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As Seen on TV Excerpt

As Seen on TV

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Excerpt: Chapter Eight

I love Star Wars. Growing up, I collected the action figures in my Darth Vader carrying kit: Princess Leia, Han Solo, Darth Vader, C-3P0, R2-D2, Boba Fett, Yoda and two Luke Skywalkers. One was Luke Skywalker the X-Wing Pilot, the other Luke Skywalker the Jedi Knight. The ultimate movie makeover moment of all time is watching Luke, all serious and dressed in black, coolly stroll into Jabba the Hutt's cave, kill everyone and save his friends. You barely remember the farm boy he was in Episode IV.

I've always wanted a makeover. True, I was hoping for one that would make me capable of mind manipulation and transcendental object-lifting. But I suppose a spa makeover will do.
I have been told my Jedi training consists of a colorist appointment, a stylist appointment, a facial appointment, a body facial appointment (I'm not sure what a body facial is. Apparently it involves something called an alpha-beta peel and cleansing mint mud?), a manicure appointment, a pedicure appointment, an eyebrow-wax appointment and a bikini-wax appointment, all at Bella, a Soho spa, all compliments of Party Girls.

Not sure why a bikini wax is necessary. Do Manhattan bars have hot tubs?

A shorthaired Brazilian woman in a white smock opens the door to the room. "Hel-lo, hel-lo," she says. Her voice has a Mr. Rogers singsong quality. "I'm Ja-zelle, are you ready?"

I don't think so. I've never waxed anything before. I shave my legs and bikini line when necessary and occasionally pluck my brows. Why spend hundreds of dollars on hair removal when I can do it for free?

My sister makes a trip to the waxer once a month for full hair removal. She raves about it but can never wear shorts or a bathing suit for two weeks a month because the hair has to "grow out." What's the point of all that pain and money if you can only show it off for half the month?

Jazelle lowers her face until she is just an inch above mine. I wish I had a breath mint.

"Eyebrows and lip?" she asks.

My lip?

"Um...only my eyebrows."

She nods.

"What's wrong with my lip?" She runs her finger over my upper lip. "You have lots of dark hair. If I were you, I'd remove it."

Lots of dark hair? I have a mustache? Why hasn't anyone mentioned this? Isn't that something that your best friends are supposed to tell you? "Okay. Take it off." Do it! Do it!

She spreads the wax over my lip. That doesn't feel too bad. Kind of nice, actually. Soothing, even. It's

"Fuck!" I scream as she rips the skin off my body. The sting slowly subsides.

"Lie back down, lie back down. I have to do the sides."

After the sides, she moves on to my brows, which aren't as excruciating.

When I'm escorted to the body-waxing station, I catch a glimpse of myself in one of the seven thousand mirrors and am pleased to see my brows looking fantastic. My lip makes me look like I'm part of the Got Strawberry Milk? Campaign, but Jazelle promised that the red marks would disappear in an hour.

The body-waxing station looks identical to the face-waxing room, including matching cushioned lawn chairs, mirrored walls and a massive magnifying glass. "All the rooms are exactly alike. Why can't I stay put and have the estheticians come to me?"

Carrie sits down on her new chair, which looks exactly like her old chair, and opens her magazine. "Look who's already a princess."

A Korean woman is standing arms crossed, beside her room's lawn chair. "Take off your pants and panties," she tells me.

Carrie freezes. "I think I'll go get a coffee."

"Don't leave me," I plead in Carrie's direction, but faster than the Roadrunner, she's outta there.

I enter the room. The esthetician slams the door behind me.

I take off my jeans, fold them and place them on what should be Carrie's chair.

The woman sticks her finger at my crotch. "Panties off."

Why do I have to take off my panties? Can't she just move them to the side?

I place my mud-caked panties on top of my jeans and lie back on the paper covered chair. This is ridiculous. A Kleenex box is on the counter, so I pull a tissue out and cover the area between my legs.

The woman smells like antiseptic. She dips a Popsicle stick in hot wax and then spreads it on my right lower leg. This won't hurt this won't hurt this won't hurt this won't hurt.

Ouch.

It's not as bad as my upper lip. I can handle it. And again.

Ouch.

She climbs her way up my right leg.

And then over to my left leg.

Thank God I don't have a lot of hair on my upper legs. It hurts a bit, but I can handle it. I'm a waxing pro.

She picks the tissue off of my privates. "Spread your legs."

What? Does she double as a gynecologist?

"You don't trim?" she asks.

Is this a lecture? "Sometimes," I answer.

"What shape you want?"

"What are my options? I've never done this before." As if she hasn't figured that out.

"Take it all off first time. It grow back thinner."

All off, huh. Sexy. Steve'll love it. I'll be just like the girls on the porn channel he loves, Hot 'n Sexy. What a fantastic surprise. I won't even tell him, I'll just wear a skirt and tell him I'm going commando and then...it'll be fantastic. I'm the best girlfriend ever.

She spreads the wax over the outer edge of the left side of my pubic region. That feels nice. Hot. Oooh. Is it gross to get aroused at a bikini wax? And then

OH. MY. GOD. I've never known such pain.

She pushes my legs apart. "Keep them open!" she orders Gestapo-style.

This is worse than the gynecologist.

She spreads the wax over the right side of my pubic region and then

OH. MY. GOD. This is the most horrific pain I have ever felt in my entire life. Worse then when I spilled hot water all over my hands. Worse than slamming the car door on my finger nail. Worse than a visit to the dentist.

I try to see what she's doing, but I feel dizzy. She's spreading the slimy material over the top inch of my pubic region. This is going to hurt. I know this is going to hurt. Here it comes. She's going for it

"Owwwwwwwwww!"

She looks up at me and shakes her head. "If you open your legs properly it won't hurt so much."

Why would it make a difference how wide my legs are? It would make no difference.

Absolutely no difference. This woman is a psychotic masochist.

"How much longer is this going to take?"

"I'm doing the lips now, and then the anus. Ten minutes. Spread wider."
Anus? She thinks she's waxing my butt? Ten more minutes of this torture? I don't think I can do it. My body wasn't made for this type of pain. She coats the left vaginal lip in wax. I take a deep breath.

Here it comes. And there it...

...goes. I think I passed out. I open my eyes and push her hand away as she's about to coat me in more torture. "No, I can't take it."

"I'm not stopping now. Only half of you is done. You look stupid."

I close my legs and jump off the table. "I don't care. No more. I'm done."

The woman huffs and stands back from the table as I hastily step into my muddy underwear.

"It would have been easier if you kept your legs open," she snarls.

Now I know why Dana made me get both my ears pierced at the same time.