Friday, March 5, 2010

Touched for the very first time

I remember my first time. I was a bit of a late bloomer so among my friends, I was one of the last to join that special club. I sat forlorn while I witnessed them having what I perceived to be all the grown up fun. I was anxious to do it too, but I was nervous.

And then one day, it was my turn to be a big girl. My turn to take that next step to womanhood. I had plenty of pep talks from my best friends who considered themselves savvy on technique by then. So the day came…I had my supplies to make it easier. But even the most careful planning can’t prevent the sting.

I am talking knicks and cuts, people. And the first time you shave your legs.

You try to be so delicate but unless you are Johnny Cade or PonyBoy Curtis, you have no experience with a razorblade.  You slather with soap but oh, you have no skills. You leave the bathroom with 20 pieces of toilet paper “bandages” stuck all over your legs. And never mind the mess you created which looks like Hannibal Lecter had a few guests in your bathroom. With the direction of growth or against the direction of growth? It matters not because when you are new, you might as well shave your legs with a microplane and save yourself the surprise of being knicked. And then you have the excuse you were attacked with a dangerous weapon and not have to admit you were shaving your legs and doing a very poor job.

But oh, you just couldn’t wait could you? 

And bless your heart when you forget your little pink Bick disposable razor and decide to use your Dad’s blade because you think “he will never know”and then put it back without telling him so he too can knick his face up like he did the tango with Edward Scissorhands.

And it is not just girls,  boys have no immediate skills either. Hence the reason my brothers looked like they hugged a barb wire fence the first few times they had to shave.  How the razor even reached their skin I don't know with so much shaving cream on their faces, they looked like Santa Clause or Billy from ZZ Top.

And bless your parents hearts when they see your legs covered in gauze. You casually dismiss their smirks because your war wounds are something to be proud of since you are a woman now. You know your parents want to laugh at you but  they don’t. Or they do laugh but at least they wait until you go in your room and get busy either chatting on the phone with your friends to the tune of “oh myyyy gawww, I totally cut myself” or doing your “we must, we must, we must increase our bust” exercises. These activities high in both frequency and importance on a teenage girls “To Do” list.  

And your parents also hope you learn very soon to stop hijacking your Dad’s razorblade so he doesn’t have to show up at his office with TP face and blood on his collar.

But no, for some reason, we as young ladies just couldn’t wait to have those legs touched by that razorblade for the very first time. Had we only considered that we would have the opportunity to do it every day for the rest of our lives, I think we could have waited.

97 comments:

Plentymorefishoutofwater said...

It took me until the age of 25 to learn to shave properly without looking like a red-faced paedo afterwards.
*Read about my dating disasters at plentymorefishoutofwater*

secret agent woman said...

I don't really know why, but this was a skill that came naturally to me and I virtually never knicked myself. I can still remember glancing around me in 8th grade PE class and suddenly realizing to my horror that I was the only girl who hadn't started shaving her legs. I went home that day and told my mother I needed a razor.

the wild raspberry said...

i remember before i was allowed to grab that off limits forbidden razor....
i tried pulling out my leg hairs with tweezers.
holy cow.
can you imagine how long that would take?

i would love to have that extra body hair laser-removed.
that would be the life!

No One Reads The Copy said...

I shaved for the first time when I was 12 (hey, I'm Greek, and we're like, preternaturally hirsute!) and my mom warned me not to because once I started I was going to have to do it every other day for the rest of my life. I should've listened. It's one of my least favorite things to do.

Nice post. Brought back memories!

My name is PJ. said...

Yeah, I wanted to join the menstruation club too...and was later than the pack....if only I'd known I'd bleed for the next 3 1/2 decades!

We didn't have pink disposable razors in my day. We always hijacked Dad's. He got wise after seeing the gauze on my legs that first time.

Brian Miller said...

yeah, i wish i would have held off...lol. i keep my neck pretty clean, but otherwise, thats why i rock the beard...

leigh said...

