orders) on a liquid diet. This diet involved a shake for breakfast, pudding for lunch (no joke) and a sensible dinner. Going from fat to thin in a short amount of time (because I was eating pudding for lunch - under a doctor’s care. PUDDING!) led to new attention from a new league of high school callers.

One of these callers was Jesse. Jesse showed a great deal of interest in me...he was kind of a bad boy but somehow looked preppy and clean cut at the same time. We started dating and I would drive out to the mall in my bitchin’ poop brown Camaro to meet him after work. We would listen to my 'kick' by INXS tape over and we would get all sexy when 'need you tonight' came on. Jesse had a lot of good points, but his best was that he would tell me I was smokin’ hot, which no guy had ever said to me before. And he worked at Oak Tree men’s clothing store in Tampa Bay Mall, which was like, awesome. He also holds the record for giving me the biggest damn balloon I have ever seen in my life on Valentines Day emblazoned with 'I Love You'.

This was our romantic Valentines Day dinner, taken on the same day as the photo above,
I think I aged ten years in an afternoon.

But Jesse did one thing that was really, really bad.

We were sitting in the Camaro saying goodbye after school one day. The scorching Florida sun was shining on my lovelorn face and he looked deep into my eyes while stroking my cheek. The moment was right, I was sure he was going to say something amazingly profound to me.

“I love you” he said sweetly

“I love you too…” I replied

“You are so hot” he added

“Thank you” I said trying to accept a compliment

“What a cute little moustache you have”

What? What did he just say?!?

THE HORROR I felt, just writing this it gives me a stomach cramp way down deep inside.

At that point I immediately knew something had to be done. I raced home and cried to my mother and after much begging she purchased an Epilady 'razor' for me.

It was my own personal torture device. For those of you who do not remember the Epilady it was this: A plastic giant white electric ‘razor’ with circles and circles of endless metal coils that would rip and pull the hair from your body. The big draw to the Epilady was it claimed to remove the hair and over time the hair would grow back lighter/finer and eventually not at all. A miracle product! I ripped and pulled the hair out of my poor teenage face one by one and left it a pink puffy mess. I have since heard stories from others who used the Epilady saying it was so painful that they had to consume large amounts of alcohol before getting up the gumption to use it. Each time I used it I would cry, because the pain was so intense.

Obviously Jesse and I were not meant to be, but this was nowhere near the end of my battle with unruly hair.

After Jesse I dated a guy named Eric. Eric actually had a moustache and in retrospect having a moustache in high school is creepy. We were at the beach for the first time together. I had a new hot pink one piece bathing suit on with zig-zaggy lines that were meant to flatter in every way; I thought I looked pretty good. I took my t-shirt off and I noticed Eric look my way giving me an approving nod and eyebrow raise. Then I took my shorts off and I saw him look over again, this time not so approvingly.

“Damn baby, it looks like you have Busch Gardens going on down there”

I knew Busch Gardens was a theme park in Tampa that combined roller coasters and beer but beyond that I was puzzled as to what he was referring to. He repeated it and I looked down.

This was a time I think every girl has in her life where you realize hey, something could be done about that. No one had ever brought it up to me before so I had no idea you were supposed to be tending to that garden. Again, the horror.

A new hair mission was asked of my mother. Now that we were living in Florida we did what all mothers and daughters do together. In the summer, we went for bikini waxes. We would go in to the little room together and yelp and scream like little girls. The woman who did it was always amused with us. I have to say, waxing hurts a hell of a lot less than that damn Epilady.

In college I was dating Don; he lived a few hours away and would come and visit me often on the weekends. The sunlight must have hit me the wrong way once again because I convinced myself my chin must be waxed before he came to visit. So the day before Don came I went to the salon. I remember the woman who was getting ready to wax me saying something along the lines of “are you sure you want to do this? You really don’t need to…” but I was determined, convinced that I had a beard. She waxed my little chinny-chin-chin and I went home red as a beet. I was sure by the next morning the splotchy swelling would have disappeared but no, if anything it was worse. I tried covering it with makeup but it was impossible. So I came up with a story. If Don asked I would say that I had burned myself, with a bowl of soup. Yes I was so clumsy at eating I had a terrible misstep and my chin went flying into the bowl of steaming lentils and this was the result. Poor me. It would work, it had to work! Don never mentioned the botchy chin, bless his heart. I remember scrambling to get up before him the next morning to needlessly cake on foundation. He probably left thinking what the hell was up with that and was relived the next time he saw me to see that everything looked back to normal.

Today I will of course do the occasional bikini wax when I know I am going to be in a bathing suit or if I just want to feel sassy. But I don’t mess with wax on my face at all. No eyebrows, no moustache, no chin. If I see something going astray I can break out the tweezerman and call it good.

Torture Device

1 comment:

  1. I hear ya sister! I have a mustache, a dark one & always have since I was 12. No facial bleach in the world makes it blond, and what's with that anyway? People are delusional, I see your blond mustache dummy. My Dad had a habit of staring right at my zits on my face, really annoying habit. One day I said "Dad, hardy har stop staring at my zit", he said "I'm not...I'm staring at your mustache". 3 words in closing, Laser Hair Removal! (it works)