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Self-Portrait - I
Self-Portrait - I
I was in the midst of shaving this morning, and as I leaned towards the mirror to get at a difficult spot under my chin, my eyes spotted two awkward hairs on my left shoulder. They were long, brown hairs, fully erect, as if they were bathing in the freedom of not being covered by a t-shirt.
"Oh, crap," I said aloud.
I put the razor down and looked at my chest in the mirror. There was the same hair around my nipples as there was before, but there were some loose strands growing on top of my sternum. And some finer, additional hairs moving towards the shoulder-blades. And scrawny patches of hair between.
I'd finally hit puberty. And at 29, that's a late-bloomer.
I've always found chest hair to be attractive. (On men.) And while I've always had a mildly furry stomach, I had never developed much hair above.
My reaction was instant. I grabbed my razor, turned on the trimmer option, and proceeded to hack at my chest in uneven, awkward angles. In a few minutes I had shaved off every hair on my upper chest, save for the trail that runs from abdomen downward.
This, of course, was a bad idea. Not only is my chest still red, I had a wonderful "Home Alone" experience when I went to spray cologne on my chest. I winced, and finally realized that, yes, I enjoy body hair, but yes also, it needs to be maintained in some orderly fashion.
I remember a young bloomer who in high school had so much body hair it poked through his polo shirts. And I remember a story my aunt told me of days when such things were never talked about at all, and she shaved her underarms for the first time the night of her senior prom. Of course, she went dancing with my uncle, her crush of several years, and as soon as they graduated, he went off to fight in the Pacific. And when he returned, they were married, and they have been, for the most part, entirely happy.
The skin is always soft when you start shaving. Like our hearts, the skin develops a stronger, thicker surface over time.
For those of us who are lucky, at some point in our lives, the hardening receeds.
9/4/2006 1:54 am
Well, Madeline, perhaps if you were closer I'd let you shave me to your exacting specifications. |