For the Women Who Wax

For the Women Who Wax

This is a story that smells like a group at the doorway with great blowouts and perfumed necks exchanging hugs. 

This is a story that tastes like rye and sounds like music muted beneath women laughing so hard they can’t breathe.

“Oh my God!” this story says.

This is a story for Women Who Wax, or for women who know women who wax or for waxers, or for women. I wish I could do this story justice for you now, aloud, with great hand gestures and my own laughter to cover your embarrassment for me, alas you’ll just have to imagine that

I work with a hundred women. Over the years, I’ve worked with thousands of women and because I have five sisters I am delighted, honored, and just a tad too comfortable in any jungle of estrogen, as I am about to demonstrate.

Around the corner from Osteria Marco, there’s a fantastic subterranean studio where the waxers are kind and efficient and it’s just a quick stroll between shifts to get the benefit of their speedy, painless professionalism.

There I was, greeting my usual wonderful technician, having clearly proven over the years my comfort in my skin and on my knees, so when she asks me if she can bring her trainee in to observe, I say “Of course! It’s been months. You may need the muscle!” 

I think I’m funny, but the trainee hovers in the background, lurking behind my technician, aghast. In spite of my efforts to put her at ease, the trainee is not eased. Not at all. She is, in fact, openly gaping at me. As in, her mouth is literally open, her eyes wide in horror. I detect disgust? 

Her expression brings my throat to close, and that skin comfort slips. Shoot. I’m wondering, am I an utter tumbleweed mess? Did I pass accidental gas? Is my fupa hanging lax? Oh please, not somehow a dingleberry? I do not say another word, stuck in my head of dark thoughts. 

When I’m powdered and perfect and exiting the studio, I say goodbye to my tech, but the trainee is literally hiding from me, and the entire walk back to work I’m suddenly self conscious. My poor husband, I’m thinking. My poor tech. What suffering did I cause that trainee?

The feeling passes. Some weeks go by. I’ve nearly forgotten the whole episode, until, in a training conversation with the assistant manager, my tech comes in to Osteria for lunch. She makes a beeline to me for a perfumed hug, and when I stretch out my arms, delighted, I’m subverted, because she’s reaching for the manager instead–the woman who is half my age and in my employ who’s been training as a part time tech for the waxing studio up the street.

Now I’m the one who’s horrified, and I never really look at the manager the same, or my tech, or maybe even my own vulva,

And this is your cue to laugh out loud and say Oh My God Jacqueline, and tell me your Story of Shame.