dilatory depilatory

Dear friends and colleagues;

You may officially herewith desist from averting your eyes.  No, seriously.  It’s safe to look.  I waxed.

Yes, I have been aware of what the heck was going on above my upper lip these last two weeks.  Yes, I have seen your eyes float innocently down to the lower half of my face, only to flick away in unease and embarassment.  Yes, I know how hard it is to maintain a normal conversation when your formerly visually presentable friend or colleague has suddenly begun sporting a facial bootbrush worthy of Snuffy Smith.


It’s gone now.  And I’m sorry I had to put you through that.

See, I’ve had yet another bad habit I’ve had to break.  First, it was smoking, then it was the morning martini, and now…

I first noticed my wee blond mustache my first year out of college.  Up until then, it was either so blond and faint that I just didn’t see it, or I was surrounded by such remarkably hirsute Wymyn (god bless ’em) at Mount Holyoke that my modest facial hair, er, paled in comparison.

I well remember the day it all started: I was standing in my bathroom in my adorable little rented farmhouse in Northampton, peering hard at the mirror.  My best friend and occasional roommate Rebecca had just shaved her legs for the first time in four years, and she was urging me to do the same, if only because of how amaaaazing it felt (she said).  She was right!  (After four years of unchecked hairiness, suddenly smooth legs are practically orgasmic to the wearer.  Try it.)

So as I was thinking hairy thoughts, my other roommate wandered by and mentioned how fond she was of my “billy goat scruff.”


This was news to me, but sure enough, I peered a little closer in the mirror and saw a few long, wispy hairs below my chin. I grabbed the next razor out of the package Rebecca had just bought for her (really truly stunning) legs and in the flick of a wrist I was clean-shaven above the neck again.

That was easy, I thought.

And that’s pretty much how I proceeded for the next ten, fifteen years.  Occasionally shaving my upper lip and chin with a razor, occasionally suffering extreme embarrassment when a photo would catch the light just right and give up some stubble.  In the winter, when my face remained unbleached by the sun, it was worse.

And for a while, it worked for me.

But for the last year or so, I have been gazing longingly at your (yes your) seemingly effortlessly bare and hairless faces, and wondering how I could join that club.

Ya see, it’s a hard habit to break.  It requires that you endure the stubble for a long enough period of time to allow wax, tweezers, and bleach to have any effect.  Always, in the past, I would resolve to wait, and grow, and deal with the issue.  Always, in the past, I would wuss out and grab the razor after a day or two.

I am here to tell you that it takes about two weeks.

It has been a fun and adventure-filled two weeks, my friends and colleagues, coming home every night to apply Jolens Creme Bleach about three or four times a night, giving my face brief intervals in between bleachings to rest and relax.  Sitting on the couch and watching old episodes of Ken Burns’ The War on PBS, wondering what the hell they did in the ’40s to tidy up their upper lips.

I thought I would tough it out until it my scheduled hair appointment on Wednesday (at which I also regularly get my eyebrows waxed, something that makes me feel disproportionately sexy), show up with my heavy, hairy upper lip, and have it professionally removed.

But I just couldn’t wait that long.

So last night I went to the store and bought the home-style wax and I gave it a whirl.  And oh my god.  The angels wept.  (with joy.  It wasn’t that painful.)

They are still a little weepy and grateful and fragile-feeling, so don’t pray for anything too hard for a while, OK?

And no, you are not allowed to directly reference this post in person.  But you are allowed (nay, required) to tell me how FANTASTIC I look.  I will know what you mean.

And maybe give me somebody to kiss.  I really feel like kissing somebody would be remarkably rewarding right now.

2 Thoughts.

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