Lizzi and I both agreed to go a little outside of our comfort zone to mix things up. She wrote a satirical piece, funny and shiny-magazine worthy, and I made an attempt to write about something real and non-ridiculous. It was hard, yo. That's coming up this week, I will post a link in a separate post.
You are the winner in this whole experiment, because you get rewarded with a story from a real writer for once.
Just don't get used to this level of writing around here.
Without further ado, for once, here is a true tale that will be told 'round the hair-dryer for generations to come from the master of fiction, Lizzi Rogers of Considerings blog.
The WolfChild, the Book and the BURN!
My mother once told me that when I was born, in addition to a head full of thick, jet-black hair, I had a fine rim of (what can only be described as) fur on each ear. Having closely examined my genetic heritage, I can only assume that I’m a bit of a WolfChild. Which hasn’t been a problem for years, until recently, like tonight. And then it was really Frankenstein’s fault…let me explain.
I don’t know whether it’s the cold weather, the fact that I’ve been exercising quite a bit lately (and something distasteful about muscle mass increasing testosterone levels (!)), or that my inherent WolfChildiness just decided to make a bit of a resurgence, but in the last couple of months I’ve noticed a fine, but long, layer of what can only be described as FLUFF, coating my upper arms.
And EW! Because seriously, who wants that?
I hoped that I could ignore it and it would go away, but as with each occurrence of that time-honoured go-to response, it didn’t work. And I AM (just about) enough of a girl to know that shaving said fluff would leave nasty stubble and ugly regrowth.
My options seemed limited, and I began to contemplate getting a waxing kit (not my favourite – I’ve tried it once. I pulled faces and teared up. It hurt. And I’m pretty sure I did it wrong, because my legs seemed to have more wax on them after I’d finished pulling the little paper things off, and the level of hair was more ‘moth eaten mink’ than ‘smooth and lovely’) but then to my utter joy, a bargain on the shelf at my local supermarket seemed to provide The Answer.
Hair removal cream. Of course! How could I go wrong?!
I felt so proud of myself for figuring it out and Being A Girl without needing prior instruction, hand-holding throughout, and correction afterwards. For once!
But of course, pride always comes before a fall, though in this case I think I can circumvent pride entirely and implicate Frankenstein and Mandi, holding them both utterly accountable for What Happened Later…
A while ago in a conversation about books, my lovely friend Mandi shared that she’s a huge fan of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’, and I admitted that it was one of those classics you feel you really *should* read, but somehow I’d never gotten around to. She rolled her eyes and pouted and stamped her feet (adorably) and told me that I really, really, simply must read it, because it’s wonderful and she loves it. So I told her I would, and promptly forgot all about it.
Then a while later I was at my Dad’s, and saw that he HAD a copy of Frankenstein, and remembering Mandi’s passion for the story, I asked him if I could borrow it. He allowed me, and I took it back home with me, whereupon I put it down Some-whar* and promptly forgot all about it.
Today (several months later) Husby and I were having a pre-Christmas tidy-up of the flat, and under a chair, several layers of old-no-longer-fits-me clothes, two bags full of things I thought I’d lost forever, a camping blanket, some shoes, and an assortment of cranefly carcasses, I FOUND THE BOOK! I was so happy, I brushed it off, added it to the top of the book-tower in the hallway, and took a photo on Instagram to show to Mandi, who told me that she squealed with delight to see it, and asked if I’d read it yet. Guiltily, I told her no, but that I WOULD.
Fast-forward beyond the end of the cleaning, the tidying, the laundry and dinner, to the point where I decided that I would have a shower to wash all the dust off, and while I was at it, why not try that hair removal cream, after all, no time like the present?
I got undressed and then realised that I wouldn’t be able to see the backs of my arms well enough to apply the cream. We have a mirror, but seriously, who has the TIME to be standing backwards, butt-naked in December, in front of a mirror, trying to wrangle themselves into an even layer of anti-fluff cream!? Clearly the task of Being A Girl is one I’m not yet up to, so I called Husby to come and help me, and through his giggles, he understood what he was meant to do, and started layering on the little sachet of slightly pink, verycold cream.
Eventually it was on, in an almost, kindasorta even layer, all around the tops of my arms (shoulder to elbow, for good measure) and the back of the sachet told me I could leave it for five minutes, or 10 if the hair seemed stubborn, but DEFINITELY NO LONGER THAN 15 MINUTES! Which, as it was kind of stinging and uncomfortable, I figured was fair enough.
I told myself that this was the price of beauty, that there’s no gain without pain, and to GIRL UP – though I did a difficult job of convincing myself, standing there in the middle of the freezing, in the nip, bored, and in a stance like a gorilla so that the cream didn’t smear from my arms onto any of the rest of me and do something unexpectedly awful like dissolve a boob off…
…and at that point a genius idea hit me. Mandi! Frankenstein! BOOK! I could make a start!
I checked the time on my phone and calculated that I should have enough time to safely get at least a FEW pages in before I needed to take the cream off. So I opened the book and promptly forgot all about it.
Fie, fie on me. I shoulda stayed bored. Before I knew it, I’d gone well over my 15 minutes, had a Sudden Realisation, and whizzed the shower on in a panic, because I knew by the level of ‘ouch!’ that I should definitely hurry up and wash the cream off.
It. Was. Awful.
If I were the type to cry with pain, I would have! Even horrible, awful sunburn isn’t that bad.
The warm water on my skin felt like burning needles. And the gentlest strokes of my fingertips to get rid of the cream (which had kind of hardened on) felt like I was abrading myself with sandpaper gloves. And because I was so terrified of splashing any of this awful ointment into my eyes, I was working with my eyes shut, and as I felt the amassing under my fingertips of little sloughings of what I desperately hoped was only the hair, I couldn’t help but worry as visions of the shower water turning pink as my arms oozed blood, having melted down to the muscle layer, shot through my imagination.
Fortunately when I tentatively opened my eyes, though my arms were blotchy and pale, there was no blood. Even though there should have been, given the level of pain!
UNfortunately, when I got out and dried off, I realised why it hurt so much: there were scatterings of tiny holes all over the surface of my upper arms! The cream had eaten away my skin!!! Holyfuck!
BUT (and this is the important bit) not even a SHRED of fluff was left, and my upper arms were every inch the twin paragons of smooth, glossy baldness I’d desired.
And yeah, there might have been a mild case of chemical burns, and later, blisters to go with the lacework which was my epithelium, but I had some soothing, lavender-scented baby-bum-cream to slather on, and really I was just psyched at my success, because I’ve done it: I’ve finally WON at BEING A GIRL!
I just wonder how long it’s going to be before I get to be my glorious, feminine self without wincing in agony.
P.S. Just FYI –sometimes even the computer notices when you fail at life; later in the evening I got a spam email from Bloglovin, promising me smoother, perfect skin. HAH! #Can’tMakeThatShitUp
*Some-whar: that Place, where you put things you intend to come back to, and somehow never do, and then can’t remember where the Place was…
Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth Teller and Seeker of Good. She works a normal job and has a secret life as the writer at Considerings. Wife to Husby and Mother to two Neverborns (and now dealing with the challenge of primary infertility) she is a frequent instigator of silliness and loves to entertain with words.