I used to be a big Lionel Richie fan when I was young. I can still see my second grade self belting out the lyrics to “Hello,” complete with fake telephone gestures. None of this has any bearing on this blog post, other than the fact that I chose a title that is also the title of a Lionel Ritchie song.
No, this blog post is actually about literally getting stuck to things. And the fact that I should have left the hair removal to Nadine.
I’m gonna pause right there and give you the chance to exit out of this post right now if you are:
b) naturally blond
Because if you are either of these things, you will not be able to fully understand the ritual of hair removal.
If you’ve ever seen me in person, then you know I possess a head full of very dark hair. Really, I have three headfuls. Somewhere out there two bald people wonder where their hair went and I can tell you: I have it right here. My hair has its own zip code and it even inspires my children to write Mother’s Day poetry that includes brilliant similes such as, “Your hair is large and black, like a scary witch.”
So obviously I am blessed with this same dark hair on my legs, too. Normally, about a week before the pool opens each year, I go see my good friend Nadine at the salon. (Nadine is not actually my friend; she is an older Russian woman who secretly hates me, or so she leads me to believe based on the lack of sympathy she generally exhibits as she rips all the hair off my body while muttering something about “American women and their silly desire for smooth skin!”)
Anyway this year I decided “screw Nadine and her rude criticism of my love/hate relationship with my hair — I can wax my own legs!” Somewhere in a salon across town, Nadine is shaking with laughter.
Just to be clear, this wasn’t supposed to be a major undertaking. I had laser hair removal a few years ago, so it’s really just a few places on my legs we’re talking about. (Side note: laser hair removal is basically paying someone to set you on fire and electrocute you at the same time. Just my opinion. Your skin is literally just too scared to grow hair in that spot again after such torture.)
Anyway, back to the wax. I bought the most expensive wax removal kit at Target–the one marked with the words, “For tough, hard to remove, coarse hair,” because even though I’m mostly Irish, my hair has the texture of a horse’s mane. Then I followed the easy steps marked on the instructions, which I did not feel I needed to read all the way through.
Step 1: Heat the wax in your microwave. Thank my lucky stars we actually have a microwave! Aside from that little light on the bottom, I have now found another use for it.
Step 2: Awkwardly explain to your teenage son that you are just going to take this heated wax up to the bathroom and he should just ignore you and stop asking questions. Or maybe he should follow you because: unibrow.
Step 3: Spread the wax over a small section of your leg. But that seemed like it would take too long, so I decided that I would just spread it all over my legs to speed up the process. Probably should have read the full instructions.
Step 4: Apply canvas strips to wax so you can rip out your hair. Usually while Nadine is doing this, I have my iPod playing some Duke Ellington and I’m mentally debating which nail polish color will go best with my bikini. Unfortunately, this time I was too busy trying to un-stick my fingers from the pieces of canvas to mentally debate anything other than my sanity.
Step 5: Rip out hair and repeat. Oddly, thanks to experiencing the hell that was laser hair removal, I barely flinched.
While waiting for the canvas to set on each part (the box said 2 minutes), I got bored. Big surprise there. So I started spreading the wax all over other parts of my body, like the top of my feet and my stomach. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I did this until my fingers were so covered in wax that I could barely spread them apart. Then I looked down and discovered that I had been dripping thin lines of wax down my legs and onto the bathroom rug each time I dipped the little spreading stick into the wax pot. I was basically glued to the bathroom rug.
Not a problem.
I reached behind me for the instructions and sure enough there was a bottle included in the package that would supposedly help remove leftover wax. All I had to do was retrieve the bottle and spread it on my feet and I’d be free. “I should use a cotton ball to spread it,” I thought, in a moment of complete and utter idiocy. A few minutes later I was still glued to the rug; my fingers on my right hand were covered in cotton, while my left hand was stuck to the bottle of wax remover. The instructions, which were partially stuck to one of my legs, stressed in Ariel bold font that I should not, under any circumstances, sweat during the waxing process.
“Just stay cool,” I told my perspiring, panicked reflection in the mirror. Then I shed a small tear because normally at this point Nadine would be rubbing me down with some calming coconut oil while I shuffled the songs on my iPod and thought about the beach.
In the end I just dumped the bottle of wax remover all over my feet and then somehow got myself into the tub and rinsed most of it off. “Just getting ready for swimsuit season,” I cheerfully told John when he arrived on the scene. I still have a little carpet fuzz stuck to the bottom of my feet.
I should probably call Nadine tomorrow….she books up fast. I can’t wait to hear her lecture about drug store brand wax kits.