June 26, 2012

Contemplating Camping

It seems that suddenly, everyone wants us to go camping with them this summer.

I have always loathed this topic, which comes up as summer looms.  Often it’s a half-hearted discussion within the household, where they well know my stance on camping even if they don’t understand it.  I usually don’t have to worry.  When it comes to things that take that much effort and planning, my closest relatives are all talk.  (That’s not to say that sometimes they don’t shock me by actually booking a vacation now and then.  It’s impossible to accurately gauge how serious they are for that reason.) 

But when outside invitations are extended, it’s a different ballgame.  They want a full explanation.  I can say it’s an issue with lack of plumbing, but I’m really not a wimp in that area.  I don’t mind foregoing showers and swimming in a lake for a week.  It’s the getting hairy that’s hard.  Or rather, the expectation to not be hairy.  Even if I could risk offending people with poodles under my arms and cacti for legs, a beard would be hard for them to process. 

Then if the inviting party says the campsite has good facilities, I don’t know what to say.  I’ve camped where there have been public showers a short walk away, but that never used to ease the pressure I felt as a hirsute teenager.  It's robbed me of a fun, relaxing holiday more than once.

It probably didn’t help that I was much younger then, and was still coming to terms with this mysterious change in my body.  Or that I was with people I instinctively did not trust.  So this past weekend, when the subject of possibly going camping came up in mixed company, I stayed silent, thinking.  At first I was angry that my family one by one replied with interest, leaving me to give the answer they know I will give and not showing the least bit of hesitance for my sake.  But I remembered the numerous comments on this blog that express how silly it is to let this thing hold us back from what we really want to do.  I remembered that I’ve said it, too.

And this time, I could see myself clambering out of my tent in my flannel pajamas one cool mountain morning, plopping down in my folding chair in front of the fire with a cup of coffee, freely itching my chin stubble and saying to all the company, “Sorry, haven’t had a chance to shave yet.  I’ll do it before we go out in the boat.”  And then shaving with my razor and a bowl full of hot water from a kettle on a picnic table in the middle of the campsite.  It didn’t scare me.  It made me laugh.  Maybe I’m ready for camping this year after all.

June 12, 2012

Why Not Us?

I was in the hair stylists’ chair several weeks ago, reading slightly outdated gossip rags as I waited for my color to set.  There was an O magazine in the pile, and that is how I stumbled across an interview with Diablo Cody, screenwriter of Juno.  I really enjoyed that movie, and she is really adorable!

There were some very positive sayings that I felt were definitely worth sharing.  Women, especially when we’re young and are new to the continuous emotional battle with our bodies and our self esteem, fall easily into despair.  Developing something so mysterious and unique as male-pattern hair growth singles us out further.  We can’t trust our friends, our parents have an even harder time understanding this challenge, and sometimes our doctors will even shrug it off.  It truly seems like there is no one in the whole world like us.  But here’s what a teacher with cancer said to Cody:

“’I never waste time asking myself, “Why me?”  Instead I ask, “Well, why not me?”’”

Cody adds: “...Rather than being a statement of resignation, I think of it more as a battle cry: ‘I am not my circumstances.’ ...  I could choose to feel like a martyr, but instead I think, ‘You are not the first and only person in the world who has had to do this.’”

Chew that over for a while.  I did, and I knew immediately who I wanted to share this with: all of you.  Because I’m not the only one.  And neither are you.  We’re all in this together, and we can take it.

Read the full interview:  http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Diablo-Cody-Interview-Dealing-with-Loss-and-Pain

June 5, 2012

Blog Submissions Update

This week I'm just mentioning a little change on the site, moving the Call for Submissions to a less prominent place.  I'm still open to submissions, don't get me wrong!  But I've been thinking about this since my 200th post, contemplating milestones and such.  And I remembered a certain poll I had up to gather all your opinions on what you'd like to see here.

Now, for all the initial enthusiasm about allowing guest bloggers, I sure haven't had that many submissions.  ;)  That's all right, really; I completely understand that feeling of being fired up to write something, only to be hopelessly paralyzed by writer's block, the absolute freedom to write about anything, plain old fear, or involvement in life's everyday goings on.  I fall prey to that a lot, believe it or not!  And I expect to fall prey to it a lot more during the month of June, just with the sheer amount I have going on again. 

So while I will keep on accepting submissions, I think the surge of excitement for that addition has long passed, am I right?

Besides, if you want to read about real women living with hirsutism right now, the Pink Razor Project blog is doing a much better job than I ever could.  They have a written interview form to fill out, making it easy for us to share their thoughts and experiences within a well-developed frame.

So. If you haven't yet, go have a read (stow an industrial size box of Kleenex at your elbow, I warn you!) and maybe submit to the blog yourself!  I want to read about you all, too!  There is so much wonderful material to consume, in case I should miss the next few weeks of updates...  (I say this as I glance nervously at my day planner).

Link to the "written interviews" category:  http://pinkrazorproject.com/category/written-interviews/