One of the times I was getting my hair cut, my stylist (who is hilarious and awesome and if you're local, I will totally suggest her to you) was asking me questions about post-pregnancy issues. Namely, she knew someone who was complaining about being hairier since giving birth -- her hair had gotten thicker and darker post-baby, but she was also finding random hairs everywhere. My stylist wanted to know if that was a true phenomenon or if her friend was just hairy and never noticed before.
Seeing as for a lot of people, I am that person to ask such questions, I thought about it for a minute. I didn't feel like I'd gotten hairier per se after the kids -- I did grow out my hair with both of them because it was just easier and my hair grew like crazy so maintenance would have been ridiculous, but I told her that while it was completely possible and I'd heard rumors of such things happening to innocent new mamas, it wasn't my personal experience.
Now, mind you, I'm a dark-haired light-to-medium skinned person with strong Italian and Bohemian (Slavic) ancestry. I started shaving my legs in the fifth grade because I was being made fun of for my hairy man legs -- and yes, it was black as night. My eyebrows are carefully maintained to not overtake my whole face (and not in a chic supermodel like way, but more in a Muppet kind of way) and I've been known to shave my arms. My hair is thin, but it is dark and long and there's an awful lot of it. Between myself and Kyle (who is also dark-haired, more medium-skinned, French-Swiss, and appropriately hairy considering those factors, in my opinion) I fear slightly for our children that the light hair they were born with will turn dark on them and they'll be hit with a genetic double whammy of hairiness and will curse us every day once puberty sets in.
A note here about guys and body hair: I'm probably in the minority here, but I think guys that DON'T have body hair are freakishly unnatural. I know that some people are just baby-skinned and that's fine, but if you look at someone like Kyle and expect him to have a smooth chest and to not have to shave every day, you're out of your damn mind. We were talking about this the other day, as he's teaching a bit of gender in sociology, and about the girls who were like "Eww, body hair is nasty!" and my thought was something along the lines of that's because you're children and we talked about the societal ideal for men to actually be fairly hairless (along with the one for women to be near absolutely hairless) and how those ideals are perpetuated by everything from fashion magazines to Disney movies and how ridiculous it all is. Myself, I don't mind appropriate body hair on a guy. I know, it seems like a crime against nature, but it's actually quite the opposite. I just think everyone should seriously sit down a minute and think about why they feel the way they do about the presence of body hair on their partner or not and realize that we go through an awful lot of crap to remove unwanted hair because society tells us that's how we should look.
With that said, I'm pretty big on the hair removal for myself, but that's my prerogative.
So in lieu of having a workspace in the house, I have my vanity set up in the dining room because there's space in there and it keeps me central in the house while I'm writing or paying the bills or whatever. I opted to leave the tri-fold mirror on the back of it because I'm lazy, mostly. But that means when I'm stumped when I'm writing or trying to figure things out I often end up looking in the mirror -- not necessarily at myself, but more sort of off into the ether.
On this particular day, I was wearing a tank top and had an itch on my shoulder that wouldn't quit. I rolled my shoulder in so I could see if I had a bug bite or something on the back of my shoulder to cause my frantic need to scratch my skin red.
There was no bite, but I did notice a black cat hair, probably Nubbs' since his fur is more medium length and thicker than Bailey, our tuxedo's, right about the place that itched. This is a normal occurrence when you have five cats -- you find random cat hair on you causing you all kinds of grief -- so I brushed it off my shoulder and went back to work.
But a couple of minutes later, my shoulder itched again. Annoyed, I looked in the mirror again, only to find the cat hair still attached to me. This time as I brushed it away more forcefully, I watched to make sure it got the hell off of my shoulder.
It didn't -- in fact, it seemed to be stuck to me somehow.
So instead of using a flat hand to brush it away, I switched to a pincer grip and carefully grasped the hair between my fingers and pulled gently.
And my skin followed the hair into a peak, resisting and pulling against my effort.
IT WAS ATTACHED.
I sat in horror for a good solid minute, trying to comprehend what I was seeing. I had a long, black, near-three-inch hair GROWING OFF OF MY SHOULDER AND I HADN'T NOTICED BEFORE THIS MOMENT.
And of course, this was over the summer, so I'd been wearing tanks and T-shirts for a while, constantly looking like I had some stray hair caught on the back of my shoulder.
I was mortified.
I jumped up from my desk and ran upstairs to the bathroom to get tweezers to pluck it, freaking out on the inside about how gross and embarrassing this all was even though I was by myself. It came out pretty easily, but I had to stand at the sink for a couple of minutes to regain my composure.
I had become that woman, the one who got hairy after having babies.
So now I feel like I have to move my already pretty heightened self-awareness and maintenance to another level, to near fanatic about hair removal, which is completely hypocritical but you know what, that's my personal issue to deal with.
Feel free to leave your awkward stories in the comments or link up to them on your own blog, and have a great Tuesday!