The wax isn’t as hot as I expect, but the going on is not what I’m worried about. I’m full into the Lamaze breathing now, plus distracting conversation with Rachana, who is from Nepal.
“I was in Nepal in April,” I tell Rachana.
Rip. I hyperventilate at the assault, a cold sharp pain. My armpits are wet. I try to reassure myself that each swipe of the wax is with a fresh wood stick. No “double dipping” here. But mostly I keep talking, or encourage Rachana to.
I hope she’ll be interested, or at least patient, to listen about my trip. Talking helps distract me. Room to Read, which builds schools and libraries for impoverished children in Third World Countries, is ten years old this year. I was lucky to go on the celebration trip to Nepal and trek along with founder John Wood and a few others, to visit the first Room-to-Read projects.
Warmth. Rip. Warmth. Rip.
Despite Rachana’s expertise–she’s as gentle as possible given what’s happening–uncomfortable doesn’t cover it. The dread, is almost as bad as the RIP itself.
“What is the name of that organization?”
She asks me, at one point to lift my leg up along the wall, for some tricky undercarriage access. Seems like some kind of perverse yoga pose.
“Room to Read,” I promise to write down the website for her, and share memories of our trip there, the man asleep in the middle of a major road, the unreliable electricity, difficulties of daily life. I’d want a better life for my children too. She’s able to get back to home country only every two or three years.
Rachana moves my legs, spreading the skin “just so” when appropriate. The website says the most painful area is not, as one might expect, close to the delicate “center line” but rather in the triangle directly above, but who can say?
I tell myself how nice it will be not to have to shave when I’m in my bathing suit. But it’s not bathing suit season now, how can a salon devoted to hair removal—and Shoba has three locations—stay in business?
“Why do most women have this done?”
For the first time I allow myself to watch. Rachana is “threading” now, lassoing away stray hairs with really fast movements of sewing thread.
“I would say,” Rachana hardly pauses, clearly having thought this through, “one-third bathing suits, one third in order ‘to feel cleaner’, and the last third because of the pressure.”
Cleaner? Hair free is cleaner? But it’s the last third I’m especially curious about. I think I know the answer, but ask her to explain “pressure.”
“From boyfriends or husbands.” As I expected…..I’d like to think about that some, but I’m too busy being relieved that this is just about over.
“Okay,” says Rachana, “I want to make sure you are happy.” She holds a large hand mirror between my legs so I can see. UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL.