Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ugly Secrets

1989: We are sitting in my friend K's all-white bedroom, drinking pink champagne and confessing.

"I can never get married," K says. "I bite my toenail cuticles."  We all look at her.  She twists one flexible leg to show us that her foot can reach her mouth, but does not further demonstrate.  We nod.  That is disgusting, she can never let her future husband know.

"I have these," I say, and push up the leg of my cutoff to reveal stretch marks on my inner thighs.  "I look like I was mauled by a lion."  My friends peer over.  At the time I considered the bright marks my number one beauty concern.  I was ruined, I believed.  They faded over time; they're pretty much invisible now.

S begins to explain to us that no man will ever be permitted to see her ass which, she tells us with sad eyes, is much bigger than it looks with clothes on.  She is interrupted by K who has another confession.

"Ingrown hairs!" she laments, "I go to town on them for hours with the tweezers.   I could never do this if I lived with a man.  Seriously you guys, take my tweezers away from me!"

That leaves only Z.  Her blond head (the only un-bleached one in the room) rests on her knees.   She looks up shy, almost frightened.  

"Okay, I'll tell you," she says, "but I know it's bad.  I can really never get married."  We give her our attention and she sighs before beginning.

"You know how long my driveway is, right?  When I get off the bus after school, I hate walking up my driveway, it's so long, and all uphill, and my backpack is really heavy."  We don't see where this is going.  "I wait until the bus is gone so no one sees me.  Then I kind of lean over..."   Z unfolds her long, tan legs and stands up to demonstrate.  "I hold my bag with one arm, way up on my back..."  Z hangs her other arm down and begins and weird, swaying walk.  "I pretend I am a camel."

We don't think this qualifies as a beauty confession, but it is... interesting.  

She's coming to town next week.  I need an update on whether the boyfriend she lives with knows this dark secret.

Some of my friends still tell me they, "cannot be trusted alone with tweezers."