I was aiming for ‘bronze goddess’. I failed.

Spring is here, and with it comes the feeling that I am supposed to be a bronzed goddess. All the women’s magazines tell me so, and who can argue with Cosmo? I mean, they have sex tips about how your boyfriend or husband will totally like it if you touch his penis, and since word on the street is that this info is accurate, I feel that theyre probably right about most things. It stands to reason, y’all.

Anyways, where was I before I started talking about penises? Ah yes, summer beauty. Being a bronzed goddess. Right. I need to point out right now that Im really pale. Im not white as in, thats-the-box-I-check-off-on-the-ethnicity-part-of-a-census-form, but im white as in, my-sister-who-is-both-bronzed-and-a-jerkface-has-gleefully-called-me-Powder-for-years-and-now-I-actually-answer-to-it kind of white.

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This is a portrait of me, if I was a bald guy with psychic powers. Its good to know these things.

This year, things were going to be different. I exfoliated the hell out my poor hide, and slathered myself with some self tanner that promised a “dark and luxurious natural looking tan, without the damaging effects of the sun”. How good does that sound?! That is exactly what I want!

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Did you know that with a $5 bottle of goop and 2-4 hours, you can look like this bathing suit lady's twin?

So, I was all slathered, and I sat down to wait for the dark, natural looking, luxurious magic to happen. Apparently, youre not supposed to move around too much, lest the tanning alchemy grease rubs off and you’re left with very ungoddesslike streaks.

Self tanner smells pretty strange. Its not bad exactly, but oddly strong–like flowers, coconut, and perm solution. The dogs got curious, and started snuffling at my ankles. Just sniffing at it would have been fine, but they decided that it must be tasted too. I bent down to shoo them away from my ankles, and got my arms stealth-licked. This shouldnt have surprised me. As I have pointed out on this blog before, they are sneaky jerks.

I follow the philosophy that all sentient life ought to be sentient enough to know to keep their tongues to themselves, so it would gross me out anyway, but now I was definitely at risk of a streaky tan too. I took evasive maneuvers (ie, running around until i could lock myself in a room away from the hellhounds) and tried to even out the luxurious goop, which wasnt feeling luxurious at all after being mixed with dog spit.

And then, I took a nap.

When I woke up 2 hours later, I expected to see a sexy, summery glow. What I actually saw was something that had me questioning if I had somehow been sleepwalking and ended up in an industrial accident at the Tang factory.

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I think I can see a nose print in there...

I am orange.

I am patchy.

I am an oompa loompa with gigantism and vitiligo.

For the next week, im going to have to celebrate the fact that warm weather is here by wearing clothes more suited for a beekeeper who is terrified to have a bee actually touch her skin.

You know what the worst part is? This has happened exactly this way every spring for as long as I can remember. I think I need to put self tanner in the ‘Not for you, EVER’ category with wax, and embrace my pale, hairy self regardless of what women’s mags say. Its simply too dangerous any other way.

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And thats when my daughter learned more than French vocabulary

I am a big fan of shopping at the local thrift stores. Not only is it environmentally friendly and cheap, there are often some really unique finds when you take the time to really look at items. Ahem. Remember I said that last bit, okay?

Take, for example, this set of six mugs, at a whopping 50 cents a piece:

The thrifty mug set.

So cute, right? They are all animal themed and have French vocabulary on them, which makes hot chocolate not only delicious, but educational.

I must admit, I was completely charmed. How could I resist having whales be all happy and whaley? I couldn’t. No one can.

Baleines gonna baleine.

The whole set was like that, and believe it or not, there wasn’t a single chip or crack in the entire set. I rushed my new treasures home, all proud of myself. I got to replace some boring and chipped mugs with awesome new ones,  and the kids would learn a bit of French.  Everyone wins.

My 11 year old daughter was particularly thrilled, being the animal lover that she is.  Her favorite animal in the whole world is a rabbit, so I gave her the ‘le lapin’ mug as a special mug just for her, and settled in to wait for my prize as world’s best, most thoughtful, and most observant mom.

About a week later, I was washing the dishes, and finally took a moment to really look at the mugs. So adorable, so adorable, so adora—oh dear God.  My daughter’s mug was not what it seemed.

A special mug, given to my daughter, but more appropriate for Ron Jeremy, perhaps.

It would seem that in squealing over the fact that there was a huge cute blue bunny in the foreground, and shrieking with joy over the fact that it was not chipped or cracked, I seem to have completely missed seeing that there is a full blown rabbit orgy happening the background.

Ah well, it’s okay. The mug has been educational in more ways than one, and honestly, the hot chocolate from it still tastes delish. I guess everyone still won after all, but that “Best, Most Thoughtful, Most Observant Mom Ever” trophy? I’m pretty sure the space I made for it on the shelf will accumulate nothing but dust for a really long time. C’est la vie, folks.

