The Hair Down There

Or  When Not to Experiment with Your Grooming Habits

What is about to follow is a story that falls into the TMI category, of which I’m known.  Apologies are offered in advance.  I would also note this is potentially NAFW so you’ve been warned…

Friends, I have thoughts about The Hair Down There (THDT) and could go on quite the rant but I’m going to leave the honor to Grace or Mae.  We’ve discussed the issue of THDT a number of times and I think they’d do the topic better justice than I.  That being said, I was of the bare persuasion for a number of years following an incident involving a boat party, a swimsuit, and wayward tuft of THDT. Apparently it takes something like 10 years to recover from that kind of thing but the good news is I decided it was time I return to a natural state.  And return to the natural state I did.  In a pretty serious way.  As in my nether regions were like the dense depths of a jungle.  Sans critters, of course.  It’s not like I had to prepare myself for any type of swimsuit situation given the season.  Not to mention I don’t currently stock any of the necessary grooming accoutrements so I sort of thought of this as my time to prime the canvas.  I could get creative later on.

Or so I thought.

As Grace mentioned, I attended a wedding this past weekend.  I was working with roughly 19 eligible bachelors (a generous estimate).  This meant the odds were pretty high that I’d come across an attractive gentleman or two and while I don’t oppose a good looking man, I was determined that I would not give in to the drunken wedding make out.  And really, I don’t know why it was that I decided for it to be the Weekend of Resistance.  There’s nothing wrong with a good make out and a wedding one is particularly nice since it’s easier to avoid the post-make out awkwardness.  Still, I got the thought in my mind and wanted to stick to it.

My friends were of the opposition on this one as I’m the lone single friend and they live vicariously through my experiences.  If there’s a hot guy or scandalous situation you can bet they’re pushing me into it and I suspect it’s only because they can’t do so themselves.  So when my makeup was complete, my hair was coiffed, and I was looking pretty damn good, they were on a mission.  One girlfriend was particularly determined to introduce me to every Eligible of her acquaintance and I can’t say I objected.  Once I was there, looking rather fetching in an elegant bridesmaid dress (I know! I was shocked!) I wanted to bring all the boys to my yard (as Grace might say).  Which, now that I think of the phrase, takes on a whole other meaning given the state of my lady bits…

Slip me a glass or wine or five and I become an amalgam of the dancing queen and coquette.  It wasn’t long before a rather attractive man entered the scene.  We’ll call him Ferragamo Fred – oh, was he dapper!  I spent a good deal of time admiring his stellar choice in tie and footwear when I wasn’t shooting him seductive looks.  After three hours and several dances with Ferragamo Fred, all thoughts of resistance flew out the window.

I had visions of Ferragamo Fred flitting through my mind as I returned to my hotel room to prepare for the post-reception bar revelry.  And while I was tipsy, I wasn’t drunk enough to ignore the fact that I was less than comfortable with my new grooming habits.  True, I embrace it in theory, but I was obviously not comfortable embracing it in practice because a shower sounded like a stellar idea.

Friends, it’s just that I didn’t know how I would have felt if THDT made an appearance that night.  After 10 years it can take awhile to get back in the swing of things and while I embrace change, I do so in a gradual way.  Suddenly, my newly ungroomed state had me in a panic and I can only tell you it was because I didn’t know the guy that well.  You might be the type that would rather experience this type of thing with a stranger and there’s nothing wrong with that.  I just happened to come to the conclusion that I need someone known, with whom I could guarantee acceptance.  If a guy, stranger or not, does not accept my non-bare nether regions then he’s a jerk but that night I didn’t feel confident I’d take a stand for myself if he gave me a weird look.  And if there’s a time that I might get a weird look I want to be sure I will say something and put him in his place to do my views on the subject justice.

At this point I should perhaps allay any fears you had for my HDT.  It took a lot of time to get back to the au naturale state so there was no way I’d completely undo my hard work, but I did do a bit of gardening (taking the yard bit too far?).  I don’t recommend wielding a razor at 12:30 AM, and at that hour the bar of soap becomes a slippery little sucker, but when all was said and done my nether regions resembled something more akin to a small copse.

I wish I could tell you the rest of my evening end involved dark corners, Ferragamo Fred, and a slip of the tongue, but alas, the wine started to leave my system and I resistance once again seemed like a good thing.   Needless to say, if you’re considering an experiment with your grooming habits, I recommend you consider the situation in advance. Think about what time will be ideal for you to embrace your newly natural state.  I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t feel more comfortable with the situation and I would hope that others could have a different, more confident, experience if choosing to go that route.

