Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hairy But Hairless

It's just a normal day. I'm sitting around the JCC, happy, wearing my long shorts. I'm happy they're still kind of in style, even though I do see a lot of teenagers lately wearing these micro-mini shorts. Those are not an option; I'm happy to be wearing my quasi-shorts. At least until I notice there is hair growing on the tops of my kneecaps.

The sad thing is that this isn't the most horrible surprise in the world. Like I don't completely faint dead away because I think I'm turning into a werewolf. I don't check to see if there's a full moon or anything. No. It's only a surprise because I realize I missed shaving this area. Among the many miles of shaving I have to do every day, oops, I forgot my kneecaps. See, I'm not really a woman, I'm a wolfman.

There's the normal upkeep, that everyone does: the shaving of the legs, the tweezing of the eyebrows; and then there's the abnormal upkeep, that only mammals like me have to do: the shaving of the arms and the shaving of the moustache. What could my husband be thinking when he looks at me across the divide of our bathroom and sees me shaving my moustache? Does he want to hand me his can of Barbasol? Does he want to compare 5 o'clock shadows with me?

When I was in high school I hung out with a pretty natural, earthy group of girls. One year we all decided to grow out our leg hair. We had all thought about this shaving thing and found it unacceptable. Shaving and shaving for decades and decades just to satisfy somebody's ideal of smooth hairless legs! It was the 1976 Scottsdale, Arizona version of burning our bras.

So my friends grew their leg hair out and nothing really happened. There was a little blonde baby fuzz here and there. But I grew mine out and a pelt grew in. A pelt that hunters might be interested in. I understood there was probably something biological going on there. My family had emigrated from Poland and Lithuania not so many years before. Maybe this was the makeshift coat that generations of ancestors used to keep warm during those freezing Eastern European winters. Of course, it wasn't working too well in the Arizona heat.

My friends continued wearing their flowing hippie dresses, after all, nothing had really changed for them. I, however, suddenly took quite a liking to pants and tights - heavy tights. And heavy pants. My friends were very, very kind. They'd say, it can't be so bad. Let's see. And I'd show them and there'd be silence.

Soon after that, I gave up. I took up my Lady Schick and here I am, decades later, hairy but hairless. Wolfman but woman. And, except for the spots I miss, except for my eyesight failing in the dim shower, except for those kneecaps, I hide it well.


  1. awesome post linda. love the writing. i am a white mexican -- i feel your hairy pain.

  2. Italian here, but manage to tweeze it away mostly. Very funny.

  3. You are so funny, but way too hard on yourself.

  4. Oh... this is too much humor this early in the morning! My problem? I am really hairy, but it is all blonde. In a way that is good.. but now that my hormones are whacking out (peri-menopause) I have a pretty hefty blonde beard growing in and I don't know what to do with it.