I'm Just Saying…

February 14, 2012

Valentine’s Day Edition: Take My Advice…

              What is it about advice? Everyone likes to give advice; almost no one wants to take it. But that doesn’t stop anyone from giving it. Unasked for, unsolicited advice is a fact of life. It always stands to reason, someone, somewhere, at the most inopportune time, wants to bestow the benefit of their wisdom or experience. The most popular topic of advice, of course, is relationships and the most popular demographic to advise is the single woman. In honor of  Valentine’s Day, for the benefit of single women everywhere, I would like to share my experience with unsolicited advice in the hope you will be comforted, you are not alone…

            While the unfortunate “advice session” can happen anywhere, hair salon, book club gathering, one of those nice home parties for stuff no one needs, I received my “advice to the lovelorn” during a Brazilian bikini wax.

            No, I’m not kidding.

            There I was, hot wax boldly going where no hot wax had been before, listening to the piquant ripping sound of cloth tearing away wax and hair, and hopefully, no dermis. My esthetician liked to take periodic smoke breaks, because, you know, causing someone excruciating pain is tough work. This is what happened…

            She squints at me through a haze of smoke. “You okay babe?” she asks in her lilting, unidentifiable accent.

            Yes, oh spawn of hell, I’m just fine. Thanks.

            More wax, another strip, another assault on my nether region.

            “So babe, you with anyone?”

            This question, for the benefit of those already coupled so long they don’t remember being asked this question, is extremely annoying to the uncoupled. We have our spiel, “No, not right now,” or “No, I’m too busy with work and school.” What we really want to do is leap to our feet (if seated) and shout “NO! I’M ALONE! OKAY?  SOLO! UNO! ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?”

            I don’t say that. I say, “No, not right now.”

            Wax. Cloth strip. RIP.

            My left leg is now hanging off the table. This is not comfortable. My right leg is bent at a 45° degree angle. I am strategically stretching my panty, ironically enabling my own pain and agony.

            What women do for beauty. Unbelievable.

            “It’s hard, babe,” my esthetician mumbles, cigarette smoke trailing from her nose.

            Do tell.

            Wax. Cloth strip. RIP.

            Wincing,  I take a deep breath, contemplating a move to France where they don’t shave, pluck, or wax anything there. At least that’s what I heard.

            My esthetician stretches, taking another long drag on her cigarette.

            Yes, relax, minion of Satan. I don’t want you to be tense.

            I lie there, hoping against hope this conversation, like her cigarette, will burn itself out. My singleness is not a happy thought. I’m still hoping for Mr. Darcy in a pair of Dockers.  I was born in the wrong century. I understand this.

            More slathering of wax. I squirm, glancing at the clock. The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest didn’t take this long.

            Wax. Cloth strip. RIP.

            “So, what you do with yourself babe?”

            I sit in my lonely room, watching rom-coms, devouring chocolate, and weeping.

            I don’t say that. I say, “I’m very busy with work and school.” Then I forget the cardinal rule of conversations about my singleness. Less is more. I should have quit while I was ahead. I didn’t. “I like going to the movies,” I add.

            “Who do you go with?”

            “I go alone. I don’t need company.”

            My esthetician takes this quietly. Now, my right leg is hanging off the table and my left leg is bent at a 45° degree angle in order to evenly distribute the pain.

            “Let me tell you something, babe. When you can go to the movies by yourself, you’re ready to have a relationship.”

            She rips off the cloth strip.

            I mull this enigmatic piece of advice while tears of pain pool in my eyes and my esthetician sucks on her cigarette.

            What, exactly, does that mean? There are many ways to take that. Does it mean “You’re pathetic. You need to get back on E-Harmony PRONTO.” Or does it mean “You’re pathetic and don’t bother trying to find someone. Just buy yourself a supply of Orville Redenbacher’s Jumbo Movie Theater Butter popcorn, rent some chick flicks, and call it a life.”

            My esthetician says nothing else, her expression unreadable. There are thousands of estheticians in this world and I have an enigma waxing my private parts, a Buddha with a Popsicle stick and cloth strips.

            At least the conversation is over.

            So I think.

            It isn’t.

            We’re at the finale, one leg up in the air with my heel resting on her shoulder and I decide this is my first and last Brazilian bikini wax. I even make a silent vow Scarlett would be proud of: I don’t care if I do meet Mr. Right, as God is my witness, I’ll never get waxed again. He gets a road map and a flashlight; rough it my friend.

            She takes a drag on her cigarette, then places it in the ashtray next to the heating wax. The smoke swirls into the air as she places the strip and says… “Babe, you have to learn to love yourself.”


            Once the lightning bolt of pain recedes from my brain, I have time to think about her advice. Do the men of this world avoid me because I give off “Hey, I don’t love myself” vibes? Do I not love myself? I pamper myself, spend time and money, endure sweat and pain to keep myself manicured and fit. Am I missing something?

            I leave my esthetician with the area below the waist clear and the area above the neck more cluttered in confusion than when I arrived.

            I do not make a return appointment…

            This is the moral of my Valentine’s Day story: Don’t confuse single women with advice, let us work out the situation on our own. And if we want to do that with rom-com’s and chocolate, that’s up to us. However, if anyone is considering a Brazilian bikini wax, let it go. From what I hear, they’re not in style anymore.

           Thank God.





  1. Jill, your pieces are always so great. I’m going to throw this up on some Facebook pages of some friends I know who SHOULD be subscribing to your blog. It’s always a treat when I get something from you in my e-mail box and today is no exception. Thanks for the great laugh over my V-Day morning coffee!

    Comment by kristipetersenschoonover — February 14, 2012 @ 8:35 am | Reply

  2. That was very vivid! I didn’t get married until I was 35, and people used to grill me the same way. My (much) younger sister got married years before me, and I really heard it then. The fact is, no woman should get married until she finds the right person — whether at age 25 or 45 or 75. Awfully glad to hear that Brazilians are going out of style — glad I missed out on that trend!

    Comment by Jenny Joczik — March 12, 2012 @ 10:10 pm | Reply

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