I don’t mean to brag, but I had a date for the Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance at the church around the corner from our house. Dinner, dancing, “preferred parking” (meaning we walked), what could be better?
Remember those statistics about most accidents happening within so many feet of your house? There’s a reason for that. You spend more time there, period. I know. It’s not a Big Mystery Revealed by the Universe. Sometimes you just have to go with Occam and His Razor. The simple answer might really be it.
This brings me to the other part of my Valentine’s Eve tale. Since I had given myself the gift of sloth and stayed in my jammies all day, even answering the door in my bathrobe to receive the windfall tickets to said dinner dance, it became obvious that I had to have a bath. Sometimes, these things just come to me. Actually it was a shower. I rummaged through my shampoo collection and came up with an oldie but goodie bottle of sweet smelling stuff, made sure I had nice fresh towels and my favorite Dr Bronner’s Hemp and Lavender castile soap and jumped into the steam. No, I don’t know what part is the hemp part; it smells so much of lavender that I’m not really interested in the other ingredients. I don’t drink the stuff.
My luxuriating was interrupted by the awful thought that I was, after all, going to have to shave my legs. I know, I know. This is too much information and I’ll spare you the details. No one was harmed in the shaving of these legs, not even the startled cat waiting impatiently on the toilet lid. Tony is often amazed at the things I do.
Dates are so different now that I’m, well, not the girl I was. I remember high school and my best friend Cindy and I dreaming of some guy or another, speculating whether they had girlfriends already. We spent so much time in preparation for the Big Date, with no specific date in mind. Cindy tried to teach me to dance in exchange for my help with her homework. Like so many high school best friends, we tried things together we weren’t really brave enough to do on our own.
One of the things we tried was something that was tantalizing in its magical properties, Nair. Just in case you don’t know what Nair is, it was advertised as a gentle cream that made that annoying hair on your legs and anywhere else you were annoyed disappear and leave your skin silky smooth. In actuality, its formula back then had caustic properties much like drain cleaner, smelled worse and, to my ongoing dismay, had “varied” results.
I always figured if I let the hair grow on my legs, it would cover my feet and I would reveal myself to be the Hobbit or troll I really was instead of the princess I aspired to be. It was bad enough to have the “unibrow” I was blessed with as some echo of the Rom heritage from my Mom’s side of the family. In the genetic bingo game, I got blonde hair and this black unibrow deal and furry legs. The horror.
Nair worked just fine on Cindy, but on me it had an effect similar to trying to chop down a redwood tree with a nail file. It did, however, melt my skin pretty well. So for the Big Date, whenever that was going to occur, I was reduced to stealing my Dad’s razor. I was pretty sure he didn’t notice. Pretty sure.
Cindy’s efforts to teach me to dance were also fruitless. Apparently the farther away from my brain I get, the less teamwork happens between my body and my brain. I can sing. I can talk, perhaps in excess. I can type. I loved reading and school. But I can’t reliably waltz or anything else involving my feet. That didn’t stop me from going to dances, having a crush on the band members, well, the ones who weren’t my brother, and wishing I could dance. At least all of that trying made me limber and strong, if not coordinated, so I could do a fairly amazing sideways splits and hold it long enough with a smile on my face to be captured by the yearbook photographer.