I was not one of those girls who can't wait to shave their legs and beg their mothers to let them do it. Actually, I don't even think the idea ever entered my mind. It was my mom who brought it up to me, and I remember the exact day that it happened. I was in the seventh grade and wearing my St. Francis Saints Cheerleading uniform for the first time. It was ultra-chic--a white sweater with big puffed sleeves and a white polyester skirt with blue and gold peeking out of the darts. My squad was going to a competition at the local mall, and before leaving, my mom casually mentioned, "Would you like to shave your legs before we go?"
I replied with something to the effect of, "Ummm, no. I'm good."
Probably not wanting me to be embarrassed by my woolly mammoth legs, my mom prodded further, "Why don't we; I think it would look nicer." I relented, but, let me tell you, I was not happy about it. It was just the start of an annoying habit that I would have to keep up with for the rest of my life.
Oh, believe me, I have looked into ways to avoid this, but the electrolysis is a bit pricey, and I can't fit regular leg waxings into my schedule. There was a time when I was in high school that I found a home waxing kit in our bathroom that belonged to my mom. It said on the box that your leg hair didn't grow back as fast after waxing. Perfect! It also said that your leg hair had to be a certain length for the waxing technique to be successful. Again, perfect! I used that as an excuse to not shave my legs for the next month (did I mention this was in the summer?) I knew it had gotten pretty bad when a bunch of my friends and I had to pile into someone's car for a trip to the movies, and no one wanted to sit by me...for fear of getting scratched by my leg hair. And, I never did get around to using the waxing kit.
I'm also pretty sure that my anti-shaving feelings are directly linked to the invention of that glitter lotion that was so popular in the 90s. During my freshman year I was on the football cheerleading squad, and there was a streak of cold weather that season that left us wearing our warm-up pants at games. I, of course, used this as a justification for not shaving my legs for several weeks. But this caught up to me when I showed up for a game and found out that we were back to wearing the skirts--and there was no time to run home to shave my legs. That night, my blonde leg hair glistened under the bright stadium lights, creating a lovely shimmer. I'm certain that some spectator with an entrepreneurial spirit noticed and sold the idea off to Bath and Body Works. My leg hair is probably entitled to millions of dollars of profit!
As much as I complain about shaving my legs, I still (begrudgingly) do it. Okay, so there was that one time in the winter when my leg hair got so long as to incur static electricity, but that was just once. And, I'm always surprised by how little time it actually takes, which kind of makes my "I don't have time to do it" excuse invalid. Over the years I have come to terms with the fact that I must shave my legs for others, if not for myself. Because you don't want your family and friends jumping in alarm any time your leg happens to rub against them. There are enough rodents in the world to garner that reaction.