Well said, my lady.

Pam said...

I remember the day I saw my friends razor, it was a pink round one called Flicker I believe. I was astonished because she was 2 years younger than me, but she had dark hair and mine was blond. You could barely see anything on my legs. But I went home and insisted that I needed a Flicker too. Now, I lament that I could have probably saved myself a couple of years of shaving.

singedwingangel said...

Ahh the joys of becoming a woman.. I never did the increase the bust exercise though.. I literally went to bed with mosquito bites and woke up with The Grand Tetons on my chest and I could no longer see my feet.. which of course labeled me the immediate slut. Cause everyone knows if we get our boobs early or they are big we simply have to put out NOT

Buckeroomama said...

OMG!! Ponyboy Curtis and "We must, we must, increase out bust"! Brings back memories. :)

Dustjacket Attic said...

Oh classic JM, classic. I loved the "Oh myyyy gawww, I totally cut myself" I think I'm relating there!! You do bring back memories.
xoxo

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

I stole my poor dad's razor a LOT before I finally got my first bic! I bet he kept wondering why he couldn't get a smooth shave!

My sister was worse, she had LARGE GASHES all over her legs the first few times she shaved. I don't think she grasped the "don't press too hard" concept! Thanks for the memories!

Johana Hill said...

Hahaha. I was thinking about the other first time.

Bah...anyway I too, was using my dad's razor until my mum bought me a pack of Bic razors! That was a loud hint. And now I secretly use the husband's. He gets very pissed when finds out though. LOL

mo.stoneskin said...

This just reminded me as to why I keep my razors well hidden, locked up in a booby-trapped safe.

Maria said...

Oh, what fond memories you hve brought back. After tryng all sorts of hair removal methods, I am now finishing up laser hair removal treatments. Because I NEVER exited the awkward shaving phase. Thank goodness I didn't decide to be a surgeon! Yikes!

Great post, as always, JennyMac!

Secretia said...

It is one of the most unfair things about being a woman, but there any so many other unfair things too.

Secretia

the walking man said...

You do know you could go all French and just let the hair grow right? Or Brazilian and wax it off. But a blade to the legs? No thankee not the legs nor the face.

Julia said...

haha, I love The Oustsiders reference! Always a fave! I actually didn't cut myself the first time, but I did plenty of times after that... enough to make up for it!

Lauren said...

I never could understand how my dad knew I had swiped his razor! Oh how I wish I had waited a year or five before I started shaving the two or three microscopic, platinum blond hairs on my legs. No one told me they would grow back in coarse, black and at warp speed!

Little Ms Blogger said...

I think having 3 older sisters helped me NEVER have that need to shave my legs.

I have a gf who only has to shave her legs once a week. I hated her growing as I had to shave everyday or twice/day during the summers.

Love Veet. It is my best friend.

MommaKiss said...

Ohhh, this hurts me deep. I think I was in the summer between 6th and 7th grade and I used a disposable razor. I scraped up my shin and DID NOT STOP. Razor came off, 2 inch piece of skin with it. And then? Then! You need to wash off that damn leg - oh the pain from soap on an open wound!

I still have a scar. I'm 35.

Simply Suthern said...

There are pics of me at 5-6 yr old, lathered up using a debladed double edge razor. I'm on a stool looking in the mirror grinning ear to ear. The stool is gone now, so is the grin.

Mighty M said...

Yes, had I only known I would have happily skipped a few years of the nicks and cuts. I would always try to shave too fast and that never ends well! Have a great weekend!!

Cee said...

haha I love this post! My mom made me use an electric razor at first and I hated it. So I took one of my dad's disposable razors and used that and I took a HUGE chunk of skin out of my ankle. I bled for a couple days haha.

BlueRidgeLady said...

