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The benefits of getting a closer look
JANE IS DRESSED as a clown here, but in reality we all have to joke about ourselves sometimes. Jane is no exception, and she gives herself (and Dane) regular opportunities to laugh about life.

VIOLA - Two years ago my razor fell off the rim of the tub and when I got out, instead of retrieving it I stepped on it. My decision to stop shaving was made for me: no razor, no shaving. 

Life rolled on. I was surprised when months later the hair on my legs seemed to stop growing. I shared this information with Dane one afternoon with an explanation.

“It must be like deodorant! When I stopped using deodorant I stopped smelling bad. I only smell funny now if I eat something terrible like fast food. Now that I stopped shaving, my hair has stopped growing! My leg hair must be like, ‘Argh, razor coming—grow, hair, grow!’ But when no razor comes it’s not forced to grow. It just lies dormant.”

Dane merely nodded. 

One less chore—I never gave shaving another thought.

But then summer came and I put on a pair of capris, baring my lower legs. Typing at my desk one day, I nonchalantly rubbed one foot over the skin of my other leg, thinking “Hmm, smooth.” But when I put on my cheap power 4.0 readers and crossed one leg over the other, I saw it: hair, lots of it!

No wonder Dane had only nodded. My legs were furry, which isn’t bad except when you not only believe they’re hairless, but you’ve told many people held captive in your fitness classes that your hair has stopped growing due to not shaving. 

The truth stings: I can’t see worth a darn anymore, my theories on shaving are wrong—and maybe I do stink from not wearing deodorant.

After my next class, where I confessed to many blank faces that not shaving doesn’tstop your hair from growing, I stopped at the local drugstore and found the aisle with a wide assortment of razors. I’m not keen on pink but that seems to be the overwhelming choice for women’s razors. The ones with the aerodynamic handles looked like they’d make the shaving chore go faster—unless a person hadn’t shaved in a couple of years and the drag slowed them down.

Channeling my home economics teacher, who taught us that bigger and more saves you money, I purchased the package containing three razors and dashed home. I could hardly wait to slink into the tub with a touch of lavender oil, my beloved Epsom salts, and my new razor. Dimming the lights, I grabbed a washcloth and soap and sank down as far as I could, with my head resting on the tub rim. 

I soaped up my left leg first and, starting at my ankle, made one smooth stroke up a few inches past my kneecap and to the side of it. Slick!

I started low again and took another run up my leg, this time slowing down to gently go over my kneecap. Awesome! 

After each pass up my hairy monster legs, I swirled the head of the shaver in the water to clean it off, then choose another route close to the previous one, continuing carefully around my calves and behind my knee. Zip, swirl, zip, swirl, each swirl releasing a tiny whirlpool of soap into the water.

I meticulously soaped up my right leg and proceeded again with some caution—no sense in cutting myself! Then, I gave my new pink razor a few extra swirls, set it on the edge of the tub, and sat up to turn the hot water on again.

I slipped back down, closed my eyes, and focused on my breathing and the thought of my newly shaved legs. If I were prone to having perfect moments in my life, this would’ve been one of them.

Hours later, sitting at my desk with my glasses on, fingers alternately flying over the keyboard and scribbling notes for a program I’m working on, I leaned down to pick up a pen I’d dropped. I snuck a peek at my newly shaved legs—and my heart plummeted. 

I rushed to the bathroom, grabbed my aerodynamic shaver, and discovered there was a clear plastic shield covering the blade. 

I lifted my arm and sniffed. Later when I told Dane about it, his head didn’t just nod—it dropped.