Friday, February 24, 2012

The bloody truth.

Back in the 70’s, all us girls had a friend named Heather.
It’s a fact.

Most were pretty and blonde, right?
Mine was.

Heather Marzek was my childhood Heather.
Here are some memories I have of her:

• She got cast in the school play as Peter Pan. We were just like Broadway at Brookside Elementary, casting a girl as Peter Pan. Yep, Mary Martin, Sandy Duncan, and Heather Marzek. I played Nana, the family dog.

• Her family tricked me into eating deer when they invited me over for dinner one night. They told me it was beef. I thought it was weird and questioned it, but didn’t want to come off as rude. After dinner her family reveled in telling me it was venison. I was supposed to have a sleepover that night. I called my mom and made her come pick me up.

• I learned about shaving my legs at Heather Marzek’s house.

Pink nightmare.
I was spending the night at her house - not the Bambi night, a different night - we had been playing softball and her mom asked us to take a baths. I was soaking in bubbles when I spotted a pretty burst of pink plastic on the corner of the tub. I grabbed it and held it, and admired it.

“It’s my sister’s” Heather barked - she had a raspy/whisky voice for a little kid. Like Demi Moore or Kathleen Turner. In retrospect that voice should not have come out of that little girl.

I mimed shaving my legs and my armpits, I felt very glamorous and grown up.

“Have you ever shaved your legs?” she asked.

Heather was fair as fair can be. She was the kind of girl who had hair on her legs but never had to shave, it was acceptable because it was all light and peach-fuzzy. I, on the other hand, was Italian and much more furry than fuzzy. I knew I should probably look into this hair removal deal sometime soon before my leg hair got to braiding length.

“Yes”, I lied, “I’ve shaved.”

Heather looked down at my legs and gave me a confused look.
“Well, it looks like it’s about time to shave them again, your legs look like my brother’s legs.”

I was embarrassed. I squeezed a gigantic blob of shiny Mister Bubble bubble bath onto my calf and tried to get up the gumption to look cool doing something that I had never done before. No one had taught me how to hard could it be?

Heather pretended not to watch me while combing her beautiful blonde feathered bob in the mirror.

I pressed down hard on my skin, really hard, with the pink razor. I started at the base of my ankle and pulled up really fast. Then I let out a blood curdling scream.

My leg was a torn up, bloody mess. The Mister Bubble was stinging like alcohol poured into an open wound. The tub water was beginning to look like the scene at the end of Fatal Attraction. This was not good. I hobbled out of the tub. This was not the relaxing pre-dinner/sleepover soak I had hoped it to be.

I had seen my father stick toilet paper to his face a million times when he cut himself shaving, so we wrapped my wet leg in Charmin. We both agreed that we would both get in trouble if we let on to Heather’s parents that we had experimented with her sister Tammy’s razor. We were too young to shave but old enough to know better. So we had to come up with a lie.

When we came downstairs Heather’s mother gasped, “Lori! What happened to your leg???”

Heather jumped in immediately, “Lori was taking a bath, and Tammy’s razor fell in, and it cut her leg up…BAD.”

Because that could totally happen. A razor could get in your bathtub and attack you.

“I told Tammy not to leave that razor in the tub, that this could happen, that her razor could fall in and really hurt somebody. I’ll have a talk with her when she gets home.”

Poor Tammy. She was probably going to get punished for doing nothing wrong. But it was Heather that threw her under the bus, not me. All I remember was that we didn’t get in trouble and that I got an extra scoop of ice cream on my pie with desert that night.

All was well in the world - until I had to pull that toilet paper off.

I still think of Heather’s house and her bathtub, whenever I nick myself shaving and see a little blood.

I also still think of Heather’s house whenever see a deer, hear people talk about going hunting, see a mounted deer head on a wall, see venison on a restaurant menu, see a dead deer on top of a car or hear somebody say the phrase, "oh dear."

Heather and I were altar servers at St. Theresa's together.
Dear Lord, hear our prayer.


  1. This column made me cringe, that's some good writing my friend!

  2. Wow, the water in the bath tub was the color of blood? Nasty cut.
    Its funny though, happened to me too while I was experimenting with my sister's razor.