tagHumor & SatireHow I Got My Chest Waxed

How I Got My Chest Waxed


I should get my sense of humor under control. An example of it getting the best of me was when I had my back and chest waxed as a gift for my wife for Mother's Day last year!

First a bit about me. I'm no spring chicken, I am a man in my early fifties and my abdominal six-pack became a keg a long time ago. My wife claims that she can't actually remember when I HAD a six-pack! My pec's have long ago been buried under the fruits of thirty years of eating and drinking too well. And, I am no narcissist – I don't spend my days and nights working out on exercise machines intended to preserve the illusion of youth. In other words, I more or less look my age. Aging is a bitch, and is preferable only to the alternative.

I am also a rather hairy sort. The good news is that I still have a fine head of hair that my wife loves to run her fingers through, but I also have a fair amount of body hair. In fact, as I have aged, I found myself getting hair in all sorts of places that I might prefer not to have it. Alas as with many men, I now have to trim hair from my ears; my eyebrows would become long wild branches going everywhich direction if I didn't keep them clipped, and my back, virtually bare when I was married, has become moderately hirsute. Sigh.

The result has been a certain amount of grief from my wife and college age daughter, who have both teased and taunted me about getting my back waxed for several years. Needless to say, this has been a notion that I never considered seriously. To be honest, I have always considered my hairy chest to be a manly attribute. My wife tells me that she enjoys my chest hair, and her only complaint is that when she rests her face on my bare chest, it tickles her nose.

So what, you might ask, led me to the idea of getting my chest waxed? The proximate cause was an episode of Dancing with the Stars. My wife LOVES dancing with the stars and faithfully watches it every night when it is on. In a past season Heather Mills (the former Mrs. Paul M. of Beatles fame,) was one of the "stars" - celebrities really – dancing on the show. For one episode, Ms. Mills had her male partner get his chest waxed in order that he could wear a costume that was open in the front from his neck to his waist. My wife was really impressed by that, and mentioned it to me once as I passed through the room where she was watching the show. What I didn't realize at the time was what impressed her so much was how painful she thought it must have been! But for me, a seed was planted. It somehow struck me as funny at the time.

One must comprehend the depth to which men are blissfully ignorant of the details of what women go through to look so wonderful for us. We think that those shapely eyebrows simply grow that way, and naively imagine that the barber who gives us a buzz cut does about the same thing to our wives hair. HA! What do we know.

Women, unlike most men, know better than to rely on mother nature. Men get the feeling that our mates think of us as "fixer-upper" projects, but we what we don't know is, that it is a natural outgrowth of the fact that our spouses are ALWAYS trying to fix themselves up as well. They are only fixing us up so that we don't make the living room look too shabby when they make their entrance with permed, colored, layered hair, elegantly manicured and painted nails, and exquisitely made up faces.

Once I had made the decision to get waxed, the first obstacle to overcome was: where the heck do you go to get your chest waxed? I asked my hair stylist. He thought about it for a couple of seconds, and called his wife over (she works in the same salon.) She gave me the name of a local place where in addition to cutting and styling hair they had a "day salon." On my way home I stopped in at the shop and set up an appointment for the Friday before Mother's Day.

I can't say that I was entirely discouraged by the response that I got from the women at the shop when I was setting up the appointment. They kind of cooed and said things like, "Oh, how sweet!", and "Oh, what a wonderful idea!" "Your wife will love it!" I think there is some kind of conspiracy amongst women to encourage men to prove their love by doing stupid, painful things. Look at any teenage male and consider what he will do to impress girls. I just didn't get it yet: 50 plus years old and I was walking into the same trap! "Oh please honey, could you just walk over hot coals in your bare feet to show me you love me!" Yeah, right.

The receptionist set me up for a one hour appointment starting at 10:00 AM. Then the "aesthetic specialist" came out and took a quick look at my chest and back, and asked if perhaps I could come in at 9:00 A.M. instead, and set aside at least two hours. Hmmmm..... I didn't think of that as an entirely positive sign.

I had a week to think about it, but before I knew it, the time had arrived, and I walked into the salon and told the young lady at the desk that I had an appointment with Helena (not her real name – I protect the guilty as well as the innocent.) The young lady at the reception desk had a BIG grin on her face, and I suspect a certain knowing look, and she told me that I could wait in the "spa" room while she let Helena know that I was there. I sat there waiting, trying to read my Wall Street Journal, keeping up a manly facade, hoping the tittering from the next room was not the receptionist telling all the women about me, "Yes, he's the one. He's getting both his back AND chest done. What a complete idiot!"

