As I chilled in the sunroom last night I started to think about why we do the things that we do. I rubbed my head after my 2 hour earlier hair cut. That ready for race season hair cut that is just long enough to cover the scares in my head but yet short enough to rip out the grey hair that makes repeated attempts of showing up. I'm not getting old, I'll keep battling it. I glance at my legs. Those shaved legs and I think about why I do all this. I also think back to some one of the first times I tried to remove leg hairs and the means of experimentation.
We all know the normal reason of why men spend more time shaving their legs during the race season than shaving facial hair. I won't get in to that. What I think back to is the first year I started doing it. It took a big chunk of self confidence to even bring a razor towards those skinny sticks in the first place. After a while it started to become a normal thing but of course me being that efficiently junkie that I am I wanted to figure out what would give me the most amount of time between hair removal sessions.
I started into those quiet talks with women that I knew asking about waxing and chemicals etc, I didn't want to many of my guy friends even hearing me bring this question up. Most of my friends at that time were not into biking at all. My friend collection has changed since that time. So after hearing the potential pain in waxing I opted to try a chemical hair removal. Off to the drug store and I see Nair for Men hair removal. Hey, I'm a man and I have man hair. This is what I need. To the cash register with my manscaping formula I go. An hour later I'm home and of course to keep thing manly I crack a beer open with my teeth as I head to the bathroom with death to hair in mind.
I read the instructions and the warnings, maybe that's where I failed. May cause irritation, hmmm, try a small skin area first. Well I thought I'd be smart and follow the warnings, small area, waited the time and wiped it off. Hmmm so far so good. I'm tough, it's not going to cause me because my skin doesn't irritate!!! The whole leg is done with this cream as I chug back the beer. Waiting patiently for that 7-8 minutes they say it takes to work was done drinking another beer. Wipe off the cream and look at my legs, ok so most of the hair came off, did the other leg with the same results. So far so good. Most of the hair is gone, no shaving for weeks according to the box. Then things went bad.
It wasn't that day but it was through the night and into the morning, I started to kick the sheets off my legs. By the am I was in a world of hurt. My legs were red in places, the ankles were swollen. Taking a shower that morning hurt worst than any sunburn in my past. Socks felt like they had spikes on them. This is not good. Over the next week I could barely stand having anything touch my skin. Things slowly got better and as I was finally able to even look at my legs without them hurting I began to notice something. What the hell is that??? Is that stubble? Shit.
The hair started to grow back at it's normal rate, I suffered more than I think I have ever suffered to that point in my life for absolutely nothing. The next few days I swear the hair on my legs grew back longer, faster and thicker than in the past. It was getting it's revenge for my weak attempts to shut it out of my life for more than a few days. A week or so later I was finally able to take the razor to the legs and went back to shaving. 5 years later my thoughts of using anything but a razor blade on those skinny little legs has always been haunted by the past. The thoughts of waxing or chemicals and my skin yells "do you remember when"
I just had a shiver from that little life reminder, I need more coffee.