We have all been there–those of us who have muddled through the vicissitudes of a multi-year marriage; we have all experienced that familiar balancing act, worked through the push and pull of completely disparate, though oddly compelling, desires: should I initiate intimacy, offer myself sexually, unselfishly, completely–both body and soul–to my husband tonight, or should I, instead, stick an old sock in his mouth, to muffle his snores while he sleeps? Of course–as many of us remember–Lauren, wife and mother extraordinaire from Broken Hallelujah: notes from a marriage, grappled with this very issue and several similar ones as well. And I think I can safely say that at times her heart (as well as her vagina) was in the right place. Let’s take a look at one of her selfless offerings detailed in the book:
“….BUT, in the interest of maintaining, if not the mad lust of the early dating days, the semblance or feel of a physical and emotional connection with one’s spouse, I have found it absolutely essential, especially after kids and the endless demands and chores produced, if not by them then by the very fact of adulthood, to, at least on occasion, “spice things up.” It was with this mindset that for my husband’s fortieth birthday I bought myself my first ever Brazilian bikini wax.
When I emerged from what I hope was a sound proof room at the expensive salon I had carefully chosen for this feat of daring, there was not one part of my privates that had not been thoroughly hot waxed and, what felt like, shredded. Although, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw reflected back to me in the mirror dutifully handed to me after the “procedure.” About four inches below the fading seam of my c-sections scar, was an area as smooth as the tender bark of a young birch tree. Indeed, I almost looked virginal, if that is possible, and the only remnants of the preamble which remained was a trimmed plush line directly in the center, coyly referred to as “the landing strip.” To maintain this well-groomed look, I was informed that I only had to return to the tortuous confines of the waxing chamber every three months. That was too much to think about right then, but I preferred to believe that, just as in the labor leading up to childbirth, the memory of the pain would dull quickly, so that I could even consider reinvigorating my gift. My husband, for his part, played his “kid in the candy shop” role well, revisiting his birthday offering eagerly and often; his sweet tooth reawakened through novelty.”
Trying to follow a book character’s example is never easy (unless, of course, the book “character” is Chelsea Handler), but I was determined to show my husband (as well as, apparently, the gaggle of neighbors and passers-by who I now know have a full and unobstructed view of my bedroom thanks to the damn feng shui decorator and her insistence on maximizing the moon’s healing energy, by allowing its light to flow unobstructed by shades through our upstairs windows) that I could be similarly committed to his artistic and erotic sensibilities. And so, in an almost unprecedented (for me, at least) altruistic gesture, I decided to enter that storied chamber of hot wax and horrors and offer up my vagina (and perineum and that small but not insignificant place dangerously close to one’s anus) to the merciless gods of rip and raze.
When I made the appointment at the highly rated (at least on Yelp) salon, the helpful receptionist informed me that I would be ready for the ritual removal when my hair reached the length of a grain of rice, so in I went, to face the fire (so to speak), with my fully flourishing rice field. In hindsight, I think a bit of advanced planning would most certainly have proven useful to make the procedure if not more productive, then more tolerable. For example, I have one friend who swears that talking on the telephone during the waxing helps both the pain to wane and the mind to meander. I can’t help but imagine that for me the conversation might go something like this:
Waxee: “Hi, J, I….motherfucker damn bitch slap holy crap…”
Friend: “OMG, do you have Tourette’s? What can I do? How can I help???”
Waxee: “No, I just called to…Christ almighty shit damn to hell what the fuck…”
Friend: “Don’t move…I am coming immediately…we’ll get through this…together…just breathe, breathe until I get there…”
Waxee: “Not necessary, really, I am…dammit cocksucker holy shit #?*!…”
Friend: “I am on my way…”
Next time I plan to wax, I most definitely will wax and (Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin) wine…lots and lots of wine…