blood lines

I don’t understand why they can’t market hair removal products to women without being utterly condescending. The worst is the Intuition, which instantly puts a Shakira song in my head anyway, but to add insult to injury, they also show these women who can’t handle holding a razor. It’s always flying across the room, soap shooting out from their luxurious bubble bath. “Ooopsy! I dwopped my waazor! I sure wish someone would hewp widdle naked me.”


This has always bothered me, from the Nair women and their dumb short shorts. If you weren’t burning hair off your body, then you didn’t earn your tiny bike shorts. Fine. Then there was that shaving cream that all the other women at the pool were using, and if you weren’t, then you had an enormous band-aid on your leg and everybody was laughing at you. Why do they assume women can’t handle the razor? Why do they think we just hack at ourselves and then apply enormous bandages to our legs and hit the pool? (Apparently I’m not the only one with opinions on this topic.)

I was most insulted at the Venus, simply because there’s nothing wrong with the Mach 3. No, really. I fell in love with the Mach 3.

The Mach 3, at one point, had a FAQ on their website (shut up. It was a long time ago, and I wrote an article about the Mach 3. Shut up about that, too. It was for a Canadian public rock newspaper. Shut up about that, too. I’m awesome!) Anyway, the FAQ asked, “Can women use the Mach 3?” And the answer was something like, “Don’t worry, ladies. We’re working on something for you, too. But the Mach 3 is really for men.”

And if you know me, you know those last four words were going to cement my loyalty to the Mach 3. Fuck you for telling me I’m not allowed in your three-blade club. That and the Mach 3 is a good tool. It costs a billion dollars in replacement blades a year, and it’s so bad they have to go and get them in the back because everybody wants a Mach 3 and people will steal the blades and sell them on the black market and I get it because it’s a really good shave.

I had two Mach 3’s, in fact, because… I don’t know. I needed two. And over the course of one month, I lost both of them. One stayed behind at stee’s mom’s house. The other I forgot at the gym. So I had to buy a new razor.

It’s one in the morning on Friday. I had just gotten out of work and got myself to the store. The Mach 3 needs some store clerk to fetch because it’s under lock and key and I was in no mood. Then I saw the lady Mach 3, the Venus. And yes, it has that stupid song. But at least it didn’t vibrate, insinuating that my home life needs way more stimulation than I can imagine. Why would you put vibrating razor blades near anything that sweet and tender? (I am, of course, referring to my ankle bones, Mom.)

So I bought the Venus, because it was cheaper, and there were lots of replacement blades, which were cheaper, and it was late and I was tired and I’d gone three days without shaving and I was disgusting.

The Venus is lighter and feels to be made of cheap plastic. But the edges are round, which… clear areas without the normal drag, and because it’s lighter it… okay, you get the point. It passed test one with flying colors. I’m so excited about it passing the test, that I’m in the shower shaving the other 30% of my body thinking about how I let shitty marketing keep me from a great little tool. I’m thinking about how happy I am to have found the Venus, and how my bank account will be happier, and I’ll no longer fight over replacement blades with my husband when–

I look down and see my left leg is streaked in blood. I don’t know how I did it, but I had cut myself in three places on my leg. I didn’t feel a thing, until the water hit it seconds later and there was soap and cuts and ow.

But check it out. I use a man’s razor for years and years and I never cut myself. One morning with the girlie razor and I look like a secret cutter on a bender. Was I shaving over-enthusiastically? Was I pressing too hard because I’m used to the weight of the Mach 3? Were the blades just too extraordinary? Or am I just a dumb widdle gurwl who can’t handewl all dee sharpie things! Hewlp me!

Or is it that they make the women’s razors intentionally shittier because they know we’re not the most brand-loyal people? They know we’ll keep looking for something better, shinier, pinker, and prettier. The Mach 3 never had to change. It never insinuated that I wouldn’t be able to handle its power. It never once hurt me or made me bleed.

Yes, I do think this much about my hair removal products. What the hell do you think about when you’re in the shower?

[insert smooth segue here…]

So I broke it to my mother that my name won’t be in the credits for the television show. This has something to do with me being a staff writer, and the way Writers Guild makes their rules and I don’t know. I don’t really get it, but fine. It’s how it’s done. The only person who cares is my mom, because she just wants to see her daughter’s name on a television screen. I still can’t get her to understand that my name was on the Comedy Central show, so if they put Season One on DVD, I’ll be able to buy her a gift of a show she’ll never watch, but my sister will find very funny.

Mom’s disappointment was more than audible. Then she asked, “Did you see the bad review you got in TV Guide?”

“No, Mom. I didn’t.”

“They thought your show had too much sex in it. And they said mean things, too. I’ll go get it.”

And then she did. And then she read it. And it made me really happy, because for the first time ever, when Mom asked me about work, she knew what I was doing. She was able to see evidence of my work all the way over in her house.

Let me explain.

She has been disappointed in the past not finding me on HBO when I auditioned for Aspen, not finding me on HBO after I performed in Aspen, not finding me on Comedy Central, and not finding my latest release under fiction. She has been sad to learn why a spec script isn’t a script that’s ever going to be on television, and why an option on a feature doesn’t mean someone’s going to make my movie, and how even though stee can sell a television show, that doesn’t mean it’ll ever be on the air. After all the various other wonderful good-news/bad-news ways Hollywood can hand you a break, this is different than all the others.

This is the first time my mother has called to tell me news about the show I was working on. I don’t care that it was a bad review. And honestly, someone thinking a show I’m working on is too dirty is absolutely nothing new. I’ve been called too blue throughout most of my comedy career. My chick lit book is nasty in parts. I’m okay with that. I’m thirteen.

So my mom called to tell me about what I’m working on. This is… I really cannot explain this to you. My mom knew something I didn’t about my show, and wanted to tell me about it. This wasn’t me trying to explain Aspen, or explaining a showcase audition or me trying to make her understand that it’s a huge deal to me that one of the Kids in the Hall was taking direction from me. It made me feel really good because my mom was proud of me, and for a change, she knew exactly what she was proud of. It was something in her world, not mine, and she could talk about it with her friends, and they knew what she was talking about. It’s really quite a milestone in our relationship.

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