Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Don't Believe In Shaving

I quit shaving my legs back in 1971, but it was my ex-husband who really turned me off to shaving.

I foolishly started shaving my legs back in 8th grade, because I wanted to be a grown-up. Big mistake. Hair that had been relatively light and soft became dark, thick and started growing. But since I was a child of the 1960s, and girls could start to wear pants to school, I was able to go cold turkey in high school and I never looked back.

And back in the day it was also cool for guys to let their hair grow long and beards too, from hippies to college professors. I've always thought guys who don't shave are way more attractive than those who do, almost like there's a third gender that I'm attracted to - the one that doesn't shave. (This also rules out guys with beards who shave under their chins.)

Oh yeah, about my ex. He decided he wanted to be an opera singer, which I already didn't appreciate, but he got this idea that he'd have better luck getting cast if he shaved off his lovely red beard, except then he wouldn't shave on the weekends, and he expected me to like being kissed by a piece of sandpaper.

Some years ago I did an unscientific survey on why guys even bother to shave, and I did find someone who had a good reason, that his beard was really scraggly and patchy. Really a tough situation for him. Kind of the opposite tough situation from my second cousin, a Marine whose face would break out practically in hives every time he shaved, but of course the military is abusive about conformity so of course he had to anyway.

And about that time I was noticing that middle age and genetics was catching up with me, and I was developing some wild hairs on my chin. Just a few, and it was pretty easy to just pluck them out. Back when little sister was a teenager, a chum persuaded her to pluck her eyebrows, and many of those hairs never came back, so I figured whiskers would be the same. Wrong.

After years of my mom bugging me to go to her electrologist, I finally went, and was informed that plucking chin hairs just encourages not just them but their neighbors. And that it would take 3 years, and $$hundreds to get rid of them. Not to mention it hurts.

So I went to Kaiser. They don't do electrology, but you can pay for their laser hair removal clinic. So I went to get oriented, by a woman of Middle Eastern inheritance whose own facial hair had been immaculately terminated, no doubt with extreme prejudice.

I found out that the process takes at least 6 months, and you have to wear sunscreen 24/7. Well, that sounded like a royal pain, and also like a recipe for melanoma, so I decided I cared more about myself than I did about potential jerks, like the ones who have nothing better to do than gossip online about my whiskers. (And once you take the first step on a slippery slope, you never know where it might lead.)

So I decided to go natural and let my chin look the way it was genetically designed to look. Now in America this is a radical decision, as most men have been imprinted with Playboy bunnies. So I can't say I'm really all that surprised at the number of people online who are more worried about my chin than about global climate change, nuclear winter, or the mortgage market depression. It's a good thing evolution is around to separate stupid people from the ones who have the sense to focus on actual survival issues. But I can't help thinking the kind of emotional reaction guys have must be about the same as they felt when women started wearing pants as well as skirts.

One guy emailed me about his emotional upset that I didn't look like a girl should. I pointed out that when guys shave they are making their faces look like girls' faces. Nuff said.

Actually, though, there are probably bald guys out there who would pay big bucks to transplant my whiskers to their domes. But I can't be bought.