-Kate

Please Do Not Meow At Me So, Sir

Do not adjust your computer monitors, dear readers. I know you were expecting a post from the delightful Kate this morning, but today she’s occupied being not only A Very Important Businesswoman (her actual title), but also The Perfect Bridesmaid. I generously offered to take over today’s post, in light of this development. Or, you know, I begged and pleaded because – surprise! – I have something to rant about discuss.

You see, yesterday I was meowed at.

Not by, as one would expect, a cat. This sound effect came from a grown man. Unfortunately, he wasn’t doing his best Aristocats impression or training his feline for a cat agility competition. He was using it to make me shut up. The exchange went, thusly:

Man (Also known as my younger brother, Paul the Fratboy, who was over at my house watching Center Stage, an acknowledged cinematic masterpiece): Dude, I can’t believe you’re watching this movie. This is so gay.

Me: Um. No, it’s not. Does this movie think other movies of the same gender are attractive? Oh wait, or were you calling the men in the movie that, just because they’re dancers? Yeah, that makes sense. Everyone who puts on tights must like boys. Just look at Mikhail Baryshnikov or Gene Kelly. Oh, wait…

Man: I’m just saying, it’s stupid.

Me: Well, that’s not what you said.

Man: Meow!

That was the meow. It was not a placid I’m imitating a submissive cat noise. It was the sound a cat makes when you’ve just stepped on its tail or introduced it to a chihuahua. It was the sound meant to tell me I was being a ridiculous woman. I was meowed at, because my brother didn’t like what I was saying. I was meowed at, because I dared argue my point in a vehement manner. My taking issue with something offensive is, in fact, me just being catty.

I wish this were limited to twenty-year old frat boys. It’s not. My brother learned this behavior from my father, a man who proudly cries at human interest news stories and who has always believed I could rule the world. And yet…I’ve been meowed at in this same manner, when arguing with my normally enlightened father. Worse still, I know this isn’t just our family. Women are meowed at all the time. It even happens to powerful female politicians in Australia, during official government discourse. (If this has never happened to you, because you live in a paradise of common courtesy, click that second link to see an example.)

This is a thing, y’all. When women are angry or in the middle of an argument, apparently it’s okay to compare us to pissed-off housecats. Even the word “catty” is used mainly for women. While it means slyly spiteful and has no gendered language in the official definition, it’s still considered a woman thing. Think about it. Even if a man is talking smack about someone, exhibiting sly spite in all its glory, he would be called judgmental or an asshat, but never catty. When men get angry, it can’t be so easily demeaned with an animal noise. A man-to-man argument will never end with a meow.

What the hell? Where did this even come from? It’s not like we bark at men, when they do something stupid like chase their tails or watch Jackass marathons.Why have we tolerated this notion that an enraged woman is nothing so much as a pissy, hissing feline, easily swatted away or placated with tuna?

If my opinion doesn’t match yours, that’s fine. Let’s have a discussion about it. Hell, yell at me, if you must. But when I yell back just as loudly, let’s set a rule, shall we? There will be no more damned meowing. I do not want canned fish. I want my voice heard.

- Grace

Was This Some Sexism?

Sexism

Yesterday something happened. Something weird. Something that left me befuddled. What was this bizarre and perplexing occurrence? Well, that’s what I need your help in figuring out, because I think it may have been some sexism….but I’m not entirely sure.

Picture it: A very busy restaurant at lunchtime. I’m trying to fill up my cup with unsweet iced tea (my favorite) but the drip is running awfully slow and there is a line starting behind me. An employee of the restaurant comes over, asks me to move aside, and then tilts the tea maker so the flow of tea is heavier….then, this employee (a man) says “Sir, if you bring your cup over here I can fill it for you.”  Cue confusion on my part. At first, I thought he was talking to me, after all, I was the first in the tea line trying to fill my cup, but then I realize he is gesturing to the man behind me. BEHIND ME. He asked the man who was second in line to fill his cup before the woman who was first in line. Um, what the hell? I was so flummoxed, I didn’t know what to say. The man behind me stepped right in front of me and filled his cup and then went back to his table, then the employee says “Mam, you can fill your cup now.” That time, he was talking to me. Again, what the hell? Why did he give the man behind me cup filling preference? After all, I was the one who had been trying for a hot minute to fill her cup, I was first in line, and I was the one who brought the problem to the employee’s attention. What. The. Hell. Was this some sexism?