My legs are burning reading this....I think I started that at 11. I remember my girls...they just did it on their own!~ Didn't even ask me! My oldest daughter would die if she knew I told ya'll this, but she always thought she was too hairy, and she wasn't..it was cute, blonde and shiny. So she shaves her ARMS for crying out loud! I call her CATFISH! She is beautiful though, I guess she can do whatever she wants now, always did!

MommyLovesStilettos said...

My mom wouldn't let my sister and I shave when all of our friends were so my sister and I snuck a razor and shaved our legs DRY. NO water NO soap No NOTHING! We were not very bright. I don't think I even have to explain how much that hurt!

Slamdunk said...

I can't wait until the little daughter starts needing help with these issues--run dad run.

I remember getting in trouble with my dad after I used his razor to try to shave my GI Joe. At least, I had some practice a few years later when I was ready to try the real thing.

JenJen said...

Ugh. You've reminded me of my own first time. I got razor burn that really just gives me the eebie-jeebies thinking about it now.

The Boob Nazi said...

I still cut myself because I hardly ever shave... And I'm 24. sigh.

ellen abbott said...

Societal pressure in this country is hard to resist. Women who don't shave their legs and armpits are treated with scorn and disgust and compared to gorillas (by both sexes). I've never understood the aversion to body hair on women. Why is it acceptable on a man but disgusting on a woman? It's part of being an adult human being. I quit shaving when I was about 20 (I admit that the hair on my legs was sparse and not dark). Many many years later when I went for my first mammo, the technician could hardly do her job she was so transfixed by the hair in my armpit. Probably the first time she had ever seen hair on a woman.

SamiJoe said...

wow flashbacks flashbacks! can't believe you got the Outsiders AND 'we must we must' all into the same post! LOL
ah shaving...pita~!

Rebekah said...

My college roommate and I used to alert each other before we went to shave just in case we passed out due to blood loss and needed the other to call 911.

Jessica said...

I think I may give up shaving now...

Closer to Lucy said...

How funny, the way we recall some things and not others. I don't remember my first leg shave, though I still nick myself all the freaking time.

I remember the start of shaving my underarms. I was in the 5th grade; I did have some pretty hairy pits, but my step mom refused to let me shave it off. It was spring and I wore a tank in gym, some big meanie said something about me being a gorilla girl. I shaved that night with my step-mom's razor.

Jessica said...

I think I might stop shaving......

NotJustAnotherJen said...

Please tell me that you don't shave everyday. Please.

Michael Rivers said...

I use to cut myself all the time. Once I discovered the Mac3 Razor, all that went away. The reflection in the mirror thanks me!

Elle said...

Ah, memories...I truly don't remember when I started shaving my legs. I do remember teaching my youngest sister how to though. She asked, so I obliged, warning her that she might want to consider not starting.

Am I the only lazy woman who, now that I'm married, doesn't shave nearly as much anymore? Hubby doesn't seem to mind, and I don't wear shorts or skirts often. That's a good excuse, right?!? (I consider myself quite lucky to have married a partially reformed hippy.)

Lola said...

this post is hilarious. I remember the first time I shaved my legs. I was probably 6 and stole my mom's razor. I cut a gash in my ankle that was so deep I had to wear 6 pairs of socks to keep it from bleeding through. Cause ain't no way I was telling my mom! I didn't shave again until I was probably 13 and that was only because a friend made fun of me. Ah peer pressure.

Sole Matters said...

Haha SO true! My sister was in 5th grade when she started shaving, and since I was dying to be like her, I started shaving too! I was in the 2nd grade. LOL

Herding Cats said...

I remember the first time I shaved my legs. I pranced around in shirts the day after sort of hoping my parents didn't notice. My brother was the first to comment with, "Wow....what happened to your legs? They look so shiny!"

....embarrassing!

Linda said...

OMG I was the last of my group to shave my legs. I got made fun of and I begged my Mom, she finally let me shave. It wasn't pretty but they were hairless. I'm almost 60 now and I shave but not as often that is for sure...hey who looks at my legs now??? Great memory evoking post.

