The Strange Faces of Quarantine Self-Care

Guys. Guys. Today I shaved my legs. Yes, legs, as in both of them. YES, during Quarantine. YES, even though pretty much all those legs have seen in the past 5 weeks is the insides of joggers, sweats and yoga pants. If you’re wondering if that means I haven’t shaved the other 36 days of quarantine so far…well…I am going to let you choose your own adventure on that one. Now, this may not be a quarantine victory per se, but it definitely deserves an honorable mention. 

If you must know (which you’re probably thinking you mustn’t) I have always had a hate/hate relationship with shaving. I know, I know. It’s crazy. It’s so un-American of me to despise this practice that was concocted by conniving Gillette marketing men as a way to sell even more razors. (Check it, ladies, it’s true). I mean, who wouldn’t want to crouch awkwardly in a slippery shower and try not to fall on their face while scraping a 3-tiered blade across the skin behind your knees. You practically  need a side view mirror to make sure you get every spot and don’t cut yourself. Why wouldn’t I love that?

When I married my husband, who grew up as one of four boys, he was in for a big surprise. He did not know that females grew leg hair. Or maybe he didn’t know that if removed it would literally grow back a little every day just like his facial hair. Can’t blame him, the only time he’d seen women shave must have been in those danged Satin Care shaving cream commercials, you know, the ones where a model is shaving a completely hairless leg. Like, she actually never had any hair there ever at all but she was just doing it for fun. Because she just wanted to buy a pink razor to be in the shaving club. And she wanted to pay more for it than the blue ones. I digress…

A college roommate of mine got engaged while we were living together. She was tall, leggy and beautiful. Her Ken-doll fiancé teased her once about spikey legs and she looked him in the eye and promised not to shave until their wedding day. And she didn’t. So the first time my husband commented on my spikey day or two’s worth of growth, I believe I took it as a challenge. You can imagine how my new husband’s comment went over with me. The best part was when it had been long enough that the hair on my legs got smooth and unnoticeable, you know, like all of our leg hair would have always been if we had never started shaving it in the first place. And he exclaimed gleefully, “Your legs are so smooth! You must have shaved!” Nope, just my natural boss woman self by now. In those first few years of our marriage I explained to him several times that shaving your legs every day is pretty much not even a thing. Especially during the winter amiright? Tell me this isn’t a thing…

Anyways, with the charged history between me and leg-shaving, why did I do it today? On a day when society and people around me would have very least expected it? Well, folks, I did it because I was in a little need of a luxury. (Cue 1950s Gillette commercial.)

With an endless vista ahead of me of home life surrounded 24/7 by my adoring husband and angel children, I am getting desperate for a few minutes alone. For moms, trying to get a moment to yourself during Quarantine is like hoping to see a total eclipse of the sun during your lifetime from where you live. Most likely not happening, mama. And so, in my moment of desperation, in the depth of my need for solace, shaving my legs took on a role reversal. Something I usually hate making time to do turned into one thing that would allow me to stretch out my time alone in the tub.  Confession: I do kind of like the way my shaved legs feel inside aforementioned joggers. Like a glamourous little secret. (Thank you, Gillette, for creating that illusion.)

As strange as it sounds, freshly shaved legs were just the pick  me up I needed today in this age of Groundhog Day-like reality when one day blends into the next. It was a surprising act of self-care that filled my cup just the tiniest bit. So whatever weird, unexpected thing feels like a small luxury to you right now – do it. Treat yo’self, mama. Burn that candle Aunt Marge gave you two Christmases ago. The one that is shaped like a rose and is too pretty to use. Enjoy the scent of it and let the flame hypnotize you as it dances. Wear the sweater – the one you picked up at the end-of-season sale and haven’t worn yet because you also are working at home in your joggers. Sweaters and joggers are a thing (I would know). Enjoy the softness of it against your skin. Get a good look at it in the mirror. Use up that bath bomb, the expensive one with the essential oils and rose buds. Paint the toenails no one will see. Read under the covers. Eat off of the china. Do your hair or your makeup, or don’t. Open the perfumed lotion that you usually save for date nights because it was expensive and smells too pretty for washing dishes and changing diapers. Rub it into your hands and your unshaven legs (it’s fine if they’re shaved, no judgement here…) Breathe in and allow yourself to relive the memories that accompany that scent.  

Do one thing today that feels like a luxury. Even if it isn’t really. Especially if it isn’t really.

What have you done during this shelter-in-place that feels like a luxury but normally would not?

 

*Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com

 

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