I made a promise to myself a fair while back that I would not write about my bush. As you may have gathered, I have very little shame but surely, I reasoned, there are some things which really should remain private – between a woman and her own body – and not be shared willy-nilly on the Internet which, as we all know, is not a fine and private place. However, after yesterday I feel honour-bound, nay, beholden to break that promise. In the interests of sisterly caring, in the true spirit of altruism, by way of a public service announcement, I share my story so that you may learn by my mistake.
I may have mentioned before that I love the local beauty college – I first went cos a mate of mine had a daughter studying there and said students needed bodies and faces for practice.
‘We’re broke and no way can we afford spa or salon prices, right?’ said Nicky. I nodded sadly. Yes, I know it sounds like I get a helluva lot of pampering but, truly, it’s all just ligging. I get to try out weird new things (which is, indeed, fabulous) but nobody pays for me to get my toenails painted or my eyelashes tinted or my legs waxed. In all fairness, I’m not high maintenance; I’m really not. In the past I simply reasoned that excess hair was one way of keeping warm and that mascara (applied to eyelashes and eyebrows) was quite acceptable. ‘But Charlotte’s crew…’ Nicky continued [sorry, that was a very long aside]. ‘…will do the lot for next to nothing.’
And so they did. And how wonderful it was. So wonderful, in fact, that I suggested to the Daily Mail that I should do a feature on bargain basement beauty – ie how you can get a total makeover (facial, mani, pedi, waxing, tinting, massage) for the price of an eyebrow wax at a London salon. They loved the idea – so much in fact that they gave it to Liz Jones to do. Nice huh? But anyway.
I’ve become a bit accustomed to this being groomed malarkey. It feels nice. Makes me feel a bit better about myself, sad creature I am. So, yesterday I trolloped along quite merrily (on my own, Nicky was away) and walked into a morgue.
‘Where is everyone?’ I said.
‘Well, it’s the end of term,' said the tutor. 'And so half of them have called in sick and, of course, all the final year girls have gone.’
|No, those aren't mine...|
This should have rung warning bells (ie all the experienced lot have buggered off) but I was miles away, off floating somewhere, so I simply sat back and got my feet pampered. I love this bit, I really do. If they could pour hot wax all over my body, I swear I'd purr.
When it comes to nail varnish I always let the girls choose. Hence I’ve had sparkly silver toes, neon orange toes and gothy purple toes, depending on the taste of the seventeen-year old wielding the polish. This time I ended up with what Beth called ‘Disco ball toenails’ – vivid pink with pink glitter atop. The tutor looked slightly askance. ‘Don’t you want something that will go with everything?’ she said. ‘It will,’ I replied with a smile. ‘I only wear black.’
Then I was handed over to Hatty for my waxing. Now, let me be clear, I have a very high pain threshold. I am almost ridiculously stoical. I also think that students have to learn, right? When I was at college I even let my flat-mate (who was a second-year dental student) practice her drilling on me (yup, this was a hand-held drill with no anaesthetic). So waxing? No problemo. But when she started tugging at my underarms like she was wrenching up perennial weeds, I couldn’t help it. ‘Ouch!’
‘Did I hear an ouch?’ said the tutor, poking her nose round the curtain with clear and evident glee.
‘Er, yup,’ I said, while Hatty gave me a look that clearly said ‘Traitor bitch hag’. A teaching point was made (involving the firm pulling of skin and the correct speed of ripping). Hatty didn’t seem to get the ripping bit. Once the tutor ducked out, she just went back to yanking… again and again. Sheesh kebab, the tears started springing into my eyes. But eventually it was done. I couldn’t drop my arms but never mind.
‘Right now...bikini area,’ she said brightly. ‘What do you want?’
Normally I leave Charlotte in charge of my bush. She is beautifully bossy, as only a gorgeous eighteen year old can be and when it comes to matters of beauty, I figure she knows far more than I so I let her do whatever she wants really – be it a neat trim or tortuous topiary. Hatty didn’t look quite so confident so I decided to play safe.
‘Just neaten it up, huh? Just so I don’t scare anyone, okay?’
She looked doubtful. Doubt is not good in these situations.
And then the torture began. Oh dear mother of God what was she doing down there? It felt like she was karate chopping me; putting my bits in a blender and re-enacting the shower scene from Psycho all at once. By the time she’d finished I felt shell-shocked: in need of counseling, morphine and several stiff gins. But I’m a trooper so I breathed deeply and tried to carry on a polite conversation with my torturer.
‘So, what do you want to do when you leave college? Work in a salon? On the cruise ships?’
‘Heck no,’ she said. ‘I hate beauty. I wanna work with horses.’
Ah. As I walked out – bandy-legged - I felt like I’d done several rounds in a boxing ring. I also felt…sticky. Weirdly sticky down below. Jesus, was I bleeding? I stuck my hand surreptitiously down my knickers and…couldn’t remove it. What the..? A swift tug (more ouch) and my hand came out with bits of what looked like Bostik attached to my fingers. I drove home (fingers firmly stuck to the steering wheel) wondering what the hell had happened down there. In the privacy of my own bedroom I stripped off and surveyed the damage. Holy crap! It was a war zone. Chunks of sticky white goo (presumably the solidified wax) clung to clumps of hair. There were several bald patches, like I’d developed mange, and other bits remained perkily tufty. Shit, it looked like roadkill mixed with poorly plucked chicken. Yeah, yeah, I know. I should have checked it before I left but really, I just wanted to get out of there and lick my wounds in private (no, no, I don’t mean literally…that would be plain weird, right?)
Ah well, I soothed myself that at least I wasn’t off for a weekend of unbridled passion and repaired to the bathroom with a pair of scissors. Yup, there was nothing for it but to cut it all off (bit like when a child gets chewing gum stuck in its hair or a dog’s arse gets monumentally matted with crap). So now I have the worst of all worlds – a sort of neo-Nazi cropped bush with bald bits roughly in the outline of Africa. Too much information? Sorry.
Moral of the story? Before you allow anyone near your bush, check their credentials. Very thoroughly. And always check your bush before you leave.