Over a decade ago, swayed by peer pressure, I tried bikini waxing for the first time. My friend warned me to go to a salon for the service. Being cheap and overestimating my smarts, I thought I would try it at home.
“Do you think that’s wise?” she said.
“Can’t be that difficult. They sell kits at the drug store,” I said blithely.
Bad, very bad idea. The drug store and their waxing kits lied. I have managed to give myself a concussion and melt my underwear to the left side of my crotch. Here’s my story:
After perusing the personal products aisle of the drug store for an hour, I went to the counter for some help. “What product would you suggest for home waxing?”
The woman’s penciled eyebrows lifted three inches. “How much pain can you endure?” That’s such a bad question.
“Uh, I’m not a total wimp”. Then a client beeped me. So I may have missed some vital information. The phone call took some time and when it was finished, the woman was helping other customers – customers who were buying gum, newspapers, and magazines. No waxing products. So off to the personal products aisle again. I picked up the most expensive waxing kit thinking this is no time to skimp.
Following the kit’s instructions, I laid out a brownie pan, plastic gloves, the block of wax, scissors, a wooden spoon, two ice packs and my contribution to the process, a small glass of Scotch for the pain. Some of the instructions were baffling. I put on a favorite pair of green bikinis because I wanted a clean line for the finished product. (Note to anyone — never wear polyester undies while waxing – the reason will become apparent later). As directed, I melted the wax in the brownie pan using the wooden spoon. The dogs laid their heads to one side before starting a low baying sound. I poured some wax on the right side of my crotch and then on the left side before the pain registered. I screamed. The animals jumped back barking. (Another note to anyone — always test the temperature of the wax before applying.)
From pubic bone to mid thigh was bright red. There was an interesting smell. My skin was disintegrating. One layer of skin, maybe two. Definitely first degree burns. Hoping to avoid the second degree blistering, I quickly yanked off the wax from the right side. Immediately I passed out from the pain. The best I can tell, I hit my head on the counter on the way down. I woke into painful consciousness, stars buzzing around my head like in a Looney Tunes Cartoon, lying curled in the fetal position on the kitchen floor. The two dogs and the cat were looking at me with these quizzical expressions of “should we eat her now?”
By that time, the underwear on my left side had melted to my crotch. (Polyester melts in hot wax — very important note.) Holding the counter for support, I got myself upright and chugged the glass of Scotch with two aspirin from the junk drawer. I corralled the animals, shoved them into the utility room, and closed the door. Taking a deep breath, I yanked at the strip of wax on my left side of my crotch. Off came a good inch of skin and melted undies. I quickly found the ice pack and applied it while jumping around the kitchen. The room was dark and hopefully the neighbors had not seen my personal auto-da-fe. Now, what do I do? The choices were dire.
First, I assessed the situation. The right side of my crotch was a bright red field of blisters with small patches of scorched earth. The left side looked worse. One inch was oozing blood like partially defrosted hamburger. A good four inches was covered with hard wax and melted spring green undies.
Second, I outlined my three options. I could continue to self-mutilate my crotch by tearing off the fricassee of wax, undies, skin, and connective tissue. I’m not sure I had the fortitude for such an option. I could call Barbara and after she stopped laughing, she could help we with the left side. This could be embarrassing as I conjured up the image of us tugging at my crotch. That left option number three. I could cut off as much of the melted wax – undies – skin – connective tissue combo as possible with my old dissecting scissors, apply burn balm, and cover the wound with a dressing then go to bed.
I picked option number three, bandaged myself, and phoned my friend.
“My crotch is toast.”
“We must have a bad connection. You’re eating toast? What about your crotch?”
“No. No. In the process of home waxing I learned some important life lessons.”
“Okay, I’ll bite. What did you learn?”
“Waxing is rocket science and should be left to the professionals. And. One should never wax with animals nearby.”
“Did they bite?”
“No but I think they were trying to decide if I was dead. Oh and never, ever overheat your polyester undies. They will melt.”
“Should I call the paramedics?”
“Nah. Off to apply more ice. Stop laughing. It’s not funny.”
“You’re a mess.” My friend hung up. I hear her laughter every time I shudder past the personal products aisle in a drug store.