Ed said...

Tease.

I was sitting here reading and thinking...Chub, chub, chub, chub, FLACCID, SHIT!

I can get that kind of torture at home.


Seriously though, the razor thing goes the same way for guys.
In fact, I've had a couple instances where I've been in the shower and forgotten my razor and grabbed my wife's, only to come out of the shower with my face looking like it was shaved with the business end of a lawnmower.

Jen said...

yup, I was one of the last too, and why, oh why we couldn't have waited another year or two. I actually shaved my underarms before my legs because I was a dancer, and the legs were covered with tights, but the armpits, not so much. Don't remember a whole lot of blood or nicks though, because I don't think I would have gone back for more if that were the case... I must have been spared.

Mommy Lisa said...

Don't get mad, but I don't really have to shave my legs that often.

1) It does not grow fast.
2) It is so LIGHT blonde that I actually can go out in shorts with a months growth and no one notices.

sorry!

Dumblond said...

I don't remember being the last one to shave...I do remember cutting up my legs so bad that first year that it looked like I had help from Freddy Krueger. Those cuts behind the knee are the farkin' worst!!
p.s. Ousiders reference FTW!!!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I was a late shaver too. Still am in the winter.
<><

Just Breathe said...

I'm so old I can't even remember what it was like the first time.
Now I can get away with once a week in the winter and maybe twice a week in the summer. However I do remember our daughters first time and we could not convince her to wait longer. Now that she is 28 she wishes she would have listened to us. Why does life have to be about live & learn. Wouldn't it be nice if we actually listened to the wisdom of our parents and said
"hey thanks, I think I will wait!"

Christopher said...

Everyday I wake up, look at my hairy pasty white legs and thank God I was born a man.

cfoxes said...

My daughter started a couple of years ago and without consulting me. The first thing she did was take a chunk (yes a chunk) out of her leg. Needless to say razor's are not used on our legs anymore, just our pits (and other areas for me). Anyway, if it wasn't for Need and Nair, we would have hairy legs.

Ela said...

I so wish I never did! I believe my mom NOW when she says it makes your hair course and grow faster and thicker. GAH.

Oh and I was so smart and too excited to actually use shaving cream my first time. Shaving cream, what's that?

Happy weekend!

p.s. Sorry to drop it so late. This week has been..

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

A skill I have never mastered....loved this post

Eva Gallant said...

On the bright side, after years of shaving that unsightly black fur off my gams, I find that there is an advantage to being over 60! The fur is practically non existant! I have four or five hairs on each leg now, and that's it! Who knew???

AmyLK said...

Oh my the memories! I could NOT wait to shave my legs when I was a teen. Although I don't remember too many cuts at first. :)

MsDarkstar said...

I didn't WANT to shave but my swim coach sent a note home to my parents DEMANDING that I do so. Because leg hair = drag (seriously, if my leg hair was slowing me down I was ok with that...) Let me tell you, chlorinated water on freshly knicked up legs = OUCH! At least if you're in a pool crying, no one can tell.

Christine Macdonald said...

Great write! Love the intro.

I was 10 or 11 and in the bath tub with my best friend monique (in bathing suits). We shaved our own legs together. I still have the scar on my shin.

Intense Guy said...

I'm just going to go and admit it... I thought you were going to write about something else when I saw the title and started breathing heavier.

I don't shave my legs - I'm sure I'd make a mess of 'em... I don't remember my first few facial shaves - I do know I decided to grow a beard due to some scars that I kept hacking up with the razor. An electric razor didn't do damage but it hurt when it snagged the barb wire hairs.

foxy said...

Hahahahaha... you totally got me, JM!! I was all SHE'S GOING TO TALK ABOUT HER FIRST TIME FOR EVERYONE TO READ. Whew! You scared me there for a minute....... :)

Anyway, yes, I too walked away from my first time with all kinds of tp stuck to my little (or big) nicks. And i also admit to singing the "we must increase our bust" song. Ha.

