Ridicule Drove Me to the Razor


Six years after I had given up shaving my legs and pitching the razor, I started dating Alan. He had a wispy disorderly beard and a sparse ponytail. Being a graduate of Columbia in business administration and an executive in New York City, he had been used to wearing Brooks Brothers Suits, conservative ties and wing tipped shoes. By moving up the corporate ladder he missed the whole 60’s hippy culture. Being a Mensa scholar doesn’t guarantee one is up on the latest.

At the same time I had been living in Berkeley, a few blocks from Peoples’ Park, experiencing the student protests, the Oakland cops and the National Guard cordoning off streets making it impossible to get home from work.

In the early 1970’s he dropped out, moved to New Mexico and tried out a less prosperous life style. In ’74  I moved to New Mexico to get away from the Bay Area fog and the mobs clogging the freeways in route to the Sierras every weekend.

We originally met at Sierra Club traveling in a van to Lake Powell where the Park Service was holding a hearing on land use issues. His scraggly beard and ponytail and my hairy legs and armpits caused an attraction that lasted for some time. When he was over being a late blooming hippy and needing a few more toys, he shaved off the beard, got a haircut and found a respectable job running YCC camps.

It was then I started giving some thought to those hairy legs of mine. One day in July-it was 99 degrees- I was browsing in a fabric store looking at material for a new blouse that would match the shorts I was wearing. A little girl walking past me, looked down and pointed to my legs and said in a rather loud voice, “Mommy, Mommy. Look at her hairy legs!” That did it. It was time. I bought a Gillette razor, went home and started shaving. After completing leg number one, I somehow wasn’t ready, phychologically, to complete the task. Purging my calves of that soft, sensual feeling was hard to give up. So I went a couple more weeks before I denuded the left leg.

Now days at 66 I don’t care so much about shaving my legs. Bending over in the shower for that amount of time or swinging my leg up into the bathroom sink makes my back cranky. And afterwards the skin feels uncomfortable, though a good amount of lotion can help. I feel I can go a few more days without shaving-maybe a week or so-before it’s too noticeable.

Besides, who’s looking anyway.


2 thoughts on “Ridicule Drove Me to the Razor

  1. For me, it was Bob, who said something to the effect it was OK not to shave one’s legs, but I really had hairy legs. I deduced from that twisted comment that he had suffered with my hairy legs for years.


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