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An Ode to the Hair Down There

Stories about my Mamaw.  A repost today, because it is mine and MTM’s 8th wedding anniversary. This series is a gift to my cousin Lori, who only met our Mamaw once that she remembers. Set in the hillbilly hollows of Eastern Kentucky. Part of Lori’s and my collective heritage probably includes DNA from both the Hatfields and McCoys. That’s just how things roll around those parts. To read the series from the beginning, click here.

I have a confession to make. I’m a hairy person. This dreadful situation was particularly upsetting for me as a junior high school girl. Because I was (and still am) white as a sheet, hair really stood out on me, especially my natural chocolate brown color back then. Paper white legs plus inch-long blackish hairs equalled SCARY BOY REPELLANT.

What was worse was that my Mom would not allow me to shave my nasty legs. She was convinced that, once I started shaving them, I was no longer her little girl. If she could just keep me from taking that step into womanhood, all would be well in her world.

Thank Mamaw (her mother) for taking pity on me. She thought I looked like Big Foot and was determined to help me out of my hairy predicament.

Without asking my Mom’s permission, Mamaw took my hand and led me to the bathroom. Dramatically, she announced over her shoulder that she was shaving my legs for me. My Mom shouted, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” and came running from another part of the house.

But my Mamaw was too quick for dear old Mom. She stood there with the bathroom door open until Mom peeled around the corner. With a cackle, she shut it in her face and locked it. She and I were in there alone.

Mamaw didn’t use the shave cream and razor on me, either. Oh no. Instead, she got out her electric model and revved it up with as much noisy gusto as it could muster. She even took it to the door and put it next to the crack at the bottom, just so the sound could filter out to my helpless Mom, who was banging her fists on the door and screaming, “Don’t do it! Don’t do it! Don’t do it!”

Turning back to me with a sparkle in her eye, she ordered me to hoist my leg up on the toilet. While my Mom continued to rage outside, Mamaw and I laughed until tears were streaming down our faces. In the span of a few minutes, she had shorn my legs of all their unsightly dark hair, leaving me clean and boyfriend-worthy for the first time in my pathetic little life. I emerged from the bathroom with my Mamaw, holding the hand of the woman who had made me a woman.

Before she died, Mamaw and I had a final long conversation. One of the last things we ever shared was a laugh about how she defied my Mom and shaved my legs for me. Maybe it’s stupid, but every time I see a razor, I remember her.

And, I laugh.

53 Comments Post a comment
  1. this story is very familiar. my mum never let me shave my legs and every other girl in my year was doin it. I was 13 when I decided to grab a razor and do it myself. she was not happy. mum was afraid id ruin my skin, perhaps after reading this post that wasn’t the only reason. really enjoyed this post!

    congratulations on your 8th wedding anniversary! 🙂

    June 14, 2012
    • I really do think it is a growing up thing, plus Moms know what a pain it is to shave. Funny that we were about the same age when we started.

      June 14, 2012
  2. This is still hilarious the second time around.

    A very Happy Anniversary to you and the Lovely MTM.

    June 14, 2012
  3. Congratulations on your anniversary. Enjoy!

    June 14, 2012
  4. Alison Dailey #

    Today, celebrate finding kindred spirits in each other!

    June 14, 2012
  5. I just love this post! Good re-post choice! And the happiest of anniversaries!!!!!

    June 14, 2012
  6. Debbie #

    Happy Anniversary! When my mother finally allowed me to shave, I could only shave to my knee….no higher!

    June 14, 2012
    • Ha. That was all I was supposed to do as well………but I showed them. 😉

      June 14, 2012
  7. This tale’s just as funny the second time around! 🙂 Happy Anniversary!

    June 14, 2012
  8. Love it totally. Your mawmaw is my hero. I would loved to have seen this. You obviously have a lot of your grandmother in you. Rage on!!

    June 14, 2012
  9. What a fantastic woman. Laughed in her face. Oh wow. My Mom was convinced that if you shave your leg hair it comes back in thicker. She will not be persuaded that this is mythical nonsense.

    June 14, 2012
  10. This is my first time reading this post since I am a “newer” reader, but it was very funny and makes me remember way back when. Happy Anniversary!