Have a great weekend, girl!!

Amanda said...

I remember being so anxious to finally shave too! Now I definitely wish I would have waited. Too much work sometimes!

jules said...

Oh I was so ready. I surely got grounded for doing it without authorization from my mom because ALL my friends were doing it. I thought I'd show her!

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I totally remember those bandaged leg days.

Vodka Logic said...

Not sure I remembered the first time but the earlier times were painful. Dry shaving ouch Peeling the skin off you shin.. yikes.

I find I am less hairier as I get older plus winter time is let it grow and be warm..unless an appt with a certain dr.

The Warrior in ME said...

JennyMac, you had me giggling at myself here! poor dads with their bloody collars :)

I'm certain we wouldn't have hurried had we known what we know now- "oh, you big beautiful laser machine, come and usurp me!"

Marcy said...

I don't remember my first time, but remember my first cousin making fun of me in the car. I shaved shortly thereafter.

I did take a run with an electric for awhile in high school. Definitely not as effective. Does anyone remember the old-school epilady??? I wanted one so bad until i heard how badly they HURT.

Christiejolu said...

I didn't have to shave for the longest time. The first time I didn't even need to. The hair was blond and ypu couldn't even see it. Now I wish I never did, my mom warned me the hair would grow back darker and thicker. She was so right.

Red Shoes said...

There is definitely a learning curve to shaving... anything... ;o)

~shoes~

undomestic chica said...

I still have a long scar down my leg and into my foot where I dropped the razor. I've dropped it many times since then, but I happened to drop it just right the first time I shaved and it cut me.....now I just wax.

Matty said...

I love hearing tales of women losing their virginity. Even if it is about their legs.

Ellen said...

I on the other hand was NOT a late bloomer. I was so embarrassed to have boobs at the age of 11 that I wore like three undershirts to try to hide 'em because I was too embarrassed to get a bra before all my friends. And I started shaving my legs in secret...hell, I'm Greek, I HAD to!

http://www.firednfabulous.blogspot.com/

M-Cat said...

laser removal is on my wish list.

Hate the shaving. Particularly brazil

Heather Taylor said...

Love that Ponyboy reference!
I should not brag about this, but I rarely cut my legs. I have this weird thing where I shave every day, just in case there's ever one day that comes along where I am too tired to shave so I can skip for a day and not have a forest on my legs :)

Rene W. said...

You had me a little worried at the beginning of your post - LOL ;-) I couldn't wait to do it too, but after one really terrible cut, I actually learned my lesson & perfected it pretty well...

ShellyInOz said...

My mom told me to hold out as long as I could because it would make the hair on my legs coarser and I would have to keep shaving forevermore.

I listened to her and lo and behold like one of your other readers, I was in 8th grade PE class and the only one who wasn't shaving yet. Wish Mom had told me when I SHOULD start shaving instead of waiting for embarrassment to be the catalyst.

Shelly at Tropical Mum

Cocaine Princess said...

What a cute post. I still have a tiny scar from my first nik.

As for Ponyboy Curtis....I must have read "The Outsiders" at least 100x. Such an awesome book.

blueviolet said...

I remember begging and begging for this! I actually have never regretted starting when I did. I shave every single day and it's not a hassle to me at all.

carma said...

I think you should take a page out of Mo'Nique's book and go with the hairy legs/Oscar gown look - think what a time saver that would be - I've been getting (incredibly painful) laser hair removal treatments for a year and I still have some hair. UGH.

J.J. said...

I remember shaving my legs with a razor maybe once or twice...then I switched to Nair.

Kim said...

I wasn't allowed to shave my legs at the time, but I started babysitting when I was 11. So everything the babies' parents owned was fair game. When I came home from a baby-sitting job with a huge gash up the side of my leg above my ankle, I told my mom that I fell. On what? A potato peeler? She didn't hassle me. Thanks, Mom.

