After the preliminary interview with Carly from the Pink Razor Project, my mind was abuzz with all sorts of fuzzy things. She asked me some things I really had to think about--things which I am still thinking about.
I ended up not updating the blog last week because of a combination of stress and writer’s block. Among the things I had to take care of was a last-minute appointment for an ultrasound in order to get some new snapshots of the cyst on my ovary for the OBGYN, which is coming up at the beginning of next month. They asked me again if they could do the trans-vaginal ultrasound, and I again said I would be fine with it, but that I am under the impression they can’t perform one if I’ve never been sexually active. I got a really nice, chatty technician this time (who let me empty my bladder a bit before the scan), so I finally managed to ask why that is, and she said that I wouldn’t be used to it so they don’t want to hurt me, and that in some cases women will refuse the procedure anyway. Me, I’d actually like to see the back of my backyard. But I guess it’s not to be.
Anyway, the point is, I’ve been thinking about relationships. Talking to the ultrasound technician about being a virgin, telling the endo that family planning is not even on the horizon, and then Carly’s questions about how being hirsute affects my dating life, it’s all reminding me that I’m 26 and haven’t been on an “official” out-to-dinner date for nine years.
I think a part of my own shock at that timeline is thanks to societal pressures to be married and start a family, same as they are to be a flawless hairless female. But a part of it is also... I really thought I’d be married by now. As a little girl I was always so in love with love. Disney princess love. Gone with the Wind love. Sleepless in Seattle love. I always imagine how, in just a little while longer, I’d be “old enough” to be swept off my feet. But I got to high school, then college, then out into the working world, and very few people who I wanted to be in love with wanted to be in love with me. And those that did, I was not interested in. As time went by, I got more and more involved in my studies and my hobbies and I realized that it was not a matter of being “old enough.” I had to be ready, in so many ways. The things that I wanted in Prince Charming completely transformed between seventeen and twenty-one. Life began to teach me what I valued in others (and not just as far as being able to see past visible flaws was concerned). I had to have accomplished the things I wanted to accomplish on my own, like traveling and taking occupational risks and being creative. I had to learn to love myself.
I think of the practicalities of a relationship, too, particularly an intimate one. Prince Charming’d have to be okay with some chin stubble from time to time. But more importantly, I’d have to be okay with it, too. In order to be strong enough to let him see me, day after day, sudsing up my face and applying the razor, I’d have to become so used to it that it would be like brushing my teeth.
Taking that time has been very valuable to me. I tried to get rid of the hair with laser hair removal partially out of a mistaken need to “prepare” myself for the grande passione that was surely on the horizon. All I really needed to do was find out why the hair was there and how very small a part of my identity it was. There are so many other things about me someone could love. I’d rather Mr. Knight in Shining Armor didn’t love me because of the hair, or in spite of it. I want it not to even register as a factor.
Above and beyond any perspective significant other’s acceptance of this strange aspect of me has to be my acceptance. It will never be enough if I just find a man who doesn’t care about the hair. I still have to learn to be content with myself and that’s a big work in progress. To be “enough” without the man and with the hair. More and more often, I feel like I am. And that takes some of the pressure off.