    June 14, 2012
  11. James Moffitt #

    Happy Anniversary to you and MTM. We wish you many more years of marital bliss and harmony. Hugs

    June 14, 2012
  12. Happy Anniversary!!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this repost! Yes, I’m a hairy one also, but thank goodness my hair was blonde – although the kids called me many different names for my hairyness and I cried and cried and cried…I finally snuck my Dad’s shaver (you know the kind, the ones where they were double edge and you had to place the razor in and twist the bottom of the razor to get the top to close over the blade) and shaved my legs…yes, there was massive amounts of bleeding but I felt clean for the first time in my young 13 year old life. 😉

    I love your MAMAW! What a beautiful memory!

    June 14, 2012
    • My Dad shaved with one of those things for the longest time. He still may, for all I know. A good memory, Lori. 🙂 Thank you.

      June 14, 2012
  13. Oh, the things our parents do to us! Happy aniversary!

    June 14, 2012
  14. Oh, God, this story is PRICELESS! I LOVE it. Where is the LOVE button?

    And happy anniversary to you and MTM!

    Hugs,
    Kathy

    June 14, 2012
    • I really love this one, too. Have for a long time. I wish there were a Love button, because Like is often not enough. 🙂

      June 14, 2012
  15. God, I love this post. Worlds more entertaining that the first time I shaved my legs. The school counselors reported that I’d been “slashed” for a few days after my first hairless incident 🙂

    June 14, 2012
    • I’m sure the first time I did my own, it was a horror show of blood……

      June 14, 2012
  16. I love this! Shared divilment 😉

    June 14, 2012
    • What are grandmothers for if not to put their daughters in their place?? 🙂

      June 14, 2012
  17. I simply love this post and can see you and your MaMaw doing this and your mom being frantic! Nothing is worse being a hairy 13 year old girl! And Happy Anniversary to you and your sweet Michael! Love you both.

    June 14, 2012
  18. Jill Clary Stevenson #

    We’ve talked about this one before. I was in the 7th grade and, of course, EVERYone else was shaving their legs except me. My mom said if I made all “A”s on my report card for the year, I could shave. You can bet your bottom dollar I made the Principal’s Honor Roll that year!

    On another note, I just got off the phone with a girl at Southeastern Freight in Asheville named…. Andra! I referred her to your blog.

    June 14, 2012
    • I always love finding other Andras. I hope she will tune in and introduce herself. 🙂

      June 14, 2012
  19. Jill Clary Stevenson #

    Oh, and Happy Anniversary. Here’s to many more.

    June 14, 2012
  20. For a repost this fitted in so neatly. I love your Mamaw more and more with every word 😀 Happy wedding anniversary, both!

    June 14, 2012
  21. Charles Arnason #

    Mamaw is the greatest. Your are blessed to have her genes coursing through your DNA. May I add my congratulations on the anniversary of two new found friends.

    June 14, 2012
    • Thanks, Chuck. I hope this note finds you well. I guess you’re getting ready to be “DG to BE” in a few days, along with Grand Poobah Lou. I hope all goes well with your District’s installations.

      June 14, 2012
  22. Your mamaw sounds like my kind of lady! What a lovely and hilarious memory! I think I just defied my mother and did it 😉

    June 14, 2012
  23. Happy anniversary!
    My mom was the same way. I took matters in my own hands before I started high school. Oddly enough, she didn’t figure it out until I came home from college. Of course, by then, I was wearing a mini-skirt and couldn’t hide it. tee hee

    June 14, 2012
    • College?? Seriously?? Your mom really thought you weren’t shaving your legs by then? That is a great story, Penny.

      June 14, 2012
      • Yes! My mom was wonderful, sweet, loving, the greatest, but she could be easily fooled. She would have preferred me NEVER to shave my legs. Ma was the one the whole extended family teased and there are stories upon stories that keep us entertained still.

        June 15, 2012
  24. I do remember this story, Andra, because I just thought it was wonderful! Mawmaw to the rescue! I had dark hair, too, and my mom held on as long as she could. I was probably in about 6h grade, which was too long for me. But my grandmother never would defy my mother. LOL! Your Mawmaw was strong! And happy anniversary to you and MTM, Andra. How wonderful! Debra

    June 15, 2012
    • The dark hair thing was hard to carry, wasn’t it? Still is. I was grateful my Mamaw defied my Mom. 🙂

      June 15, 2012
  25. Wonderful.

    June 17, 2012
  26. Mawmaw was a good one…

    July 2, 2012

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