Kim said...

Also, if you turn the Flicker razor around - what? - five times? - that's as far as it goes. And you can't turn it back, despite the fact that you didn't use any of the blades. I did that, too. And my mom didn't hassle me. Thanks, Mom.

Too Many Hats said...

My poor, poor daughter has basically one eye that functions and not at full strength without corrective lenses. Yes, this means she has NO depth perception when she isn't in contacts or glasses. When she started shaving she didn't do contacts by her choice. Her legs were ALWAYS knicked up. I said a AMEN when she finally decided to get contacts.

Elle said...

Not sure if you're into them or not, but I've passed a blog award on to you. Details are on my blog.

Pricilla said...

Which is why as I get older I don't care any more.

Hissyfits & Halos said...

It infuriates my husband when I use his razor. But, still, I use his razor to shave my pits when I use his shower. If he ever knew......oh....mercy!!!

hotpants™ said...

My mom made me use an electric razor first. Looking back, I don't know if this was a good or bad thing. Either way, I was going to end up with nicks and cuts.

Little Pink Magnolia said...

Oh I totally did those "we must increase our bust" exercises when I was younger. Didn't do a thing, sadly. And I still have scars from learning to shave - I remember there were times that I would shave huge slices of skin off - so gross.

T!nK said...

he only thing I hate more than shaving is having hair in anywhere accept the top of my head. Eyebrows, and Eyelashes excluded. Totally getting lased EVERYWHERE once I have the money.

HalfAsstic.com said...

I am STILL waiting for a pill that will eradicate leg and underarm hair. Preferably taken once a month... or year!
OK, that and a pill to keep puppies and kittens from turning into dogs and cats.
If only science knew what is REALLY important... ;-)

ThatGirl39 said...

Ooh I remember my First Time! I think afterwards I rubbed some Avon Pretty Peach body lotion on my legs... and promptly went through the roof! Funnily enough, Small Child walked in whilst I was in the bath shaving my legs the other day and she declared she'll "never do that" when she grows up! I managed to hide my wry smile!

Erin said...

My girls often complain that my legs are "scratchy." I guess it's time to step up my game (but it's winter, people)...

The first time my mom helped me. I was so scared. I think I cried because I was afraid I'd cut myself. She had this really nice lotion stuff, and amazingly (with her guidance), I survived my first time unscathed. And then I thought I was SO COOL. Couldn't wait to do it again.

Now, it's the bane of my existence.
;-)

Badass Geek said...

I was never really that bad at shaving... except for my chin. I always cut my chin. Thus the reason for my goatee.

shortmama said...

Aint that the truth..if we would have only known what we were getting into

Baloney said...

You mean there might come a day when I can shave my legs without blood? Wow. I look forward to it.

kathryn said...

"Had we only considered that we would have the opportunity to do it every day for the rest of our lives"

Ah yes...and that word "opportunity" is at the crux of it all, my friend...

But we can dance around the issue by using lack of motivation, a sore back preventing us from leaning over and "the dog doesn't care if I shave or not" as viable extenuating circumstances.

Well....at least, I can...

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

A friend of mine once mentioned the Epilady. She said she can still remember the long painful screams.
Of course I had to ask what she was talking about. "It ripped it from your skin!" She screamed. "It ripped the hair right from your skin."

Corrie Howe said...

Totally agree. Laughing at Dad's razor blade. Been there and done that! Hubby too, sometimes.

Kato said...

UGH. I wish I had never done it! Or have to do it now!

It's my least favourite grroming thing to do.

Loved this story though! You know how to take anything and make it a good story! xoxo

Life with Kaishon said...

I remember that I just could not WAIT to shave. I longed for it. I remember my Mom saying I would hate it one day. And, oh darn it, she was so right. It is such a time stealer, isn't it?