I know, I know. Returning to the massage therapist who creates an Exxon Valdez-worthy oil slick wasn’t the brightest idea. But I was in desperate need. Trudging around hilltowns is murderous on my legs. I ran into Maria on the street just when my aching muscles were crying out and told her to reserve me an hour time slot. Besides, she really is a nice lady and, copious greasing aside, gives a decent massage. Plus, I haven’t found anyone else. I caved.
All went well. With cooler weather she does permit a blanket of covering to keep my muscles from tensing up, and we chatted amiably. She mentioned that she is also an esthetician, the exact significance of which I was unsure, but she started telling me she could wax my eyebrows and upper lip. The curse of having Mediterranean blood coursing in my veins, but then every other woman around here suffers the same problems, apparently. I confess that I was a bit tuned-out as she was saying all this, but said “okay” to show that I was keeping up and understood that she could provide those services if I ever decided to take advantage of them.
Next thing I know she’s slathering wax on my face and attaching linen strips to yank the stuff off. Whoa! Whatsupwiththisnoise? Ah, the subtleties of language learning. I didn’t denote the up-turn at the end of her sentence, which I thought was a statement but turned out to be a question. I can wax your eyebrows and lip, a statement. Can I wax your eyebrows and lip? A question. Same exact sentence formation in Italian but an intonation is what is supposed to signal an inquiry. In my semi-zoned-out state I missed it and stupidly answered “okay,” which she took as an affirmative: sure, go ahead and wax me!
I have never had a professional waxing before and I now know I don’t want to experience one again. Having your flesh ripped off isn’t a fun experience. When she finished with the wax she went at my brows with a tweezers, which stung like a bee. When I winced in pain she kept on, saying, “ma sara` bellissima.” But you’ll be more beautiful. Thank you, but I'd rather stay ordinary, run of the mill bella than inflict that kind of pain upon myself in the name of beauty. And this was just a small taste of the hair-removal experience. All the way home I questioned the utter sanity of anyone who would submit to a bikini wax. WHY? Why would you do that? No, don’t go there. Just. Please. Don't go there.
copyright 2007 Valerie Schneider