Laser TMI

My life isn’t really that interesting at the moment. But on the plus side, I get a lot of sleep these days due to my lack of adventure.

The most exciting thing I can say I have done lately is to have a nice young lady zap my vagina and surrounding nether regions with a high-powered laser in the first of 6 sessions I am embarking upon on my quest for permanent hair removal.

It’s something I’ve had in the back of mind for quite a while now ever since my falling out with my wax salon last summer. Since then, but for the time Scout treated me to a “sugaring” procedure the next day, I’ve resorted back to shaving due to a basic laziness-based disinterest in putting forth the effort to find another suitable waxing facility. The problem with shaving is that I have coarse hair down there and am thus subject to in-grown hairs that lead to bumps and scarring and do not allow my vagina to live up to its full beauty potential. Even keeping the shaving to the barest minimum I can tolerate if I don’t want to look like a wild jungle bush woman, which is every 2 weeks, doesn’t help matters.

I typically have resilient skin which fades scars well, but essentially re-irritating my skin every 2 weeks with the shaving hinders any progress. Once I started waxing regularly, my skin down there was doing really well, but shaving has sent it all back to hell.

My only initial reluctance in trying laser hair removal centered on fiscal concerns. Carly had gotten some done a while back and I remember her saying it ran her a little over a thousand dollars. So as far as I was concerned, it was something that I COULD spring for if I had extra money to blow or saved up for a little bit, but it wasn’t going to be a high priority expense.

But recently I was doing some browsing on Groupon for travel purposes and saw that there was a category for laser hair removal specials so I started exploring some of the options. Firstly based on price and then secondly on reviews. When pricing out anything with many options, I definitely try to go cheaper than the most expensive, but am also wary of anything that seems too-good-to-be-true cheap because that usually means too cheap to be good.

I found some appetizing deals for 6 sessions, which is a standard minimum course of treatment, but then the Groupon fine print became a separate issue. The Groupons were only good for 90 – 120 days for the most part, which only gives you 3-4 months to complete treatment before the special expires. Laser hair removal can only be performed every 5-6 weeks due to the hair growth cycle. Lasers can only target hair follicles in the actively growing stage, so that’s why multiple sessions are necessary. So 6 sessions for one area would take a minimum of 7 months. If I only have up to 4 months to use a Groupon, that presents a problem.

In any case, the place I narrowed my search down to was sold out of 6-session specials for a “large” area (which would encompass a brazilian) anyway. But I liked their reviews so I decided to call them to explore pricing options without going the Groupon route. I called last Thursday and they invited me in for a consultation that evening.

I liked the setting and the doctor seemed like he knew what he was talking about. I am considered a good candidate because I am fairer skinned with dark hair, so the pigment contrast helps the laser target the hair follicles more accurately. He also explained that laser hair removal is actually not literally “permanent,” as hormonal changes could renew the treated follicles or whatever, but that successful cases may only require a touch-up once or twice a year or so.

Cool. I’ll take that over waxing or shaving regularly any day. I was offered 6 sessions for $697.00 for full brazilian removal, which included a discount for buying the sessions ahead. Let’s see…I got waxed regularly for 18 months every 5 weeks at about $55.00 a pop, so that was almost $800 spent right there for only temporary results. SOLD! I scheduled my first session for that Saturday.

I was nervous about the pain factor. I heard everything from that it feels along the same as waxing to people making it sound worse than natural childbirth. For me, it was about the same as a wax. At least for the first session. The technician said she starts out “conservative” for the first time in case your skin doesn’t take too kindly to it. I suppose the next session might be a bit more intense.

Time-wise, it didn’t take more than 10 minutes. It’s just a zap to each spot and then she moves on to the next. It was so easy that I made a game-time decision to throw in my underarms as well. They still had a Groupon available for 6 sessions for a “medium”/underarm area that was so cheap that I wouldn’t even have been that worried about it expiring before I could get through all 6. But she told me I could just bypass the Groupon and buy the 6 directly at the same rate, so that’s what I did. So she did my underarms as well.

