A little over a month ago I purchased a bathing suit for the first time in years–a real, whole bathing suit, not just a tankini top here and a tankini top there from random department store sales that I would wear with shorts because I refused to let anyone see my ass. This was an actual suit, a two-piece tankini set with an attached sarong on the bottom half and a wild summer flower print in funky colors. I was excited, but also a little nervous. For one thing, although the sarong provided a nice visual block, for all intents and purposes people were going to have the opportunity to see my butt in a bathing suit. I had mostly talked myself out of caring about this, because in spite of that little round post-baby tummy that will probably never go away, and in spite of the long list of body issues I’ve been carrying around with me for years (tiny boobs, enormous feet, round bottom), I really don’t have room to complain about my body. Even better, I am finally in a semi-happy place about my body. I wear single digit sizes, I am comfortable in my pre-pregnancy clothes, and I fully believe that when I am ready when I have the time some sweet day I will start exercising regularly again and rediscover my rockin’ muscles. So yeah, putting on an actual bathing suit bottom made me spend a few extra minutes in front of the mirror scrutinizing my parts. But I was far more nervous about another issue.
We (assuming there are no men reading this, and if you are a man–Hi Mike!–you might just want to stop now and walk away, and if you choose not to walk away, don’t say I didn’t warn you) are all familiar with the required grooming that accompanies bathing suit season. Do we shave? Do we wax? Or do we wear shorts over our suit bottoms and forget the whole grooming process altogether? Alas, that’s what I’ve been doing for years, but my bathing suit investment (and I’m using that word literally–have you purchased a bathing suit lately?!) was going to require a change in procedure.
The week before I was planning to debut The Suit at my family reunion on Memorial Day weekend at Lake Hartwell in South Carolina, I decided I’d spring for a wax job. When was a senior in college I worked the front desk of a salon, and I very quickly became the willing salon experiment. If things were slow, one stylist or another, or sometimes a group of them, would suggest that I have something cut, colored, or waxed. It was free and fun, and it taught me three things: 1) hair always grows back; 2) having a different hair color every month is a blast; and 3) although I cannot tolerate wax on my face, my legs and other bodily regions don’t even register the tug. So on the Wednesday before Memorial Day, I left my salon with a pristine bikini line. Great, except that by the weekend I was already touching things up with the tweezers. I’m sorry, but if I’m going to spend that much money to have someone rip my pubes out of my skin, I want them to stay gone longer than three days.
A few weeks later I bought a membership at a local water park so I could take my daughter to the super-cool kiddie pools, and before our first visit I was faced with the grooming problem again. I resorted to shaving, and that is fine in the moment, but we all know the agony of the day after. And that is why I decided to try some nifty bikini line hair remover cream for my four days at the beach.
We arrived at the beach on Tuesday evening, and after the car was unloaded and everything was in its place, I took my little tube of cream and locked myself in the bathroom. I read the directions carefully, noting the bold print (DO NOT LEAVE THIS CREAM ON FOR LONGER THAN 10 MINUTES!), and got to work. I was well into the process, with one side completely finished and the other side still on the clock with about four minutes remaining, when the fire alarm at the resort started screaming and a voice came into our room from a speaker over the door: “An emergency has been reported. Please exit your room through the nearest stairwell and leave the building. Do not use the elevator. Repeat….” Having experienced an actual devastating fire at my place of employment, I wasted no time in hastily removing the remaining cream, pulling on my shorts, gathering up the crew, and jetting down the stairs. Forty-five minutes later we received the green light to re-enter the building.
And 45 minutes later I went back to my hair removal experiment, only to discover with horror and, I must confess, mild fascination, I had not gotten rid of all of the cream in my haste to get out of the building. And apparently while I was milling around outside, the remaining cream sort of…spread. And that is why, when I swiped my bikini line with a wet washcloth, I was left with a bald spot the size of my fist in an area where there should be no bald spots.
And in case you are thinking of trying something similar for your summer grooming needs, you should know that although the hair removal cream worked REALLY, REALLY WELL–TOO well, you might say–I have already had to tweeze and shave just to maintain the effect. Which is why I’m just going to have to suffer the razor for the rest of the summer, or next thing you know I’ll be telling you another story like this one, and I’d prefer to never mention my bikini area on the internet again.