Reality Truck

Hot Wax

He’s interesting. But he’s not Brazilian-bikini-wax interesting.
—Marisa Acocella

It’s never a good thing when a guy asks you, “Do you think you could possibly criticize me a little less?” as happened to me a few weeks back.

At first, I felt kinda bad…I asked myself: Had I been too hard on this guy?

And my nearly instantaneous response, to myself was, “uhhhhh, Noooooooo!”

Followed by what I considered, but rejected, saying to him (since it might be CONSTRUED as criticizing): “yeah, well, maybe if you’d withdraw your head a few notches from its permanent residence inside your lower alimentary canal—and be a little more sensitive and responsible and a little less self-centered….Maybe if you would show me an OUNCE of consideration and forethought once every blue moon…. THEN maybe IIIIII would be a little less critical.”


I didn’t say that.

Possibly because I realized I was likely suffering from a disproportionately imbalanced thyroid-induced rage, but ALSO because it would’ve been pointless.

As we had discussed on several occasions, I actually DON’t believe in criticism or punishment, because I live with dogs. And assuming that an average guy isn’t quite as advanced as the slowest of slow dogs, there are limits to their learning capacity that need to be acknowledged.

A dog only responds to praise and rewards. Punishment has no effect and they don’t understand criticism (though they do understand more English than they probably let on). You have to catch them doing the RIGHT thing, and reward them for it.

Easier said than done. (Applies equally to dogs and men.)

As with this particular guy, he later offered exactly the RIGHT response to a crisis I was complaining about—and I complimented him on it immediately. “Well said!!” I observed. Just the right tone of thoughtful, supportive concern—non judgmental, not self-righteous.

He thought I was being sarcastic.

The occasion of the original argument was a complaint that goes back months.

Dogs get a break on this—a statute of limitations on any and every infraction that falls short of dismemberment, mostly because they forget anything that’s not in their immediate sight line. This was always an issue with my Big Dog. You could find her in the back yard delicately ingesting the femur of the roofer who’d been working on the neighbor’s house, and about the harshest thing you could say to her was, “Martha!! Put that down! THAT’S NOT YOURS!” All she really heard was “Martha!!!” and then some indecipherable gibberish that sounds a lot like the adults do when they speak in Charlie Brown cartoons…She could absorb enough to know she needed to knock it off, but if another roofer climbed another ladder the very next day (unwisely miscalculating the tensile strength of the steel in his ladder), she’d have herself another buffet.


This wasn’t even really an argument.

We were just talking on the phone while I was getting my hair cut and he thought I was in the OTHER salon getting waxed.

I pointed out that Nooooooooooo—thanks to him—I can’t go back there. Because they FIRED me as a client. After one too many cancellations. (Which is fair. I’m not mad. Not at THEM.)

The only reasons I’d EVER canceled an appointment was when he’d stand me up—usually because some buddy had suddenly become available or something equally lame. (Lame only because he lives elsewhere and travels all the time which meant we rarely had plans at all, so when we did, I didn’t appreciate having them CHANGED. For guys who live within a half hour radius, I don’t care if they go out with the guys six nights out of seven—whatever keeps them out from under my feet is fine by me.)

So based on however much notice he’d give me, I’d call the salon and cancel—rationalizing that it was pointless to go to the pain and expense of a wax (in non-bikini season) if there was no one around to enjoy it (sorta that whole tree-falls-in-the-forest thing).

When I brought up that THIS is why I wasn’t at the OTHER salon (because they had DIVORCED me, thanks to him), THAT’s when he asked if I could criticize him less—a miscalculation on his part that implied that being BANISHED from a salon was somehow trivial…

While I am NOT an especially hirsute gal, it’s only NATURAL that I would resent the slightest implication that my good name and heretofore pristine bikini line—to say NOTHING of my baby smooth legs and underarms—meant NOTHING in this town.

As I informed him indignantly, it took me FIVE years to find Lisa after Roe retired. FIVE looong painful years where I was at the mercy of rank amateurs....Nay, butchers! Five years where I was subjected to sessions that would render me unable to sit down for a week at a time. Five years where I’d get “apologies” from wannabe costmetology school grads who’d snark as I limped away, “well we’re rippin’ hair out by the roots lady!....Whaddaya expect? It’s SPOSED to hurt!”

What. Do. I. EXPECT?

I expect... Artisans. I expect... skill. I expect to leave a BIG tip if I walk away un-maimed, unbruised, and unscarred.

Men’ll come and go, as I pointed out to him, but a good wax is hard to find.

So even though the weather will be getting warm soon, I’ll be the pale girl in long sleeves and pants.And if my OTHER salon divorces me, I’ll also be the one in the hat.

Not that I’d ever leave the house again if THAT happened. I’d take to my bed and stay there. n