Friday, January 15, 2010

Ma'am, That's Between Devoted Partner and Me

"Heh-heh, that's a big triangle."

People of the service industry, a moment if you will. I want to like you. I want to tip you. So please remember that your job, your sole occupational mission is to SERVE me. Now, for me personally, this doesn't mean you have to kiss my ass (though for some people it will be), but it does me you need to treat me like your source of income and not your friend (at best) or your object of mockery (at worst).

So, Tracey, if you wonder why we won't be working together again, and by working together, I mean I will not again pay for the privilege of you grooming my legs and nether regions, it's that you uttered the above sentence. This after our first encounter where I made it VERY CLEAR what I wanted my lady parts to look like and you made them look a different way, which you tried to assure me was "better," and I assured you was a) not what I asked for and b) in no way better for me. I gave you a second chance. When you tried to upsell me, again, on lady parts grooming enhancements, I did what any borderline insane person would do and took out a green pen and proceeded to draw on my lady parts where I wanted you to groom. I did this not to shame you, but to ensure that my hard earned dollars resulted in a service I wanted. You were not amused.

So you thought you'd be cute and comment on my stated preference with mockery in your voice. As if I was unaware of my stated preference and needed to you remind me. As if I hadn't literally crayoned my stated preference onto my skin. You'd think that after 17 or so years of personal grooming I might have become competent to make this decision and, wait for it, be absolutely uninterested in what you, Tracey, think about it. Unless you're offering to take care of it in some other capacity, it's really none of your business.

I wouldn't make a big deal out of this except it isn't remotely the first time I have been mocked while, let's be honest, doing some maintenance work that isn't pretty. When I couldn't afford to be choosy, it was the girls at the nail salons chortling in high-pitched voices about my relative hirsutitide as compared with the average Korean. When I had disposable income where I could pick and choose, it took me quite a while to weed out the Eastern European babushkas who clacked their tongues at me admonishing me over ingrown hairs and encouraging me to pare down my look. In fact, when I think about it, I have had two aestheticians in my life who DIDN'T suck - one just became way too expensive (I'm talking close to $200 when you figure in tip), and the other moved salons (to where I do not know). Everyone else has been rather shite.

I understand that when you were growing up you didn't hope and pray for the day when you could groom places on me I can't comfortably reach myself. I know this. I'd like to think that the fact you make, on average, $30/hour in tips is some kind of compensation (cause that's not chump change). But considering that your livelihood is tied to those tips, what possible incentive do you have to make me feel angry enough at you that I won't come back and, you know, tip you again? The motivation on this one utterly eludes me. (As an aside, something I realized yesterday while on the slab is that a lot of these women are probably sadists. Judging by the number of times Tracey asked me if this hurt, and seeming to be upset that I responded that it didn't, I would wager that she might get off on hurting women with enough disposable income to have this service performed. After the actual 4th time she asked, I told her, "I'm not shy, I'll let you know." That seemed to shut her up.)

I am sharing this kind of personally embarrassing and definitely too much informationy story because I tend to feel unashamed more of the time than some of my women friends. But if this process, one I'm actually not nearly as embarrassed by as I was in my teens, can leave me feeling so crappy, I can only imagine what it does to other people. So here's my prescription: if you are a woman who pays another woman money to have your unwanted body hair ripped from its roots by hot wax, you deserve at the very minimum to not feel mocked, intimidated, or tortured. I have had brazilian bikini waxes that felt like a little slap and tickle, and ones that felt like training day at Abu Ghraib; the latter are ones where you can stop and say, "there is no reason you should be treating sensitive parts of me with such disdain." Also your lady part regions are yours to groom how you like. If you want a heart or a star or a mohawk or a full-on 1970s retro look, guess what, you earn your own money, you can have whatever you want. If your aesthetician questions your choice, you should feel free to ask what personal stake she has in it and, if she persists, tell her you're not into chicks and that she's making you uncomfortable. If all else fails, and you have a 23 years old giggling at the mass of your unwanted hair and calling her friends in to laugh at you as well (true story - I was 17), feel free to muster as much hauteur as you can, pull your pants on, say something cutting about the fact that ass hair or no ass hair, one of you rips people's ass hair out for a living and the other doesn't, and leave the salon. There are only about a million places that would be all too happy to take your money. I suggest you discover where they are. I know I'll be looking too.


  1. amazing. all around. thank you for writing about what is probably my favorite topic of conversation ever. in fact i am pretty sure we have discussed this in the past.

    anyway, i also wanted to let you know that i totally love this place across from my old apt -- it's called dyanna, it's on 21st street between park and broadway, and it's operated by middle aged russian women who, in my experience, are all awesome. no snarky comments, fast, cheap. if you go, let me know what you think ...

  2. I'd like to think that the fact you make, on average, $30/hour in tips is some kind of compensation (cause that's not chump change).

    Plus I'm pretty sure she's not telling the IRS about all this cash, so let's just say it's more like $45/hr taxable equivalent.

    Fire the bitch.