On cold wax and cupid’s cupboard.

Years ago, I previously attempted to wax, but with the gooey, sticky stuff–cold wax, I think it’s called. I figured that it would be safer for me than something burning hot, and it was, until I glued my thighs together with an errant splash of wax, right at the tippy-top, where they stop being your thighs and start being cupid’s cupboard.

A normal, reasonable person would probably have remembered that oil will dissolve the stickiness. I did not behave like a normal reasonable person, and in my panic to stop feeling like my legs were growing together like a mermaid’s and that I would be like that forever, I grabbed scissors to cut the sticky wax out. Please don’t ask what I was thinking, because I DON’T KNOW.  Anyway, do you want to guess how well that worked?

I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with “bot at all”.

Nope. The scissors ended up firmly glued to my leg too. Awesome, right? I felt like a beautiful, hairy katamari, with scissors and devil-wax-glue on my leg.

I forced myself to stand there and think for a moment. In the first and only flash of common sense that occurred during this entire situation, I realized that I had better stand to think, because sitting to think would just end up with more random stuff stuck to me. I had two guinea pigs at the time, and pictured myself having to call the ambulance because a terrified rodent was glued right by my ladygarden. It just wasnt a story that I was willing to tell emergency dispatchers then, so I stood. I was kind of bowlegged-but-mermaid-y and buckass naked, with a pair of scissors stuck to my thigh which was stuck to my other thigh, but I was really proud of myself for that decision.

So, I thought. And thought. And thought some more. What melts wax, self? Heat melts wax!

I poured a bath for myself, full of really, really hot water.  I gingerly stepped in and waited for the wax to disintegrate. The scissors came off, with a little work. Awwwww yeah. Victory was nearly at hand. Ride of the Valkryies played in my head as I sat there, scalded and triumphant feeling.

I waited, but victory was not at hand. It’s true that heat can melt wax, but in my case, the heat got it warm enough that it was just more spreadable.  Then, the bathwater cooled. This was not going to work.

I managed to flop myself out of the tub, because exiting like a classy lady was no longer an option. I was far more stuck than before.  I couldn’t even dry myself, because THINGS GET STUCK TO WAX. I had just removed the scissors, and I would be damned if I got a towel stuck.

Naked, wet, stuck , shivering and actually for real panicking at this point, I figured my only bet was to swallow my pride and call a beauty savvy friend, who may know what to do.  I tried to sound as nonchalant as I could as I asked about the best way to remove cold wax, hypothetically, because  I thought it would be good to know before I started.

Either I sounded way more terrified than I had hoped, or she was able to sniff out shame like a bloodhound sniffs out lost children, but she started laughing hysterically and asked me what the information was worth to me. My friend was beauty-savvy, yes. Was she a kind, benevolent person? No. I cursed. Surprisingly, it did not yield the information I wanted. I begged. That didnt work either. Finally, we got down to some solid negotiating, and in the interest of freeing myself as soon as humanly possible, we decided that lunch would be the price.

She told me one word: oil. Then a phrase: “Oh my God, you’re a dumbass and Im so glad you called me because that is AWESOME”.  Then she hung up the phone, laughing maniacally. I waddled to my kitchen, grabbed the oil, and rubbed it all over my stuckness. What do you know, it worked like a charm.
I’d like to say I acted like a reasonable, rational human being after unsticking myself. I’d like to say that I dried myself off, treated my ouchie skin, and went to bed. I did not, at least not right away. First, I stood there, naked, drippy and oil covered and swore at the jar of cold wax for a solid five minutes before literally throwing it into the trash can in a fit of betrayed anger. That’ll show it. Stupid wax, making me feeling like an unfortunate hairy katamari mermaid.

So, that was probably 15 years ago. I have not  gone near wax since, except to do my eyebrows, and I always have the scissors hidden and a bottle of baby oil handy. Also, I am never, ever soggy or naked while I do it, just in case. Finally, I can say I am smart like that.

However, three or four days ago, I was drinking a glass of wine, browsing amazon, and came across hair removal wax. In my excitement, I completely forgot everything I just told you about my experiences with wax, because you know who hates shaving her legs? ME.  You know who has a credit card on file with amazon? ME. You know whose wax just showed up today, covered in tahini because the other thing she ordered broke in transit? ME. Isn’t tahini a sign of luck? We’ll pretend it is.

Anyway, this is a long, drawn out post that really ends up saying this: please keep your phones handy, and figure out where you’d like to go for lunch before hand. I will most likely be calling.

Extra special note about this post: I’m extra-excited to see my new targeted ads now, because I looked up “synonyms for vagina” a whole bunch of times.