Lord, but it’s been a good long time since I regaled you with a story about my lady-bits. I mean, lately it’s been all I HAVE ANGST and MY KIDS HAVE ISSUES and IT TOOK 37 DAYS TO BUILD THIS STUPID FENCE, and—surprisingly!—this has left precious little time for in-depth discussions of the various ways in which I sometimes end up naked in front of strangers.
Clearly my priorities are WAY out of whack.
Needless to say, I live to serve you, my loyal audience. And given how long it’s been and the fact that I wasn’t due for a gynecological check-up, I went ahead and did the next best thing: I purchased a certificate for discount laser hair removal off of the Internet. Because what could possibly go wrong there? Surely a spa willing to zap people with lasers is still perfectly fine even if they’re selling sessions for 90% off.
I guess this would be a funnier story if it turned out that it was, like, some dude with a power washer attached to a laser pointer in the back room of a bar, but sadly I have to tell you that I researched the facility before shelling out for the certificate, and they’re actually a real place, licensed, good reviews, etc. And I sat through the taunting from some of my friends about my dubious decision-making skills in having picked this particular place based on price. “Would you have bought a Groupon for your hysterectomy?” one of them asked me, full of skepticism.
“If I didn’t have health insurance? Probably.” (Also, I really don’t feel like a little bit of hair removal is akin to having organs extracted, even if it does involve lasers.)
ANYWAY. I have mentioned before that I’ve had laser hair removal in the past, but that I kind of ran out of money and time and therefore still have to, erm, deal with a hair Situation when it comes to wearing a bathing suit. Granted, I am no longer at Threat Level Yeti, but still. As much as I enjoyed (?) my forays into waxing at home, I still dream of a day when hair simply doesn’t grow where it’s unwelcome. Particularly in unwelcome areas which are delicate and sensitive.
This morning I headed to the salon, was delighted to discover it was clean and pretty and full of swoopy salon background music and ambient lighting and weird little sculptures. (You know it’s going to be a luxurious experience when there are, say, hunks of marble in funny shapes sitting by the FEEL YOUNGER AND STRONGER AND FURTHER FROM DEATH type pamphlets urging you to peel and tone and zap everything that bothers you.) I filled out my paperwork and was then ushered into an exam room to chat with the Laser Lady.
Because I’ve had laser work done before, we just went over things quickly, and I did think to ask if the last decade has changed things much. She said the basic technology was the same, but probably with some more refinements, why did I ask? I mentioned that the sessions I’d had before were pretty painful. She assured me that this would hurt very little. “We hook it into another machine that blasts your skin with cold air at the same time, and that minimizes the pain,” she said. Huh. Fancy!
She shepherded me into a second room where she asked me to remove my skirt and wear this towel-wrap they had provided for me. “You can leave your panties on,” she said, “unless… are they black?”
This seemed a little weird to me. First of all, I’d known her 10 minutes, and even though she was going to be, to put it plainly, working on my crotch in fairly short order, I’d had no idea we’d be discussing my lingerie. Fortunately, I have almost no shame, so I said, “Actually, they ARE black.” (Hey, I have dark hair, and a stranger was going to be all up between my legs; black panties seemed like the closest thing to modesty I was going to get to have today.) “We’ve just met and already you don’t like my underwear?” I added.
She laughed. “It’s just that the laser goes for dark. If you’re wearing black panties you run the risk of the laser kind of jumping to the fabric.” A mental image of my panties catching fire during this little adventure darted, unbidden, through my head. “You can either just go without or we have these disposable paper panties you can wear.”
I opted for the disposables, which came in a little clear pouch like a shower cap. Laser Lady left me to disrobe, and I opened up the panties. Imagine, if you will, a strip of hospital paper (like the kind they use for those caps to cover up your hair before you go into surgery) about three inches wide, strung on an elastic string. Sexxxxxxxy! I put it on and adjusted it as best I could. The string ended up about two inches above my belly button.
Laser Lady came back and started fiddling with the equipment, which went from “low hum” to “757 about to take off” while she worked. After a minute she stepped back and said, “We’ll just let that warm up for a minute. Let me go over the aftercare instructions with you while we wait.”
Most of it was standard: avoid direct sunlight on the area for 24-48 hours, what to do if problems arise, etc. Then she got to, “No strenuous exercise for the next 24 hours, particularly anything involving the treatment area.”
I blinked at her, then looked down at my lovely towel drape. “I’ll let my husband know,” I said. Then it was her turn to blink at me for a minute. (I was thinking: explain to me what OTHER sort of strenuous exercise I would be doing with my CROTCH? But then I realized that maybe she meant more like I shouldn’t… go biking. Whoops.)
Finally it was time to begin, and the good news is that Laser Lady wasn’t kidding—between whatever version of laser they use and the jet of cold air, I could barely feel most of the zapping. That was nice, because I distinctly remember ending more than one of my long-ago sessions in tears. Also, it went a lot faster than I remembered. I had to wear those dorky little eye goggle things people use in tanning beds, to protect my eyes from the laser, so I just put them on and laid back and responded to her requested to move this way or that, bend this knee, put this over here. I tried to think of happy thoughts and not about the fact that a stranger was using a laser between my legs.
About five minutes later she said, “Okay, we’re all done! I’m just going to wipe off the gel and put some calming lotion on it for you. So I took off the eyecups and waited for her to finish up. For whatever reason, I felt a lot more self-conscious about the smearing on of lotion after than I did about the laser part. And then when she said, “You can sit up now,” I did, and realized that my LOVELY paper panties had, in the process of being moved around during the procedure, crumpled in on themselves, and I now essentially had a drinking-straw-wrapper’s width of crumpled paper “covering” me. So now I had: A tiny strip of crumpled paper across completely exposed pubic hair, flanked by angry red skin that had just been lasered.
I HAVE NEVER FELT MORE SEXY. I flipped the towel over myself as quickly as possible.
Laser lady and I chatted while she put things away, then she told me to go ahead and get dressed and meet her up front. All I could think while she was talking was that I had the world’s worst wedgie, and I hoped she was shut up and leave so I could remove the paper panties. When my chance finally came, I discovered that dislodging and removing this monstrosity was actually something of a struggle. (Don’t ask. I was all slicked down with lotion, and apparently I am sort of… crevicey?) (YOU ARE WELCOME.)
Up front I made my appointment for the next visit, but also made a note while putting it on my calendar to wear light-colored panties. And possibly a mask.