Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I love my esthetician.  I love just saying the word "esthetician."  Es-thi-tish-uhn.  Pretty, isn't it?  Mysterious too- maybe even dangerous.

You can have a vocabulary of 200 words or less, but throw around a term like "esthetician," and people are impressed.  Don't take my word for it; try it out with your pastor or mailman, anytime a casual conversation arises.

"Hello, Rev. Brown.  Thanks for the surprise visit, but I was just heading out to see my esthetician and suffer through removal of wayward body hair.  Have a lovely day!"

It nothing else, it will teach him to call first.

It's one thing to know what an esthetician is, another to say it correctly.  It often brings to mind for me, the word "anesthetist."

My husband is a nurse anesthetist, another tongue teaser that baffles the great majority.  I have been asked approximately 987 times what an anesthetist is and how it differs from an anesthesiologist.

My standard explanation used to be, "An anesthetist is a nurse who has an advanced degree in anesthesia.  An anesthesiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in anesthesia."

People remained confused.

After years of patient description, I have minimized my answer to, "He gets paid for passing gas."

Somehow it works.

Oddly enough, about 75 percent of those who want to know what an anesthetist is, also want to master the pronunciation of the word itself.  Hence forth the tortuous exercise of watching the tongue reach up and out to meet the teeth, over and over again.

"So, he's an a-neth-a-sneezy-ologist?"

"Uh-NES-thi-tist," I reply.

"Oh!  A-NETH-a-tist."

Close enough.

But this column isn't about my husband; it's about my esthetician.  (Although anesthesia would be a great benefit when utilizing an esthetician).

My esthetician, Rebecca, is a depilatory goddess.  She not only removes unwanted body hair; she makes you darn proud you bothered to grow it in the first place.

Now THAT is a gift.

Bless her heart, Rebecca will hot wax and rip from the depths of your pores, any hair, anywhere.  She does it with gusto, too, the kind of overabundant vitality a dog exhibits when attacking a groundhog.

I became acquainted with Rebecca after whispering to my beautician that I might want to consider doing something about, uh, an estrogen-related outcropping just below my nose.

"Oh!  You want a lip wax."

I was mortified.  I had no idea I had hair on my lips!

But it wasn't long before I caught on to the lingo; mustache equals lips, beard equals sides of face, etc.

Kind words to cover the shaggy truth.  You got a body part, they have a price.  A lip wax will run you $8.50, A Brazilian $25.50, a full leg $50.50.

In some ways this seems almost cruel.

What if you're on a budget?

Lose the beard, keep the mustache?  Do one leg and not the other?

The most confusing option is "Half arm, elbow down."  I wonder who wants that.

"Wax from the elbow down, Honey, but make sure to leave it long and thick on top."

If finances were an issue, I would go for one entire bare arm, and throw a wrap over the other.  Or, take a seasonal approach, woolly in the winter, smooth in the summer.

On the plus side, this segregation of hair makes gift giving a breeze.

I'm thinking about the holidays here.  You know, they're right around the corner.

How about a whiskerectomy for Grandma?  A back wax for Pops?

My two brothers and I are considering a consolidation of funds to cover the cost of lip, brow, and one armpit for Mom.

It's a start.  And, you gotta admit, it's a personalized and thoughtful gift.

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