Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 87 - Getting My Chest Waxed

I have never had my chest waxed. As a matter of fact, I’ve never had anything waxed. That changed today as a result of the first “I have never...” event that came about as a result of a friendly deal that backfired in a big way. Until this afternoon my “I have never...” plans for the day consisted of watching Lawrence of Arabia for the first time as a continuation of my ongoing effort to see one classic movie I have never seen each month. Unfortunately, some of my work colleagues had different plans in mind. Over the past few weeks two of my work peers, Amber and Lane, have been doing their best to try to convince me to go out for a bite to eat downtown this evening. Despite telling them weeks ago my “I have never...” plans for tonight wouldn’t permit me to attend the outing, Amber and Lane persisted in their efforts to recruit me. Although I stuck to my guns at first, I finally made a deal with them on Monday. Basically, I agreed I would join them for dinner if they could come up with something I had never done that I could take on the night of the gathering. In turn, the two of them spent a few days in thought and deliberation until they narrowed in on a few choices they thought would fit the mold. While the majority of their ideas proved unfit for my challenge, the idea of getting a chest wax surfaced, which set into motion an “I have never...” event that I would never forget.

Making good on my promise, I agreed to follow through with the chest waxing if Lane and Amber took care of the leg work finding a location and booking the appointment. Amber was happy to do so, sending me the details of the appointment less than a minute after I gave my reluctant commitment to follow through with the experience. In a flash, I was scheduled to have my chest waxed at Velvet Waxing Studio in downtown Madison at 6:45 tonight. I hardly had enough time to let the idea settle in before the commitment was made. Just like that, I was getting my chest waxed. There was no turning back.

Once my workday was complete I briefly stopped at my house ahead of the night’s events. Minutes later, Amber arrived to pick me up and head downtown. With Rachael preparing for dinner with one of her friends, I hardly had time to inform her of my plans before I was out the door and on my way to the waxing studio. From concept to reality, things were moving quickly with the chest waxing idea, which gave me little time to think about, and little opportunity to back down from, the forthcoming experience. After making the short trip downtown, Amber and I found parking near the Velvet Waxing Studio and made our way into the building. Inside a group of four women stood near a small desk at the front of the building. Upon entering, I enthusiastically announced my reason for being at the studio. “I’m Caleb, and I’m here to get my first ever chest waxing!” I said as I rubbed my hands together. In response, one of the women quickly spoke up. “Well, alright! I’m Taj. I’ll be taking caring of you today. Are you ready?” I hesitated slightly at her question, eventually stammering out some sort of affirmative reply. With that, Taj waived me into a small room near the front desk and closed the door.  Looking at the blanketed table sitting next to a row of small pots in the room I realized there was no turning back. As I stood before the table Taj was quick to give me some guidance, “Alright, take off your shirt, lay down, and I’ll get to work!” I had no choice but to follow her instructions. Whether I liked it or not, this was happening.

I had barely settled into position on the surface of the table before the first gob of hot wax struck my torso. Taj quickly swiped it over the surface of the small patch of hair at the center of my chest and prepared to remove it. Seconds later she patted a small piece of paper over the wax and pulled with force and speed. Although I knew what was coming, the movements were so sudden that the quick burst of pain caught me by surprise. It wasn’t bad, but it hurt enough to make me wince. Continuing, Taj repeated the process over and over, slowly removing hair from isolated locations on my chest. Seconds felt like minutes as she worked, dropping hot wax on me and yanking hair from my body in orchestrated movements. I did my best to distract myself with idle conversation as she progressed, but the efforts were pointless. Each sudden swipe of her hands sent sharp hits of pain ringing through my body and left me wondering how long the process would take.

This one hurt... a lot.
Still coming to terms with the ongoing experience, I laughed off the pain and did my best to follow Taj’s movements. With Amber snapping pictures and chuckling along with me, I made a few comments about the ridiculousness of the whole affair as Taj proceeded to my stomach. There she kept up her rapid pace, removing what little hair I had with swift peeling movements. To my surprise, the areas with less hair stung much more than the areas on my chest, which caused reflex responses in my abdomen each time Taj pulled a strip of wax from my body. This cycle continued little more than a minute longer before Taj wiped my torso with oil and pulled back from the table. “There! We’re done!” Taj exclaimed as she looked over her work. In response, I sat up on the table and looked down at my beat red chest. In roughly five minutes my first, and likely last, chest waxing was complete, but I would come to find the stinging sensation would remain for some time...


For the rest of the night I periodically recognized the unfamiliar feeling of fabric on my waxed torso. Each time I noticed the feeling it felt odd, but I was quick to dismiss it as “a part of the territory.” It felt strange, but so was every other aspect of today’s “I have never...” event. The Velvet Studio staff was welcoming, Taj was great, and the experience was certainly one to remember, but I don’t think I will find myself lining up for another chest waxing anytime in the near future. I just don’t see a reason to go through with the awkward and somewhat painful experience for the sake a temporarily hairless torso. Even as I write that sentence, the very concept still seems strange to me. Despite that perspective, I can now say I had my chest waxed, and that’s something I never thought I would experience in my life. This “I have never...” thing is turning into one wild ride!

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