According to my blog statistics, my posts have a range of views and visitors, but guess what consistently gets two to three visits every day? Unfortunately, it’s not any of my hard-won, funny pieces; no, it’s a long, serious essay about shaving that I wrote in my 30s when I had the energy to be more seriously passionate and the brain cells to match. I used to write all my pieces like that when time was a luxury I didn’t realize I had. Lucky for you, I’ve only posted four of them on my website. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of them, they have stood the test of time, and I posted them because I could never get anyone else to publish them (so take that Serious Literary Journals that rejected me). It’s just that now I need my life to be more light than serious. I thought a couple of people might stumble on to them, but the shaving essay is actually one of the highest visited pages I have. Isn’t that crazy? Even crazier is the phrase that people use that finds my essay. If I Google “do Arab women have to shave completely,” on my phone app, my essay comes up second, after Yahoo answers. What the hell? I do have a few lines about that in the essay, but it was because I was meandering my way through various cultures and their attitudes about women and hair. I find most of the methods of removing hair tedious, terrifying, or mystifying and was desperately looking for a culture I could adopt to avoid it. Spoiler alert: there ain’t none.
Ah, the mysteries of the internet and human curiosity. Who am I to argue? My recent foray into reacquainting myself with my girliness brought me back full circle to the shaving thing, so here is my follow-up to the shaving essay, with less time, fewer brain cells and less talk about Arab women, who I still think have to shave everything. No, this piece is about me revisiting shaving from the point of view of being divorced, middle-aged, and contemplating how much shaving does one actually need to do in case, say, a tall, handsome stranger (or really any stranger) is smitten enough with me to want to take a peek beneath my girlie dress. (go here for a recap of my girlie dress adventures). Yes, I’m a delusional optimist, but it’s more fun than being a Serious Writer.
My shaving research seemed to indicate that one needs to shave everything. Hmmm. OK, still not sold on that—my skin is very sensitive—but in the interest of being open-minded, I thought, well maybe the methods have improved over the last 15 to 20 years. Ha! Now that’s funny! I found a list of the 10 best shaving products (oh, how I have fallen), and carefully chose four of these vetted methods (no crappy “As Seen on TV” products—I’m talking to you No!No!). Here they are, and for the record, getting rid of body hair is still just as tedious, terrifying, and mystifying as ever.
- The pink razor continues to exist. In my essay I rant about stupid pink women’s shavers. I have always used men’s shavers which I’m convinced work better than the pink ones of yesteryear. Well the recommended razor this time around, is yes, still pink. Really people? It did seem to be upgraded however. The Schick Quattro for women (at least they don’t call it a “ladies” razor) comes with a badass trimmer on one end and four blades on the other. All the reviews raved about the four blades. Pink or not, that had to be better than two, right? Turns out, not so much. There are so many guards around the blade, I had to bear down on it like I was planing a two by four. I tried a couple of times until my skin started to sting. I still came out of the shower with five o’clock shadow on my legs. Looks like it’s back to the man’s double razor. I have to check this, but I’m pretty sure the four-bladed men’s Gillette Quattro trusts men to not slice themselves to ribbons. The trimmer is fine, so I’m keeping the hideous pink thing in my shower.
- Bikini Zone Anti-Bumps Shave Gel. Well at least this product admits that for some of us, the biking area is only going to be smooth and mark free through Photoshop. It kind of worked. I would say it reduced the angry red bumps to mildly argumentative. I may stick to my previous biking area shaving strategy, which was to wear a bathing suit skirt or shorts. If I’m going to fantasize about a handsome stranger, I may as well throw in that he cares not about an unPhotoshopped bikini area.
- Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo. People really raved about this in a kind of way that scared me as I wondered what they had to put up with before this came along. I do have a light mustache, but it’s the kind that can’t be seen readily in normal face-to-face encounters (friends, do not correct me if this isn’t the case). Given my early experience with stinky hair removal products, I wasn’t motivated to do anything about it anyway, except invoke my powers of denial. The magical part of this product, apparently, is the clear protective gel you put on first, then you put on the hair removal gunk. Even on my super sensitive skin, this product worked (the “light to medium” version, so thank god I didn’t have to go to the more soul-crushing “medium to coarse” option). I do believe the reviewers who agree with the product recommendation to wait 72 hours before doing it again. Even the gel can’t help you at that point. Still, I use the term “success” lightly—I still have to look like a bad sitcom teen girl with a white cream mustache for 10 minutes. Might as well put in some pink curlers and call it a day.
- The final product was Pure Silk Moisturizing Shave Cream, an allegedly inexpensive cream that I couldn’t find anywhere—OK I looked in two places, but I was already in for about $75 (how do you girlie girls pay for all this stuff?), and my bar of Dove soap hasn’t let me down yet.
So that’s the lot my friends. I’m now too broke and tired from all this shaving to actually go out and meet anyone, but maybe my blog stats will go up.