One Vagina's Monologue [ 2005-10-20, 6:30 p.m. ]

This one goes out to the ladies...

Seriously. Men, look away.

When I was a little kid I thought that the only purpose tweezers served was removing splinters. Tell that to the woman who had her face in my crotch the other night, tweezing delicately at the perimeter of my bikini line.

I can't possibly do justice to the waxing experience, partly because almost every woman reading this already knows what I'm talking about, and any man who might be (and dude, seriously, you might want to check out or some stock quotes or something) is oblivious to the experience and cannot relate, as he has absolutely no idea what kind of pain and humiliation is involved in the bikini wax. One time Caroline forwarded me an email, which I totally wish I could pass off as something I wrote because it was fucking HYSTERICAL, and that email came closest to capturing the essence of the bikini wax. That email contained the phrase VAGINA? SEALED SHUT and almost made me choke on my Au Bon Pain. VAGINA? SEALED SHUT would be the name of my one-woman show if I ever became a comedian. VAGINA? SEALED SHUT would be a burlesque act. Or maybe a racehorse. VAGINA? SEALED SHUT belongs on a Neighborhoodie. Not my neighborhoodie, because I don't want the word VAGINA on any of my clothes, but on some neighborhoodie, for someone, somewhere.

VAGINA? SEALED SHUT says so much, and it certainly begs the question of WHY DEAR GOD WHY do women put hot wax on their most special of all places, hot wax that doesn't feel that good going on and hurts like a motherfucker coming off, hot wax that sometimes glues you to the table and gets stuck on your thong later, hot wax that sits in that little crock pot, simmering and waiting for you and your business to open up and say AHHH? I will tell you why.

Because pubic hair is gross.

It's gross. It's natural and inoffensive and mostly just minds it's own business, but it's still gross. And so it must die.

Bikini waxes do not take long and there is always nice music playing in the background, and the person wielding the little wooden stick and muslin is usually very nice and sweet. But it is still among the most bizarre of all human interactions. You put on a paper panty, you let a stranger put her face right up in your Flower, you deal with the actual waxing process, which HURTS A WHOLE LOT, and worst of all, you feel obligated to chit chat as some sort of appeasement to the whole process, which is all about making one's vagina more palatable. Which is weird.

I always want to start the waxing appointment with apologies and explanations. I'm so sorry, I haven't had time to deal with It, I'm so sorry for letting It get unruly, I should warn you that I haven't really done anything with It since the beginning of the summer. Then, lying on the table, I want to provide direction, a vision, as if I were at the hair salon. Just a little off the sides...

Once the nice swabbing-with-rose-scented-cleanser part is over and we are Getting Down To Business, I can only think about what a strange, strange job this lovely woman from Tennessee has, and I know she is from Tennessee because as she inspected my innermost thighs I asked, You have a slight accent, where did you grow up? There is a sense of obligation to provide interesting banter; it seems only fair seeing as how she is mere inches from the places where poo and pee come from.

The only topics of conversation that come to mind involve waxing. And pubic hair. Which is gross.

I ask her, Do pregnant women get waxed?

Yes, earlier that day she had waxed a woman who was due in three days. Good to know that it's allowed, considering all the fanfare directed at the vagina during childbirth. Cameras even.

Do many men wax their business?

Some do, she has never waxed balls, though.

Small talk, small talk, small talk...but what I really want to ask, what I always want to ask is, What is the GROSSEST thing you have ever seen?

Meaning a few things. Like, on a scale of 1 - 10, how would you rate my business? I don't need to have the best-groomed, most beautiful bikini line, but I would like to be safely under the bell curve.

Or, did anything ever make you gag? Who was the hairiest? Was there ever a "smell" or what if someone had just gone to the bathroom and there was, you know, residue?

These are gross questions. These are the things I find myself wanting to know.

You have a very interesting hair pattern, the aesthetician tells me. Thank you? I think.

I want to ask her more questions, a Behind The Paper Panty expose, and get all the nitty gritty. And then I want to tell everyone everything. Sort of like when I first starting hearing about childbirth in a context other than IT IS GOD'S MIRACLE AND ANGELS DANCE IN YOUR BUSINESS BECAUSE BABIES ARE SENT FROM HEAVEN, like when I first heard about things like hemorrhoids and enemas, and all I could do was say to my friends, constantly, DID YOU KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE A BABY POO COMES OUT IT COMES OUT IN FRONT OF EVERYONE YOU POO EVERYONE POOS.

But I stay quiet. You look like you're miserable, she says at one point, which makes me feel awful, as if I am not appreciating her efforts and living up to my end of the bargain. All that comes to mind are inappropriate questions and apologies.

Then, as the lovely woman from Tennessee puts down her wax in favor of the more precise tweezers, I consider that it might be a job I would find satisfying. I enjoy tweezing. I am detail-oriented. I am meticulous. I like popping things. I think one can go home at the end of the day with a sense of accomplishment when one has yanked out so many offensive pubic hairs, bettering the world one vagina at a time.

I wonder if anyone has ever farted on her, because I am obsessed with all the gross stuff. I can't ask that, though. It does make me reconsider whether or not I would consider the job as satisfying as I initially thought.

She angles her incredibly bright light towards my left ass cheek and asks if I exfoliate my bikini area. I don't think she understands just how laissez-faire I am with the area in general. I do the minimum. It's like when you have guests over and you tidy up your apartment but midway through the evening you notice your bookshelves are dusty, so you discreetly give them a good blow and consider the problem dealt with.

Eventually she puts her tools down and places a cool wash towel over my red, red loins and tells me she's all done. And then it's awkward again, because after that experience, I kind of feel like we are on hugging terms, but that can't possibly be right, can it? I give my hairdresser a big gay cheek kiss when I leave his salon; surely at least a cheek-kiss is warranted here, considering she got to third base, right? But that's somehow wrong, despite the intimacy and proximity and the little paper thong. So instead of a hug I pull my clothes back on and hope I don't end up glued to my underpants in a variation on the VAGINA? SEALED SHUT incident.

If only she could have just given me a pelvic while she was down there, I could have really crossed some errands off my list.

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