Friday, June 13, 2008

Beware the hair

Not the hair on your head but what a man I once knew (he was Iranian) called cubic hair. It took a while for me to explain that while hair could be measured in cubic yards, especially on some men's backs, it was in fact pubic hair when referring to the patch of curly hairs at the arrow that points to the hot and steamy section of a woman's anatomy (there is no such arrow to point to the pits, which is probably a good thing because it would definitely be overshadowed by breasts). So why is hair on my mind? Because I just saw Sex and the City and Miranda's ginger curls were peeking out of the legs of her designer bathing suit and reminded me of a similar situation many years ago.

Turn back while you still can.

As a young and vulnerable child of ten one summer while living in Hampton, Virginia and slumming it on the beach while my friends played in the water (I had just had surgery on my left arm to revise an ugly scar from 18 months before), I watched my mother stand up and was stunned by the view. She wore a tasteful sailor style bathing suite in navy blue with a pleated white skirt fluttering in the breeze off the water of the Chesapeake Bay and I caught a glimpse of what looked like two dark beards plastered between her skinny thighs and headed toward her bony knees and nearly getting there. She seemed oblivious to them and I could not take my eyes from the horrifying sight. I thought -- I didn't know what to think. At ten, I wasn't aware of body hair, other than the soft down that sparsely covered my arms and legs, but I was smart enough to know not to ask my mother about it. She was so fussy about her appearance and wouldn't appreciate me pointing out a flaw in her otherwise flawless beach ensemble.

I pushed the horrid picture out of my mind and it has lain quiet and quiescent until I caught sight of Miranda's wandering bush today and came screaming back into my mind with frightening force. Now I know why some women wax and shave their bikini lines even when they're not wearing a bikini. It also reminds me of a book I once reviewed about the aesthetics of a coiffed and wax and razor maintained pubic area. I've never had the problem, but I have the strong Cherokee genes that suppress exuberant displays of body hair and thus when I trim or otherwise manicure the nether hairs it is because I can, something I don't often do because the lack of hairy cushioning, such that it is, makes me, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw when she was mugged down there in Los Angeles, walking sex. I'm all too aware of the area when I should be focusing on other things like work, paying bills, doing laundry and writing. It throws my focus off.

Now if my mother had been of a creative bent or a stay at home mother who was focused on cooking, cleaning and raising a family, I could see the need to remove the Hassidic display between her thighs, but such was not the case. She was more interested in shoes, purses and clothes (not hats because she had a bad experience with head lice she said she got from a hat when she was a teenager) and in covering up as much of her anatomy as often as possible. Personally, I think she should have opted for the turn of the century bathing costume instead of a modern bathing suit with an inadequate flounce of pleated white fabric to cover her bearded thighs, but that's just me.

Just the thought of the display, or lack of display of hair, reminds me of a famous errant curl of nether hair that featured in the news for quite some time on a can of Coke that Anita Hill swears she got from Clarence Thomas (the can of Coke and the nether hair). It seems those hairs keep turning up in the oddest places, as floss, or so Samantha would have it when one play fellow complained she needed to visit Helga the hot waxer because she was getting a bit wild down there. I believe the braiding of back hair came up in the conversation as well. Samantha shaved the man's nether hairs to his delight that it actually made his package bigger, but I have to say that a man without a cushion of curlies looks too much like a joke appendage for my taste no matter how big it looks, sort of like a bird without its feathers, just plain vulnerable and odd. A bald-headed bird looks so much better in a nest, less vulnerable and sad, than it does lying on the bare ground. I wonder if that's why some people call it a pecker.

So, lightning bolts and landing strips aside, I don't particularly mind the curly nether mat but I would prefer it not be crawling down the insides of someone's thighs like a giant woolly worm. It's enough to scar someone for life. And don't get me started on Chore Girls hiding in the pants of red-haired gentlemen. I'll never be able to go out in public at a red-headed convention again.

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