Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Red Badge of Dumbass and the 41-Year-Old Virgin

This coming Wednesday, Guy and I are heading to Miami for an architectural convention followed by a couple of days in the Keys. I'm doing a presentation at the convention with a friend of mine from grad school, and Guy has yet to decide whether he's going to watch my presentation. On the one hand, he wants to be supportive; on the other, he gets creeped out when he watches me present or speak/perform in public. Either way, I've been working on this presentation for a long time, and I'm just ready to get it over with and go have some fun in the sun.

The very thought of Miami beaches and swimsuits (or lack thereof, if you've been to South Beach) has affected Guy's and my behavior to the point that we've done some pretty odd/dumb things in the past week. For example, last Saturday I decided I should lay out in the sun and get a little base tan with some SPF 20 and SPF 30 all over me. Now, I had purchased some self-tanner while I was in Georgia with my sister, but it was more than 3 ounces, so Kitty had to ship it to me and it wasn't here yet, and I was getting impatient. Since I was going to be in a swimsuit at some point over the weekend, and I know what people look like in Miami, I figured I should at least not blind people when I walked outside. And here's the thing about Florida sun vs. Denver sun: Denver sun is way more intense. The atmosphere is thinner here, and I can get more of a tan here in the Mile High in 30 minutes than I ever could in 4 hours in Gainesville, where I went to grad school. So, I slather up with my SPF, go upstairs to the roof top pool at my condo...and fall asleep on my stomach.

About four hours after I came in from the sun, it was abundantly clear that I had seriously burned my back, butt, back of thighs, and even back of calves. My ass looked like the Coppertone cutie, but not in a aww-how-sweet kinda way but more like a wtf-is-wrong-with-you-you're-34-and-you-know-what-sunscreen-is kinda way. I slept on my stomach for three nights in a row because I could barely stand to have anything touch my back or butt. Even worse is that now, seven days later, the back of my right thigh just above my knee is peeling for a second time this week and looks like I leaned up against something on a motorcycle. I mean, yesterday it really looked like a real contact burn. (Though it's better this morning, it still itches.) And of course, despite the fact that I've had relatives with skin cancer and this alternately itches and hurts a little, the reality of it won't fully sink it. My brain is so addled from working on a presentation and getting ready to fly across the country, that all I can think is "can I put self tanner over a burn like this?"

Meanwhile, a couple of week ago, Guy walked into the bedroom as I was just getting under the covers, and he whips off his shirt, looks in the mirror and asks, "Should I wax my back for Miami?" Thankfully, I wasn't drinking anything or I would have done a spit-take all over my clean sheets and white-on-white summer quilt Mom made me a few years ago. Here's the thing with Guy's back: when we met, there was a little hair on it but nothing monstrous. His dad looks like he's wearing a sweater even when he mows the lawn shirtless, but Guy so far seemed to have willed the follicular affliction off of his back. Fast forward ten years, and he's turned into Sasquatch. The hair doesn't even all grow in the same direction; it goes several different ways and it's not even symmetrical. He has at least three cowlicks on his back. On his back!

So, I popped into Sally Beauty Supply yesterday and picked up a home waxing kit. Last night, Guy first sat on the edge of the tub while I used hair trimmers to take the hair down to about 1/4" to 1/2" long (stop laughing). I mentioned that he might want to take some Advil, but he looked at me like I had two heads. He then laid down on the futon and let me put the "pre-wax" lotion on his back (which didn't appear to do anything but make the TV room smell like coconut oil) while I heated the wax in the microwave. I heated it until it had a "thin, creamy consistency", which is what the container said it should have, though Guy said it had a "firey, lava-hot, nuclear waste consistency" and that I should "get it the fuck off now." I informed him that he was being a "pussy", and that the back of the waxing kit box even said so too.

I should back up and explain that back when I lived downtown and had no TV, when Guy and I first met, we had to invent things to do with each other. One day in 2000, that involved yet another home waxing kit from Sally Beauty Supply. Guy waxed my legs, and I have to say that he did a really good job. He put the wax on nice and thin, smoothed down the strips, and yank!ed them off in one clean, fast pull, leaving my legs beautifully smooth. When we got to my underarms, though, we started drawing blood, so we stopped. However, Guy, feeling tough/foolish, suggested that we try waxing what little back hair he had at the time. We did so, but sadly I was not nearly the waxing whiz that my then-boyfriend-now-husband had been. I pulled too slowly and put on too much wax and didn't keep it warm enough, which basically left him thrashing on the futon in pain and cursing not just my parents but also my grandparents for ever living and thereby bringing me into existence.

Fast forward ten years yet again, and Guy is laying on his stomach on the futon, kicking his feet against the wall and sucking air sharply through his teeth as I spread a thin layer of honey-scented magma on his back and yank it off to the best of my ability. There is wax on my mouth; I have no idea how it got there. The cat is walking around yowling and shaking one paw; I don't know how or where she stepped in wax, but I'm pretty sure she wasn't game for any of this. There is wax all over my fingers and nails and in my forearm hair. I've done most of Guy's back, but there are still little bits of it here and there.

"Wait," says Guy, half lifting up off the futon. "Do I look like the 40-Year-Old Virgin back there?"

"No...not really," I reply. "It looks, um...natural."

"Natural. So it doesn't look like I can do a combover with my back hair anymore?"

"No, I mean...y'know, it looks like the way your back did when I first met you."

"So I'm like 50% less Sasquatch-like."

"Look, if you don't like how it looks tomorrow, I'll clean up the bits I missed, but your back is so red right now that I'd feel bad doing anything more to it tonight."

Guy sat up and actually gave me a little smooch. "Thanks for waxing my back, sunburned cutie."

"Thanks for letting me. Now go take some Advil."


St. Blogwen said...

Ooooohhhh, poor kitteh!

St. Blogwen said...

Oh, yeah. And poor you and poor Guy, too.

Truly it is said that one must suffer for Beauty.

mizscarlett said...


I can haz NAIR?

Seriously, I have no desire for wax - Nair works just fine for me, thanks.

Also - might want to call Dr. re:sunburn - they CAN help with that. You probably got some 2nd degree burns, and they can give you DRUGS. (woot!) for pain.

ANd as far as *I* know, I've heard that diamonds are MUCH more supportive than husbands who come to talks.

I'm just saying...

Anonymous said...

This was horrifying.

More please.

Miss Kitty said...


Best. WAD post. EVAR.

Gumper said...

Hysterical (with apologies to Guy) just f'n hysterical.
If you sour on architecture (it only takes idiots like me 40 years to do so, so you have plenty of time)you can become a comedy writer. Who says life isn't a barrel of laffs!
Hope you've healed.

Anonymous said...

I found ur blog while searching for architecture career advice, and u have given me a lot to think about, very realistic and informative, but this is absolutely hysterical. It is 2am and I had to get out of bed so I didn't wake my husband up laughing!