Helena arrived and took me into what looked suspiciously like a sound proofed private room. Now a word about Helena. Helena is in her mid-twenties, blond, petite, cute as a button, a wonderful smile, with a good sense of humor (boy, do you need one in that job) and a great deal of empathy. I wasn't sure how I felt about having a nice young woman like Helena doing this wax job. When she asked me to take off my shirt, I was afraid that she might faint from the mere sight of my 50 year old upper torso in an unclothed condition. I just hoped that my wit, charm, and Sterling character would keep her from running from the room screaming!

You may have noted earlier that I said that I had HEARD about the guy on Dancing with the Stars getting his chest waxed. I didn't actually SEE the process. When Helena closed the door to her little soundproof chamber the first thing she did was turn to me and ask,

"Did you ever see movie the 'The Forty Year-Old Virgin', when he goes to get his chest waxed?"

"No," I responded, "I recognize the name – it's been out on DVD for awhile now, hasn't it? Why do you ask?"

"Oh, nothing. Don't pay any attention to me," she replied evasively, with a little laugh. I naively accepted her bland assurance.

At this point I should probably explain my major philosophical error regarding the use of wax in performing hair removal.

I was of the impression that the wax was put onto the skin of the subject (victim,) where, by some miracle, it softened either the skin or the hair, or opened the hair follicle, or something like that, and would allow the hair to be removed in a less onerous, and less painful manner than, say, pulling the hairs out by their roots. Go ahead, ye worldly wise — laugh, cackle, taunt me for my ignorance. I deserve your derision.

No, no, no. My painful discovery was that the wax is NOT a method for easing the pain of hair removal. it is merely a tool to make it more EFFICIENT; by which I mean, allowing some sadist to rip out HUGE amounts of your hair, by the roots, AT ONE TIME! Good Lord — why hadn't this little detail come up before I was in too deep to back out! I knew how painful having my chest hairs pulled out by the roots could be. When my children were infants, I would sometimes hold them up to my chest, and there was nothing quite so painful as when one of the little angels would grab a handful of chest hairs and give it a lusty pull. And just try to pry an infant's hand loose from its grip on your hair sometime. They are incorrigible. I still hold it against my children, even though they are adults now.

At this point, though, I didn't understand what I had gotten myself into. Yet.

So here we were, Helena and I, alone in her little office. And a charming office it was. Lovely pictures of family on the wall, and vacations, and scenic vistas. Helena turned on some easy listening music, that might have put me to sleep under other circumstances, and lit a bit of incense to relax me. I didn't understand the need for relaxation at the time. I was completely relaxed, because I didn't have a clue about what was coming.

Soon, that charming young woman was using an electronic pot to heat the wax. In retrospect, I think of it as something of a mini-cauldron. I didn't actually hear it, but I'm sure that she was muttering over the brew — "Boil, bubble, toil and trouble." She announced that the wax was ready. Helena would start with my back.

"That way," she told me. "if you want to stop, we can just do your back, and not do the chest." I'm sure that the quizzical look on my face would have told her I didn't comprehend why we wouldn't do the entire thing. Wise for her years is Helena; she didn't try to enlighten me further.

I finally asked about what she put on to soften the skin make the hairs come out more easily.

"Nothing." came the bleak reply. What did she mean, nothing?

Honestly, the back wasn't that bad. My back really isn't as hairy as many men's, and Helena was being careful.

First, she would apply the wax, which I discovered at that point, was only for the TOPS of the hairs. Then, before the wax cooled completely, Helena would slap on a piece of cloth, about an inch-and-one-half wide by about six inches long. As soon as Helena judged the wax to have dried enough to adhere the hairs to the cloth, there was a quick "rip" as she pulled the cloth off, along with several thousand hairs. OK, I exaggerate. It only felt like a couple thousand hairs. How many in reality? Dunno.

Nevertheless, the pain of having my back waxed was manageable. This isn't so bad, I thought. Additionally, Helena was heaping praise on me for my fortitude and stoicism.

"I tried to do this to my boyfriend," she told me, "and after I pulled off the cloth the first couple of times, he ran screaming from the room. You are doing really well."

God knows, I am a sucker for praise, especially from comely young women. If I had any biceps worth talking about, I might have flexed them at that point.

So onward we went — the pain a small price for for the shock, surprise, and hopefully pleasure, that this would give my wife. I gave the go-ahead to move to the chest.

Now, I don't want to belabor the process — the chest was much like the back, except...

Anyone who doesn't think that a man's nipples can be sensitive ought to be there when a waxed cloth rips off all of the hair in their general vicinity. I think that I screamed, I'm not entirely sure — it might have been in my mind. At the very least, a small groan made it past my lips.

Helena must have noticed, because about that time, she looked a bit carefully at me, and said,

"I don't think that MY father would ever be brave enough to do this for MY mother. It must really hurt, are you still doing OK?"