The only thing I’ve noticed over the past few days is a minor itchiness, more so in the underarms than down below. And that is normal. I can’t really tell if it has worked thus far. You have to be shaved before each treatment, so it’s not like you can literally see hair falling out. I won’t be able to tell until my hair down there starts growing back. I shave my underarms daily so that won’t be a good gauge, but I intend to forgo shaving down there altogether (except for bikini line maintenance) except for when my treatments come about so I should be able to see progress when it grows out each time. The treated follicles, from what I understand, should shed hairs and at least be growing in thinner or not at all, so I think what happens is that as you go along, your hair starts growing in patchy (the technician described it specifically as “zebra stripe” pattern), and as more of the follicles get treated as the sessions go along , you will have 80%  or more hair reduction.

Exciting, huh? Maybe not really…

 

Hatred Cradles

I turn 35 later this year and for some reason the thought of doing so has seemed so especially dreadful lately. I feel like I’m at my peak right now in terms of beauty and vibrancy and youthfulness and for some reason, at the stroke of midnight on my 35th birthday, that all starts to automatically decline and I officially become less desirable.

In short, I guess I’m starting to feel my biological clock ticking ever so louder, and not really feeling like I have anything to show for it. There is a small part of me that still ideally would like to explore the idea of having a kid or 2 at some point in life, so I suppose what’s frightening is the fact that no matter how young I may look and feel, my reproductive system declines more every year that passes. And should the auspicious occasion ever arise where I find a suitable candidate to reproduce with, it may be significantly more difficult, or impossible, to do so. Even worse, the opportunities I’ve had so far to bring life into the world will come back to haunt me. Maybe it’ll be my just desserts.

But on the other hand, being completely devoid of romance at the moment doesn’t seem like such a bad deal.I’m starting to think love just may not be in the cards for me. I’m not bitter, I’m not unhappy, I’m not depressed really at the thought of that, I’m just starting to come to the realization that that just might be what my destiny is and maybe instead of fighting against it, I should learn to accept it and to concentrate on other things.

Life seems so much simpler and less stressful when there’s no guy for me to worry about. When I’m not anxiously awaiting texts or continuously ruminating over whether *he* likes me or doesn’t like me. Even if a tad more gray and boring as well…but what’s the alternative?

The mere thought that I am worthy to someone, that someone out there is thinking of me and striving to make me smile, is a great feeling. I’m like a cat basking in the rays of the sun, slowly swishing my tail back and forth. Content. Then his attention wanes, the sun disappears, and I’m cold and lonely again. It blows.

People frequently gush over their “better halves” and how love has made them better people or enhanced their lives and blah, blah, blah, but I’ve never been able to share that sentiment. Romance to date has never made me a better person. I’m unequivocally all the worse for it. I’m anxious and needy and moody and at my most insecure. I’m bratty and whiny and pathetic.

“Isn’t it funny. I’m enjoying my hatred so much more than I ever enjoyed love. Love is temperamental. Tiring. It makes demands. Love uses you. Changes its mind…But hatred, now. That’s something you can use. Sculpt. Wield. It’s hard or soft, however you need it. Love humiliates you, but hatred cradles you.”

Ingrid Magnussen in White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Now, I’m not necessarily in complete agreement with Ms. Magnussen because she was seriously emotionally disturbed, but I can see where she’s coming from. I’m not a strong proponent of “hate” but I get her point about love. Because the periods in my life like right now, when there’s no one out there on my mind, I feel at my best. I’m confident and strong and secure. I feel beautiful and confident and like a force to be reckoned with.I don’t “hate” anyone, but in having no one to obsess over, I have more time to obsess about myself. In a good way.

And to be productive. I’ve lost weight, done a lot of reading, and as of late, with all the free time on my hands due to a lackluster social life (not just dating-wise, but also in terms of general drinking, which I’ve kind of lost the taste for as well), I’ve signed up for kickboxing and to tutor elementary school children in reading. I have also booked several traveling ventures for the year, including a trip to Costa Rica in December that so far just consists of myself. And whether I end up going alone or not doesn’t really matter.

That’s not to say I’m not lonely, because I am. As a heterosexual woman, I do miss having a male or several orbiting my atmosphere. Which is why I cracked over a week ago and renewed my Bumble account. Yet became quickly annoyed with seeing the same guys I used to see before, swiping left on most of that ilk. And also got annoyed  with the time limit stipulations (24 hours to open a conversation with a guy upon matching; but then he has to answer back within 24 hours as well or the match deletes), which made everything seem forced and rushed. Plus I wasn’t really a fan of being the one to have to initiate conversation 100% of the time.

