February 10, 2012

Talk About Love

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.


Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog the other day and, holy crow, does this post hit home. I am a 31 year old who was recently diagnosed with PCOS. I don't have a lot of the common symptoms, like weight and blood sugar problems, but the hair!

I self-diagnosed myself almost 10 years ago, but it took me so long before I felt brave enough to talk to a doctor and actually get on meds (Diane and Spirolactone, too!)

I've avoided relationships completely, thinking the hair could make or break my worthiness as a person, and am too, still a virgin. I'm finally starting to make some progress mentally about the whole thing: I am not my body hair, but it is a part of me.

Thank you for sharing your story and experiences -- it helps to know there are other women out there, working through the same problems and offering positive perspectives :)

Allerleirah said...

Hi! Thank you so much for leaving a comment. It sure helps me, too, knowing I am far from alone in this!

I agree, finally going to a doctor is definitely a frightening decision to make, but I bet you feel a little better for having a diagnosis and a plan of action now. Ha, on the same medication even, that's neat! How are you finding the Diane and Spiro?

It sounds like you're in a much better head space. I think becoming romantically involved is always going to be a particular challenge for us, but you're coming at it with a good attitude. You are not your hair. It is such a small small part of you as a person, like the color of your eyes or whether or not you have an allergy to something. And I don't know about you, but it's made me a better, more humble, more understanding, more sensitive person, too!

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that they ask you if you're OK with the trans-vaginal ultrasound. In my country, they would just do it, no asking...That's probably the biggest reason why I refuse to see a doctor...
I'll be 24 this year and I am a virgin, too. I used to think that I would be already married at this age, but the older I am, the more I think I will never be able to get over this.
It helps to know that I am not the only one with this problem (and not the oldest virgin in the world...) But I wish you all the strength you need to learn to be content with yourself. Good luck and thank you for your blog.

Allerleirah said...

Well, at least there are other ways to test for the causes of hirsutism besides an ultrasound. But I don't blame you for avoiding a doctor if you feel your rights are being violated. We all definitely should have the choice, in diagnosis as well as medicine. (Personally, though, I would undergo pretty much anything they told me to do, if it meant being thoroughly checked out for the sake of my own health.)

Nothing wrong with being a virgin, though, I say. ;) For me, it's not just a matter of how I always felt about my body... I have yet to meet a man I could trust enough to share that part of myself. It's the kind of intimacy I would only want to have with someone I was married to. I could never cope with the emotions any other way. Waiting definitely preserves your physical and emotional safety until you are really ready. :D

I wish you the same strength, my dear. It all gets easier.

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing, Ladies. I'm 29 and Im not a virgin and havent been for quite a while. Thing is - its no fun and there is no enjoyment in the "act" (trying to stay wording "safe" here) if you do it while not accepting/liking/loving yourself. If I could do it all over again, I would first focus on getting to the place where I love myself and my body the way it is. Then, I would focus on looking for a person who accepts me the way I am, no hiding, no secrets. Then I would think about the rest. Take it from my experience - doing it backwards not only is no fun, but can also hurt your self-image much much more. And you can never get any pleasure out of it - it's too stressful to be enjoyable. Whats the point in worrying about relationships with others if we have an awful one with ourselves? soph.

Allerleirah said...

Sophie, that is beautiful advice. Beautiful. I wish every girl in the world could read that and take it to heart.

Anonymous said...

Omg. Are you me? I think you're my long lost spirit animal.

Allerleirah said...

Woof! :D

Another theory: we were separated at birth?

Anonymous said...

These comments could have been written by me a year ago - but ladies, DON'T WORRY.

As a bearded lady, I was 29, a virgin - even a making-out virgin - and had never had a serious relationship, although I had gone out on lots of dates (at arm's length, I'm attractive enough to get asked out regularly.)

Al's comment about not wanting to lead a guy on only to disappoint him when he found out about the secret goatee was EXACTLY how I felt.

But at 29 I finally got into my first serious relationship, and I've learned:

1) Don't worry about being a virgin no matter how old you are. It's useless to worry about it, because:

2)You are never too old to fall in love for the first time. It won't happen before it happens, but when it's supposed to happen it will happen. And the difference between the few meh kisses i'd had before, and every kiss I've had with this guy, is like night and day. If the guy doesn't love you truly, there's no point to kissing or doing anything else. And if he does love you truly, he'll understand your imperfections.

3)I do still get anxious from time to time that my nonchalant approach to my face and body hair might one day catch him offguard and make him go eek. But then I remember - he's seen me in the car, in the kitchen, at night, during the day, and during all different hair removal techniques/phases for 2 years now, and has never stopped thinking I'm hot.

So - the right man won't really care. Take relatively good care of yourself (I tweeze once a day and trim every other day) and let your personality shine through, and that's all you can do.

Good luck!

Allerleirah said...

Anonymous, thank you so much for your thoughts! You sound like a very positive, confident person and we can all learn from you. I hope a lot of readers read your encouraging comments, because your experience is certainly how love should be!