Good Lord, how does one answer? Thru gritted teeth, I responded, "I'm jjjuuusssttt fffiinnneee."

I discovered a general rule about this chest waxing thing: the further down it goes, the more it hurts. Helena was taking things a bit slower, either letting me recover a bit between hair pulls, or perhaps taking the time to savor what was now my flinching every time that cloth was about to separate me from my hair.

Actually, I was very grateful to Helena, she was so sweet and so gentle (well, at least comforting if not gentle,) and we kept chatting, and she kept encouraging me. I always love being compared favorably with other men, for example: telling me that I must be immune to pain; that I could teach John Wayne how to be a manly man. Or at least I could show the men Helena knows. Ego stroking; it helps.

My stomach was the worst, as far as the pain went. It was getting really, really 'ouch' there, but on the other hand the end was in sight.

About that time, though, Helena looked at me a little sheepishly, and asked, "Do you want a 'Brazilian' too?"

Once again, the ignorant male leapt out of me. I replied, "A Brazilian? What is a 'Brazilian?"

She blushed, and leaned over and whispered into my ear. Then I blushed, my eyes opened wide, and I think that my mouth dropped open. I gasped for air, before squeaking,

"Are you kidding? NO WAY!"

Helena looked relieved at that. "Good," she said, "I've never done one on a man."

She wasn't going to do one on this man either!

We finished up, Helena cleaned up any residue of wax that she could find. By this time, we were good friends, and she gave me a big hug as I was leaving. "You did really well," she assured me. I gave her an extra big tip, because, as I told her at the time, "This is most likely the one and only time I'm having that done." We laughed. Ha, Ha. I, for one, sincerely meant it.

At last, the payoff: revealing my sacrifice to my wife!

I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep my bare back and chest from her until Sunday, my wife and I are in too close a proximity during the weekends, so the new 'bare as a baby's butt' look would have to make its debut on Saturday.

Friday night came and went without my secret being exposed. I wore a more than usually concealing shirt to dinner, and since my wife often goes to bed earlier than I, I just kept my clothes on until after she was in bed, and then changed into a pair of pajamas (it was a cool night,) that would keep me covered until the morning.

It was Saturday morning and finally time to let the cat out of the bag.

I still wanted my hairless state to be a maximum surprise for my wife, so I lagged a bit in bed when she got up to take a shower. Then, still in my pajamas, I followed her into the master bath. As I was brushing my teeth and shaving, my wife was already prepared to get into the shower. I told her to go ahead, and that I would join her momentarily. After she was in the shower, I went to a part of the bathroom not visible from the shower, and finally took off my pajamas.

Josh, I love it when a plan actually works!

Using every ounce of stealth that I possess, I walked over to the shower, with my towel covering the front of my body until the final seconds, when I hung it up close to the door, and quickly stepped into the water with my wife.

Oh, the look on her face!

"You SHAVED your chest!" my wife gasped, her voice slightly aghast.

"No." I calmly replied.

Now her eyes got REALLY big.

"You had your chest WAXED?" came the question, with an amazed tone in her words.

"Yup," I said, "and my back too." I love that kind of Gary Cooper understatement.

A grin came over her face, and her hands began to move over my, at least for the time being, hairless body, checking it out.

"Boy, I never thought you would really do it," she said. "You know, you didn't have to. Why did you do it?"

"Well," I replied, "it seemed like a good idea at the time."

I just stood there preening. If some stupid dancer can take the pain for Heather Mills, I could do it for my wife.

Suddenly, though, the mood in the shower shifted, as my wife looked at me through eyes suddenly small and hard.

"I hope you don't expect that because you did this for Mother's Day that I'm going to get a Brazilian for Father's Day!" she hissed, carefully, suspiciously examining my every facial expression.

Good heavens, I thought, am I the only person in the world who thought that a Brazilian was a person from Brazil?



Truthfully, it took me a couple of weeks to get used to seeing myself without chest hair in the mirror. The last time I looked so naked was before I was fourteen — and that was a lot of years ago.

Eventually, of course, the hair grew back in. Today, one would never know that one year ago I had been waxed. And my wife made it clear that she really prefers my chest in its natural, primitive, simian state.

My daughter hasn't given me any more shit about getting myself waxed, after she got her initial chuckles about me actually doing it. She also doesn't whine and complain about the pain of getting her legs done, either. I suspect that she understands that after getting my chest and stomach done, I consider waxing legs to be a walk in the park.

And although I would never do my chest again, I sometimes look at my back, and wonder if I shouldn't get waxed back there again. I just looked into the mirror this morning, a couple of weeks before Mother's Day, at the hair back there, and thought...

... I should buy us some tickets to see the musical "Mama Mia" or something; anything damned thing except getting waxed again!

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