Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Shaved My Legs For This? And Other War Stories Of A Growing Girl....

I have one and I'll bet you do too. Okay, maybe I wasn't the brightest crayon in the box at age 13, but I thought I was close to being a genius (outside of school, naturally). I'm talking about battle scars from being a regular kid when you were still the appropriate age. Scars that you yourself caused by your own hand, that have never disappeared the way scars are supposed to. Yes, I'm talking about that most highly anticipated moment in a young teenage girl's life... shaving her legs for the very first time. My mother told me I was far too young to shave and so, like with everything else she ever told me not to do, I did it. I did it with so much enthusiasm I nearly bled to death.

Alright, perhaps I made a bad decision to experience this passage-of-rites while staying at my grandparents house one summer. I didn't really have any friends there, so I didn't have the guidance of another 13 year old idiot genius. I locked myself in their bathroom and used my grandfather's double-edged Gillette razor, which you might consider my big mistake but you'd be wrong. (Papa had fought in 2 world wars and was very frugal, which never entered my mind. It was probably the same blade he used in the trenches of France.) My big mistake was in believing I was a genius and could damn well shave my legs if I wanted to, without bloodshed. I managed to shave a pretty thick piece of skin off my shin, approximately 1/2" in length. Wow, I sure did feel like a freaking genius at that moment, let me tell you. However, as proof of my folly, I still have the scar with me, even after 44 years. I still remember the dizzy feeling I got from looking at the chunk of skin I had just removed from my shin. Yes, that was some moment.

I also had my first period that Summer, which might or might not have catapulted me into making that ill fated shaving decision. I mean, my grandfather didn't use feminine pads (aka: Kotex) but neither did my grandmother. Which meant my grandmother who had learned to be even more frugal than she was during the Depression, during the World War II years, would make me some nice home made pads and pin them to my little girl panties. Honestly, you can't make this stuff up. After my mother (The Brown Recluse, aka: TBR) had carefully versed me about what to expect (which translates to: "You're going to bleed like a stuck pig... down there. It's called The Curse and you're going to feel like shit while it lasts... roughly 40 years. Get used to it.") Nice pep talk about the joys of becoming a woman, huh?

To tell you the truth, my father's mother wasn't much better, as she called it The Curse too and insisted on making those ridiculously humiliating pads for me from old rags. I had to go out in public in those things, which kept me mortified (24-7) that people would see the leakage before I had the sense to feel it. I have little doubt that this is perhaps how the lovely phrase *on the rag* was started. It sure as hell sounds right to me anyway. My grandmother's explanation was a total cop out. She told me that it had been so long since she'd had a period, she couldn't remember what it was like. Bullshit! Baloney! Thanks for that little insight Mimi. I'm the same age she was and I remember it all, uncensored. So, those scars are hidden but still there, tucked away with other most-humiliating-moments-of-my-young-life. (Don't expect me to spill all the beans at once.) Still, I'd rather be a girl than sit around scratching my balls cahones all the time, right?

I can honestly tell you that I did not pass my horrid experiences on to my daughter. I'm sure she has demons of her own though... If so........ let me just say "Sorry Daughter. But, if I could survive what I did, I have no doubts that you will survive your charmed life as well." It's not easy being a bitch woman, you know.

22 comments:

Mental P Mama said...

My mother called it "falling off the roof"--what was that all about?!?!?!

Queen of Halloween said...

I too got experience "rags" and no great pep talks either. That was all taboo subjects back then! My step mum preferred the shock factor. Happily hairy legs have never been a problem but do remember an armpit mishap...;{ Thanks for the memories...;)

Daryl said...

Sally Grows Up was what my mom gave me to read ... and I think my shin has a lot of scars like that but the best was the hunk of ankle I 'shaved' ..

Tell SD to go get lasered .. my legs, under arms and bikini are smooth soft and hairless forever!

noble pig said...

OMG, I remember just shaving, no scars and my mother freaking out like I turned into an adult.

kim-d said...

All 5th-grade girls got a note sent home, advising that "The Movie" would be shown at the school on such-and-such an evening. And the student must be accompanied by her mother to gain admission. I had teenage cousins who delighted in making me older than I was, so I already knew the drill, but my Mom didn't know that...so off we went. The thing I remember most about the evening was, after the movie, my Mom looking at me with terrified eyes and asking, "do you have any questions?" I said no, although if I would have wanted to torment her, all it would have taken was a "yes" response!

And what is it with grandmothers and that homemade pad thing??? I had a stepgrandmother that did that to me once, and I'm as convinced now as I was then that she did it on purpose to humiliate me. She was nice like that, and liked all the grandsons more...plus I was the "step."

