To Shave or Not to Shave

Editor’s Note:  Humor is good for the soul!  And with that in mind theStitch welcomes you to our new semi-regular column entitled “Broad Speak: Because Life is So Damn Funny.” This first entry is written by our newest writer Arlene Sjogren and it is hilarious!  Enjoy…

Broad Speak: Because Life is So Damn Funny

To Shave or Not to Shave

It is a widely known fact that men shave their faces and women get theirs waxed.  I don’t know why this is a rule, but it just is. So I’m at a salon discussing the pros and cons of facial waxing with some fellow 40-somethings when someone mentions the worst con of all — the pubescent breakouts that a wax treatment tends to evoke on our chins.  We all nod our heads in agreement, subtly stroking our chins as we do so.  The irony of using both anti-aging cream and Clearasil in my 40s is not lost on us.

It’s finally my turn and I ask the lovely young woman who’s about to give me a facial treatment — and whose skin is all glowy and youthful – “Do you wax?”

She looks around to see if anyone’s listening then bends down and says, “I’ll tell you my secret if you promise not to laugh.”

“Girls Scout’s honor,” I whisper, feeling as if I’m about to discover the secrets of the Universe.

“Well, if you’ve ever noticed, men age really well. And their secret is….they shave.”  She goes on to explain in hushed tones, that shaving is a great exfoliator for men and it has anti-aging elements to it that women should claim for themselves.

I was floored.  “If you shave, don’t you end up getting a 5 o’clock shadow?”  Seemed like a fair question.

“No!  Heck no,” she whispered, trying not to draw attention to herself.  After all, she makes her living waxing. “My face has no blemishes and none of the breakouts that waxing always causes.  It doesn’t hurt and it costs nothing compared to regular treatments.  You should give it a try,” she said before smothering my chin hairs in wax.

So I go home….and mull it over. Images of older women I know who have “staches,” or “crazy chin hair” come to mind.  I’m guessing they either can’t see what’s happening to their own mugs or they’ve reached the time in their lives where they just don’t give a rat’s ass.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I admire that and hope to evolve to that point one day, but I have to admit, I’m not there yet.  I still care.

A week or so goes by and I’m starting to get some major lip hair action going on and I know it’s time to schedule the dreaded wax treatment.  I’m walking by the bathroom and stop in my tracks.  To shave or not to shave.  Just as I’m eyeing the medicine cabinet, hubby heads outside to work on a home project and it looks like I’ve got a few minutes to myself.  It’s now or never!

Hmmm…how to do this. I suddenly remember the old cartoons where the characters got a hot shave that started with a very warm towel.  That was followed by some billowy shaving cream, liberally slathered over all the offending areas.  This primed the character for a close shave and the audience for a few laughs.

“Yeah, baby,” I say to myself in the mirror. “I’m going to do this!”

I quickly gather all of my husband’s shaving tools and get to work.  First, a nice warm washcloth on my face.  Oh…that feels so good.  Next, some shaving cream that lathers right up and smells a bit antisepticy…(is that a word?) Then I get close to the mirror and start the methodical swipes of the razor on my….FACE!!!!  “Oh my God, I’m doing this!” I’m cracking up!  I look ridiculous and the minute I move my nose to the side to get up and close, I crack up even more.

Then all of the sudden, I hear hubby walking into our bedroom!  Holy S%*#! He’s coming!!

Now, we’ve been married a long time.  A very L-O-N-G time.  There is very little that this man doesn’t know about me, but somehow the thought of him seeing me shaving my face feels deeply embarrassing. He starts to walk in and I throw my ass against the door, leveraging every bit of weight I have to keep him from coming in.  He can-NOT see me with my Santa Claus shaving cream beard.

“What the hell!” he yells through the door.

“I’m busy,” I yell back, trying to keep my “beard” from flying off.  “Jeeeezz!!  Can’t a gal have a few moments to herself these days???”

I hear hubby sulk off and wait until I can’t hear him anymore.  As I wait I realize that this isn’t the first time I’ve tried some outlandish or bizarre beauty treatment, looking for some miracle outcome that would make my “beauty” look natural.  I look sheepishly at myself in the mirror and then LMAO!  It’s all so ridiculous.

Still, once he’s truly gone, I hurry up and shave my upper lip and chin.  Then, moment of truth, I wash off the rest of the shaving cream.  Lo and behold, my skin is glowing.  And a few days later, there’s no stubble and no sign of the massive beard that I’d heard would appear if a woman ever dared to shave. I laugh at all the old wives tales and the decades of fear they’ve evoked over my lifetime. In fact, there’s no rash and it takes over a week before I realize I need to shave again.

No one ever noticed my shave vs. wax look and, sure enough, my skin is looking better and better and my make-up goes on great.  At some point in my future I’m sure I won’t care about a few stray hairs. But for now I’m so glad I decided to break the rules.  Hmmmm, what other fears can I conquer?

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