Waxing Poetic Justice

Not that it’s any surprise, but women are truly gluttons for punishment.

After careful consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that anything that will make our lives significantly uncomfortable will be thoroughly embraced by the female species. 

Why, you ask, do I say this?

It occurred to me this past Saturday, whilst I was at an event with a male friend.  On the way to the event, I started to feel the effects of breaking in a new pair of shoes — specifically high ones that were cutting into my feet like a knife through butter.  Although there were flats at the ready in my bag, there was absolutely no way they were making an appearance before the party was done.  My friend looked at me incredulously, shook his head, and with a sly smile declared, “the things you women go through…”.

Unbeknownst to him and many other men, braving satanic footwear is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we women will do for vanity, and ultimately the attention and approval of the opposite sex. 

Only days before, I embarked on what has now become a regular ritual of waxing my legs.  After years of navigating sharp razors across my flesh under running water, I decided it was now time to graduate to administering hot wax onto my skin and having someone quickly rip DNA off my body with something akin to masking tape.  I’ve gotten really good at screaming internally… especially when the bikini line is involved.

Of course, as painful as the actual experience of waxing may be, nothing is worse than the feeling of absolute vulnerability when you put yourself on a table like a slab of meat, while some woman — usually of Asian or Eastern European descent — pokes and postures your appendages like you’re about to be auctioned off at the County Fair or competing at the Westminster Dog Show.  One particularly awkward session consisted of a Chinese woman literally smacking my butt in admiration of its shape.  Perhaps in another context I might have felt some JLo pride, but this just wasn’t that kind of moment.  She didn’t even buy me dinner first!

But all the plucking, threading, bleaching and burning is nothing compared to the most painful — yet most rewarding — experience that comes with good old-fashioned childbirth.  Many of my amazing girlfriends have done this, and one is about to join this elite group of superwomen shortly.  Most of us are familiar with the gory details surrounding that miracle moment, but how often do we fully appreciate the woman who has experienced it?  Sure, I can gripe about sadomasochistic women from parts of the world where women’s mustaches tend to have as much prominence as their male counterparts.  But until I’ve passed a human life through my… ahem… body, there’s really nothing I can say or do to top that.

With all the pain we voluntarily go through, one would think we could either avoid or masterfully maneuver through the pain that sometimes come with human relationships. Alas, there are some things that take far more time to recover from. Fortunately, everything eventually heals or grows back… so we can do it all over again.

Gluttons for punishment, indeed.

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Can You Stand The Rain?

There is nothing more soothing than a steady rain.

Sitting here looking out at the gray skies and watching the puddles on the rooftop across from my window swell and splash with new drops of water, I’m taken to a place of perfect peace.

Of course, that’s mostly because I’m inside, as opposed to being directly in contact with the elements… then it’s a whole ‘nuther story.  These days, I can’t cope with rain drops unless I’m wearing the appropriately bougie ensemble consisting of my Burberry jacket and Hunter wellies. Despite not having the kind of hair that would frizz in such conditions (or any hair, really), I still feel violated without a decent umbrella.  If my body’s demands are not met, the rain pretty much holds me hostage for its duration, and frankly, that’s only permissible if I’m absolutely comfortable and have nothing too pressing to do, or if I happen to be in good company. 

Any other time, I feel as if I’m missing out on some tremendous opportunity to do something. Anything.

But beyond that, I ask myself: “When did I become so afraid of rain?”

As a kid, I’d spend hours outside splashing barefoot and attempting to drink the drops that streamed down my face.  To me, it was cleansing ans refreshing.  It didn’t matter that I was blinking profusely and practically blinded by the mix of hair grease that washed from my head straight into my eyes, my friends and I were content in the coolness of the Summer storm, and would only retreat if we saw lightning or heard our names being beckoned by some adult who wouldn’t be caught dead out there without the appropriate ensemble of London Fog or whatever the hell was big back then.

The older me misses the younger me’s fearlessness.  Back then it never occurred to me that I could catch a cold if I stayed out there too long, nor did I worry about my clothes or shoes being ruined.  The rain wasn’t toxic and didn’t need to be filtered before consumption, and a plastic poncho — heck, even a trash bag with a hole cut in it — was good enough for me.

But the fears start to go beyond water falling from the sky.  Soon you realize everything has become the rain, metaphorically. Relationships, work, and life suddenly become more scary and challenging, and rather than simply weathering the storm, we go into protective mode or run for cover. 

Just as the New Edition song says, “Sunny days, everybody loves them. But tell me baby, can you stand the rain?”.  We all want life to be perfectly sunny and for the most part drama free, but how do we handle things that aren’t so perfect?  Do we acknowledge that there is even a storm? Do we wait for it to pass? Does it really matter if we get a little wet?

Then I realize that at the end of every storm is a fresh new beginning… and even a rainbow to remind us of the beauty that comes with starting over.  

It also helps that for a brief moment, the smell of rain in the air and on the sidewalks offers a welcome respite from the pungent odor often affiliated with Summer in New York.  Let’s hope Bond No. 9 doesn’t bottle that scent!