My house after school one day with six other 13-year-old idiots and a 48-count box of Tampax. Much, much trying and finally, success. Guaranteed no more rags and pads, ever. Sweet, and so worth the pain of the first few tries.

Knee. Good-sized chunk and hurt like hell...

Ahhhh...good memories!!! :)

Miz Dinah said...

Oh God...too funny! I can just imagine it! Heh heh...

TSannie said...

Aunt Edna came to visit in our family...WTH??

Ms Snoots the exact thing happened to me the first time I shaved - with my dad's razor and he was NOT happy and I couldn't understand how he knew I'd used it - big old chunk of skin came off with the hair. Still have the scar as well. Quite a bloody experience!

Tammy said...

I don't remember my first shaving experience, but I don't remember getting my period the first time. I was only in the 5th grade and scared, although I had already seen the "movie" at school. I went to the office and the office lady berated me... "You are going to have this pain for your whole life, get used to it." I made her call my mom. She came and got me and we went home and had hot chocolate. Stupid mean office lady!!

Blarney said...

Don't hate me because I'm blonde but due to blonde leg hair I was spared the shaving thing until nearly my senior year. I do have to admit I am looking forward to my daughter's 'time' so I can tell her how horrible the monthly was for me and how the new 5 yr IUD will save her from years of imbarrasement and pain thus retaining the title of Best Mom Ever in her eyes. A little vain I know but I'll be damned if this cycle of lies and deception about the monthly continues for another generation. Women unite ~ let's change this world one monthly at a time! ;)

Snooty Primadona said...

Everyone: OMG! I thought I was the only one tormented by my grandmother & her home made feminine pads! Thanks for letting me know I wasn't alone. Where were all of you when I needed solace, LOL?

Blarney: Amen Sista! I told my daughter that what we can do with our bodies (as in bleeding once a month without dying AND the fact that we can can grow human beings in our wombs was what makes us more amazing than any man) is far more than sitting around scratching ourselves, right? I think I scared the living daylights out of her. But, as women, we are so much more than just something to hold on to, which makes us much more awesome...

Pam said...

Oooh, Snooty, we have got to meet and share shaving scars! Although I managed to have plenty of double edge razor mishaps, my worst scar came my first night in the dorm at Oklahoma State University. I had a brand new razor, the one with the band that rotate to a fresh spot-can't remember the name of it, thank the Lord! Anyway, I took off about three inches of skin from my shin right before my first day of classes in the days of mini skirts! I was a mess!

Snooty Primadona said...

Pam: I do feel your pain! And yes, when I get out to travel next time, I might need to plan a road trip to your neck of the woods for a quick lunch or cocktail or something!

;-)

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh the shaving! I'm clinching just thinking about it. Oh, and the stories I will have to tell Miss Ky about being on the rag-- I had LOADS of humiliating experiences. I came onto the monthly scene JUST as women were freed from the belt.
I'm sure your daughter benefited from your perspective--just not calling calling it "the curse" would've been a huge improvement on what you got!

These Nine Acres said...

Ah yes, the first shaving incident. I think I was 11 because I was as hairy as a gorilla and entering middle school in such a condition was not an option ;0)

snooty daughter said...

Apology accepted :D

North of 25A said...

Oh my goodness! I have the same story - different details! Thank you for letting my know I was not alone when I shaved my ten year old legs with my Uncle's razor & then hid in flanner PJ's on Long Island in July! I LOVE your blog!
Have a lovely weekend,
Colleen

ReluctantYankee said...

First shave: 10 years old...at Grandma's house...used Grandpa's razor..he was pissed :)
LOL!

Itty Bitty Crazy said...

Your mother SPOKE to you about this? Wow! Mine said: You need to know about this, and gave me a book.

Heather said...

I cringed and laughed at the same time as I read your story.

RAGS? Seriously? OMG! I have a HUGE gash on my shin, but it's not from shaving. I brilliantly decided to swing from the water pipes in the skating locker room and missed my landing by slamming my lower leg into a sharp edge of the bench. OUCH!

It's my biggest scar from skating, but didn't even happen on the ice. NICE!

Diane said...

I remember telling my mom I thought I dying. She gave me kotex and told me how to put it on. End of story. I vowed I would be far more forthright with my girls. I think I traumatized them.

At least they had the information!

~ Jane ~ said...

Man, my mother never did the rag thing, but I remember going to buy bags of Kotex, which came in a huge box because they were pretty much the width and depth of a 2x4. My mom called them "mouse matresses." It was very cool to let your "belt" peek out above your jeans because "you're a woman now." Now thongs peek out. Back then, thongs were things you wore on your feet.

Kristen said...

You are just too funny! My glass of wine nearly spilled all over me.... need to get more.
thanks for the laugh I needed it:)

 

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