This morning I got a chance to reflect on my life as a woman who has had to shave her legs for over 43 years. I can't believe that there was a day that I actually looked forward to this lifelong drudgery. Thank heavens, the look after is worth all the trouble. The first pair of nylons that covered my brand-new shaved-for-the-first-time legs were some nylons that my dad found in a barrel at the hardware store where he was buying plumbing supplies. They were such a bargain (there was an entire barrel full to the brim) that he bought several pairs and brought them home for me.
I was dumbstruck.
You see, the reason for the "big sale" was because they had this funny "seam" running right down the back of them. Never mind it was the 60's and seam nylons went out with WWII. . . and to top it all off, my first occasion to wear my first pair of nylons, with my just-shaved-for-the-first-time legs, was to my great-grandfather's funeral. It was hard enough that you had to put on a polyester"harness" around your hips, where some cotton straps and dangley metals things, clung to your nylons (they only went up mid-thigh) so they wouldn't fall down. Oh, and when that "special time" came around once a month--you had another "harness" that, well, we'll save that for another story.
Everyone at the funeral remarked how much I must have loved my Grandfather (which I did) so much, because I stood by his casket all evening. The real reason was that next to the casket was the only wall which I could stand in front of, hiding the hideous seams behind me that etched up my leg on the back. Yes, I actually "backed" into the room, and I "backed" out of the room. And Dad was very proud that he'd bought me something so special . . .
Fast-forward to the greatest invention of all time--knee socks! Trouser socks! Wonderful contraptions to hide the fact that you didn't have time, one too many times, to shave. Winter can be a boon to too tired hands, and worn-out blades! Just cover it up with a dark sock. . .
Jacey is studying Cosmetology. She did her last semester in aesthetics. In other words--she learned to wax. And she waxes everything. Her brothers, and yes, even her Dad, get regular "nose hair" waxing--and they all swear by them that they actually breathe better. She said, "Mom, grow out your leg hair and I will wax your legs" Okay, that sounds interesting, I'll try it--I really like smooth legs. Well, Jacey has the social calendar of a national leader, and she was getting married to boot. She kept postponing my waxing. You know when I gave up waiting for my wax job? When one morning as I was walking down the stairs, I felt the "wind blow" on my legs. They were actually "blowing in the wind" as I walked! Disgusting. I shaved that day. Now, with no, or very little estrogen coursing through my body, my leg hair is noticeably softer and less noticeable. Maybe I will become like my mom who never had to shave in her golden years. But I am not there yet. Today, as I was shaving my legs, my little four-year-old granddaughter, Audrey, stood by me watching. "Nana, why are you cutting that grass?" I fell on the floor.
"Gwamma, what makes the grass grow there?" Fall on the floor again.
I don't know. I just know that today--it was a lot more fun to shave!
Tami and I have been working on Tami's dream--her "Gap" year. Tami is my cousin, on my mother's side, and we have been working on her idea of creating a children's book called "Paisley's Planet". Tami will be traveling the world, visiting with children, writing her book and enjoying her life as an independent observer of life, enjoying all this world has to offer. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?
It will not come without sacrifice. She has sold or stored most all of her "earthly possessions" while her greatest blessings in life, her children, will be in constant contact with her through the gift of technology. Apartment--gone, car--soon to be gone.
Until she makes this big leap in her life, she will be working on business plans, Paisley's blog, travel arrangements, translators and housing. Many have offered her a home in some wild places . . .but she will always be here, with us her family, in the home that we call our heart.
Fifty-eight-year-old mother of five beautiful, talented, creative, compassionate, loving, smart and funny children, who have chosen amazing spouses. Wife to an elegant man who is funny, intellectual generous to a fault, kind athletic, spiritual and still dreams. Oh, and have you seen my five GRAND children? They are amazing.
Yes, you can "teach and old dog, new tricks": I have a little photography company called Red Door Photography. You'll find me in my "favorite links" so come and see the work that I do, and if you like what you see--I'd love to be your photographer!
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