I looked up the official definition of sexism and it’s “attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles; discrimination or devaluation based on a person’s sex, as in restricted job opportunities; especially, such discrimination directed against women.” I can’t exactly figure how my cup filling incident plays into this. I mean, there isn’t a gender stereotype that I’m aware of where men prefer iced tea more than woman. And being passed over to fill your cup doesn’t even come close to measuring up to job discrimination or sexual harassment. So, I’m left still feeling baffled. Was this or wasn’t this some sexism?

I turn to you, the gorgeous and all-knowing reader for the answer. Please save me from the over-analyzing that’s happening in my brain right now, my ears are starting to smoke…..

- Mae

The Case of the Tiny Knickers

Ladies, we have a problem. Someone has shrunk all the underwear in America. I suspect Lex Luther, that pervy rat.

This treacherous crime was most recently observed yesterday, while I indulged in a bit of post-holiday shopping. Victoria’s Secret, that haven of polyester lace and sweatpants with gendered colors stitched across the bum, was having a sale. A great, big, Please Back Up The Truck For Our Cheaply Made Underwear sale. Hooray! My credit card company rejoiced!

My rear end did not. There were all sorts of choices, of course. I could buy thongs, hipsters, bikinis, and even something called a cheeky panty. (That last, I can only guess is some sort of insolent, but loveable, undergarment. Perhaps it has Oscar Wilde quotes on the tag?) None of these, however, met my new underpinnings requirement: proper coverage. Even ignoring the dreaded thong, these garments were engineered not to support or flatter my body, but to seductively uncover it. The hipsters covered my hips, yes, but not most of my lower butt region. The bikinis would cover the bum, but not that odd thigh-meets-pelvis region up front. Which should be covered and which should be left shivering and exposed to the cruel winter air, for proper sexiness? It was like a Sophie’s Choice of my nether regions!

From these options, I can only assume American women are forever in danger of having our clothes ripped off by passing strangers or rogue trolley cars. Ergo, underneath our clothes, we must look as much like adult film actresses as possible. Heaven forbid someone see us in – gasp! – actual panties. Why, if my Volvo were hit by a skydiving llama, I’d be the shame of the emergency room!

This sucks. Y’all, I like real underwear. Why must I be expected to wear mere suggestions of it instead? Reasonable underwear, the kind that covers one’s entire bum and doesn’t dare venture into places reserved for Ryan Gosling, is awesome. When did it become not only unfashionable, but actively frowned upon? Last I checked, men aren’t trying to cover their cash & prizes with pieces of cloth no wider than dental floss. Yet, not only are we taught that full underwear isn’t sexy, but it’s given a derisive nickname. The granny panty. Cue lightning and thunder.

Well, whatever. I think Granny had it right. You can’t tell me I would look hotter wearing butt-floss than this:

I just don’t believe it. Real underwear makes me look better, both with and without clothes on. Ladies, there isn’t one among us who hasn’t fallen victim to unfortunate lines created by bunching hipsters or migrating thongs. Just think – it’s possible for us not to worry about what crazy antics our underwear will get up to next. We could put on a garment that not only flatters our figure, but won’t start playing a game of Twister halfway through the dessert course. Can I get a hallelujah?

There is, of course, the argument on behalf of guys. Heaven knows, we can’t leave this important wardrobe decision up to women’s delicate little brains.The male half must prefer us in these wisps of cloth, or else we wouldn’t contort ourselves into them each morning. Sorry, but I’m calling foul on this one. For generations and generations, we wore reasonable underpants. Hell, for generations, we wore too many underpants! Men seemed to enjoy them well enough. We have all their billions of descendents walking around as a testament to that fact! My new outlook is this – if a guy is lucky enough to see my underwear, he probably won’t care if they’re retro lace panties or a red polyester thong. He should just be super excited about getting to that point at all. So, why not wear what makes me feel pretty? I can tell you, it won’t be a mysterious contraption that resembles nothing so much as a mesh butt cage (Link slightly NSFW).

I am through with garment-enforced wedgies, more torturous than any junior high prank, and trips to the bathroom just to rearrange my underwear situation. In 2012, I am taking a stand against ridiculous tiny knickers. If you need me, I won’t be at Victoria’s Secret, but instead kicking it old school with the hot “grannies” of What Katie Did and Dollhouse Bettie.

- Grace