Mowing bikini line

How Does Your Garden Grow?

“Eventually Samson tells Delilah that he will lose his strength with the loss of his hair. Delilah calls for a servant to shave Samson’s seven locks. Since that breaks the Nazarite oath, God leaves him, and Samson is captured by the Philistines. They burn out his eyes by holding a hot poker near them.” –Wikipedia

I have a power struggle when it comes to hair. I have a lot of it. I don’t know if that’s because of my wacky mix of ethnicity but I have the “Russian Spy Brow.” If left untamed, my eyebrow (singular) rivals Bert (of Bert & Ernie fame) and could totally take down Brooke Shields in an eyebrow cage match. Likewise on my upper lip lives a little mustache. Not one that makes children scream “Mommy! Is that lady a man?” but what I fondly refer to as “catfish whiskers.” I take the tweezers to that bad boy too. But then there’s that other area of hair to contend with–my garden. And my garden, well, it could use some hedging.

Which is not to say that I’m not well groomed or maintained. I am. Just not to the extreme that some of my counterparts take it to.

I was 23 before I traipsed into the land of bikini waxes. Really, seriously, 23. Once when I was 17 I shaved it all off–with Neosporin because I heard that’s what porn stars did. No idea why at 17 I wanted to be “cool like a porn star” but I may have been cutting edge, who knows. My boyfriend didn’t even notice and I decided at that point that there was no point in sending sharp and/or hot burning things anywhere near my lady bits. So I spent the next few years making nice with the scissors and avoiding swimsuits. Until February of 2007.

I’d been invited to Steamboat Springs for a girl’s birthday weekend. With MODELS. As if it weren’t terrifying enough, now I was going to have to spend the weekend in my swimsuit with women who wear swimsuits for a living! I quickly made an appointment with Allie, my esthetician and friend, because I figured if I trusted her to manhandle my face and go ninja on blackheads she was allowed to go near my hooha.

My first wax was. It very simply was. It was non-eventful to the point that a few months later I decided it wouldn’t hurt to do another one. I guess it’s like the first time you try anything. The first one of anything is always amazing, but subsequent tries never seem to duplicate the greatness. I hated the fact that for all the time and money I only got to enjoy my smooth surface for 2 or 3 days and then dealt with weeks of annoyance.

Back to the scissors. Kept it trimmed but nothing fancy. It’s called a bush for a reason folks and apparently in the land of recessionistas I am in fact a trendsetter in the land of garden maintenance. Hair is back people! And thank the sweet baby Jesus. I never understood why, once I’d hit puberty and stopped looking like a 5-year-old girl, I’d want to torture myself to look like a 5-year-old-girl.

That is until I start dating someone new. A new young man who may be getting a glimpse at my parts and pieces sometime soon sends me back into punishment mode and I suddenly become overwhelmed with the difficult decision of whether or not to take a machete to the jungle and mow down the corn maze (figuratively of course). Shaving my legs makes ME feel sexy. Shaving my bikini line just makes me feel nauseous. I obsess over whether my garden is well kept and pretty ENOUGH, because it’s not been sculpted like a bonzai tree.

I have hairy toes too. And I take scissors to that as well. Hair is just one of those weird things I’m insecure about. Like some man is going to notice that I have a hairy big toe. Or that random black hair on the right side of the left nip. He’s really more likely to notice the chipping toe nail polish, or the fact that I snort sometimes when I laugh. But my hair is EVERYWHERE and it makes me feel mannish at times. God bless the fine folks at Tweezerman for keeping my parts stray hair free.

I often wonder if men notice or care when it comes to the subject of my body hair. Is this one of those things we’ve convinced ourselves matters when really no one notices unless prompted (or it’s intensely obvious like that woman at the Safeway who really does have a beard). I guess I should be thanking my lucky stars I don’t have to contend with ear hair or nose hair that gets out of control, or back hair for that matter. Or dealing with the lack of hair when those telltale bald spots begin to form on the top of many a young man’s head.

I’d like to think that given the chance, if some lucky dude has me naked and has full access to my lady bits that he’s not thinking about hair.

Besides, I won’t ask him to shave his back hair if he doesn’t tell me how to trim my hedges.

So tell me, how does your garden grow?

-by Leah M. Charney

Published by Toy With Me, October 2009.

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