I also called them out on the fact that they censor “gratuitous” swimsuit shots from women, yet I’ve seen a myriad of bathroom mirror selfies of bare-chested men. I sent them feedback, complete with an evidentiary screenshot, and got a form response. Screw you, Bumble.

So back to Tinder. And the quality of potential suitors is not at all impressive. I’m swiping left like 90% of the time because I’m being really discerning in who I match with, and most of these guys are not IT at all. But it’s a start I guess. Not that I’m expecting any miracles.

On another note…I ran across Benji’s profile on Bumble, promptly left-swiping. Then what do ya know – he texts me for the first time in 5 weeks, his explanation being that he got a vibe from me that I didn’t want to be bothered. Which is kind of true, but I didn’t want to be mean. He asked me out again for next Saturday and I told him I couldn’t make it. He then asked about Friday and I never answered.

 

Let’s Be Morbid

I was pleased to see that there had finally been an arrest in a murder case out of New York that I have been following for the last 6 months.

karina-vetrano
Karina Vetrano

Karina Vetrano was a 30-year old woman who had gone out for a late afternoon jog on August 2, 2016 near her home in Queens, New York. When she hadn’t gotten back by a certain time, her family got worried and started looking for her. Hours later they found her body in a weedy park area where she regularly ran (usually with her father). She had been beaten, raped, and strangled.

This case unsettled me more than the average murder partly because she reminded me of my general milieu (30-ish, attractive, fit), but more so because I think random murders that come about from innocuous activities are the most disturbing.

She wasn’t buying drugs or prostituting herself or doing any other thing that’s inherently risky, she just wanted to go for a run outside by herself in her own neighborhood while it was daylight outside. It was around the time where people are starting to commute home from work in New York City of all places – I guess that just goes to show that you’re never really safe anywhere.

And as someone who does the exact same thing from time to time, it certainly opened my eyes up a bit to how vulnerable I make myself in certain situations.

Particularly, a scenario comes to mind from several years ago in one of my old neighborhoods where I used to run regularly along a sidewalk path which formed a perfect 1.5 mile loop. There was about a 5-minute walk from out of my apartment of the time to get to said loop.

One day I was nearing the end of my run and starting to slow down as I approached the turn to get back to my apartment. Walking in the opposite direction was a guy around my age who was pretty unremarkable. We may or may not have made eye contact as we passed and I thought nothing else of him.

I slowed to a walk right after I passed him and soon after turned off the loop onto the street that leads back to my complex. Music helps me greatly in my running endeavors, so I had my iPod blasting away in my ear still as I cooled down. 5 minutes later I had just unlocked the the main door to my building and prepared to spring up the first flight of steps to get to my apartment on the second floor when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

I turned to see the guy I had passed on the tail end of my run not long before. He wanted to know if I had a boyfriend. I didn’t, but I wasn’t interested so I told him I did. He shied away and left after that and it was no harm, no foul.

However, a couple of things did occur to me after the fact that were unsettling:

  1. He had followed me home and I was completely unaware he was behind me during the whole 5 or so minutes it took for me to get there.
  2. He wasn’t just behind me, he was RIGHT behind me. I know this because the main door to my building was one of those that closed on its own and locked behind you after you were inside. As he was able to catch the door before it closed and locked,  he had to have been REALLY close behind me.

Luckily, this turned out to be an innocuous encounter, but if he had had nefarious intentions I would’ve been at a severe disadvantage. I do keep a firearm or two within reach in my house but I would’ve had to get to it first which would’ve been quite the challenge maybe.

Even still, there have been many more occasions that I have run outside with music in my ears, sometimes in the pre-dawn hours when it’s dark out and it feels like I’m the only one in the world awake at that hour. If I think of it, I put a pocketknife in my sports bra just in case, but I’m not sure how much that would help if someone were to roll up behind me really quickly and snatch me up into a van or to hit me over the head with something. I wouldn’t even hear them coming.

In any case, R.I.P. Karina. I just think that’s really sad.