Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

There's a first time for everything ...

So, a couple weekends ago, I hit Chi-town for a two-day writers conference. (Oh, fine, it was in a suburb OUTSIDE of Chicago. Happy now, my little Chicago friends?)

Anyway, so I went to Chicago-or-the-vicinity-of for a conference, where I engaged in all kinds of firsts. Like ...

My first bikini wax. My buddy and conference roomie Manic Mom wrote about her own "spring cleaning" a few weeks before the conference, and I was like, "Omigosh, Manic Mom, you are SO BRAVE! Doesn't it hurt?"

"Nah," she said, then: "You should totally get one! I'll make an appointment and go with you when you come to town!"

"Ha ha," I said, but the wheels were turning. No shaving! For a month! "OK," I said, before I could lose my nerve, "let's do it."

I didn't touch a razor for a week and popped Aleve for 24 hours prior to the appointment as instructed, and then it was time. Time to lose my waxing virginity. (Well, kinda. I'd had my eyebrows done before. But that's like going to first base in comparison, you know?)

I clutched Manic Mom's hand with my sweaty palm and followed her and my Mistress of Pain Elena into the waxing room. Elena produced a paper thong. "OK, put this on, and we'll be right back!"

You know how people sometimes pull out of their own bodies in times of stress? Like, almost hovering above, watching themselves go through the motions? That's the mode I switched into. Robotically, I pulled on my little paper thingy, laid back on the table and locked my eyes to the ceiling.

Elena and Manic Mom burst through the door. "Are you OK?" Manic Mom asked, and I immediately shifted to another coping mechanism: talking and giggling incessantly.

"Am I, like, super hairy? Because Manic Mom told me, DO NOT SHAVE. Under ANY circumstances."
Elena: "Oh, no. Not at all."
(Nervous giggle) "I know, but REALLY. Because what are you going to say, I look like a gorilla? But REALLY, am I?"
Elena: "Really! Not even close."
(Nervous giggle, which raises sharply in pitch as soon as I feel the first bit of warm wax spread across my skin) "I can't believe I'm doing this. Can you believe I'm doing this? This is so funny. You must think we're totally crazy, huh, Elena? You'll be telling all your friends about the crazy girls who came in today. (Quick breath.) I'll be glad when it's done, right? And it won't take very long? Like 10 minutes? Because that's what I read on the Internet. I Googled it this morning while I was getting rea--"


OH. MY. GOODNESS. I see a flash. I'm not dying; rather, Manic Mom has just snapped a picture of my jaw-to-the-ground-in-pain face. Elena holds up the strip of wax flecked with pieces of hair. "Look!" she beams.

"Yeah, that's great." I can barely breathe.

It's torture, total torture. Ten minutes of hell. But the results? Fan-freaking-tastic.

My first time getting stuck in an elevator. Fresh from our trip to the salon, Manic Mom and I decide to grab some lunch. We step into an elevator with two guys sipping Slurpees, a Paris Hilton-wannabe sucking on a Tootsie Roll pop, and an older guy in gray coveralls standing by the button panel.

The doors close. The elevator moves. And then it stops. And then it moves a tiny bit more. And then it stops.

"I knew this would happen," says coverall guy.

"You knew it would stop?!" we reply. "Then why did you let us get on?"

He shrugs. Slurpee Boy 1 is trying to be cool, but he's freaking out. Totally, totally freaking out. "I hate elevators. And I'm claustrophobic. And I hate elevators," he says, gnawing on his straw. Slurpee Boy 2 is laughing at him. Paris Hilton is sucking on her lollipop, utterly impassive. "Quit eating!" orders Manic Mom. "We need to preserve our rations!" Slurpee Boy 2 sucks down some frozen goodness. "I'm serious!" she says, and directs her attention to Paris. "You too!" Paris blinks: "I have more in my purse."

Fortunately, it doesn't come to that. Five, maybe 10, minutes later, we all safely tumble out of the elevator onto the fourth floor. Slurpee Boy 1 starts breathing again, bless his heart.

My first time meeting Jess Riley! Jess was my other conference roomie for the weekend. We all had a GREAT time. Jess is fun and talented AND she has a book coming out next summer! (That's '07, kids, not '06. Because the publishing industry is sloooooow.) It's called Riding With Larry Resnick, and you totally need to buy it.

My first pitch to an editor. I walk into the room, I do my spiel, it seems to go over OK. We start talking about the girl-heavy genre it fits into. We somehow segue into enlightened guys who read, or at least exhibit a familiarity with, said girl-heavy genre. Somehow this all leads--in about 46 seconds, mind you--to the editor telling me about how her husband is six years younger than she is. She tells me she met him when she was 29 and he was 23.

"You bagged yourself a 23-year-old?" I exclaim, eyes wide, mouth open. "That's impressive!"

Yes, I complimented a polished, super-professional woman possibly in a position to influence my career on her younger man-bagging skills.

"You bagged yourself a 23-year-old," I said.

Thank goodness for the bikini wax, or I'd totally be mistaken for a guy.


At 2:13 PM, Blogger Manic Mom said...

Oh my God. You make me laugh SOOOOO much. You are my best internet friend in the world!

Aside from super-popular and beautiful Jess too! : )

PS--did you schedule your next wax?

PSS--there's MORE you forgot to share about the weekend, you know? You KNOW!

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

OK, letting yourself get photographed as you get your first cherry bust wax makes you a goddess. I saulte you.

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are too funny!

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Brenda Bradshaw said...

Holy crap! This is a riot! MM - post the pic!

At 11:49 PM, Blogger Manic Mom said...

Brenda--my mistake was I took the picture with SWISHY'S camera!

At 4:24 PM, Blogger Swishy said...

You guys are too nice! I can't wait to check out all of your blogs!

And, OK, OK, maybe I'll post the pic! HA.


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