When I was an infant, my mom had a nickname for me: her Gorilla Baby. That’s because I was a preemie, and I had hair on my back when I was born. Had I been given the extra four weeks I was entitled, to, that hair would’ve fallen off or dissolved or whatever happens with regular babies.
But Gorilla Baby was prescient, because I am—how to say this?—follically blessed.
And so, in middle school, Mark W. was kind enough to point out that my legs were hairier than his. I went home and relayed this information to my mother. “Huh, he’s right,” she said, frowning. “I guess you got your father’s hair.” She, of course, is a redhead with smooth, white, nearly hairless skin.
“Can I start shaving my legs?” I asked, naive little waif that I was. (I use the term “waif” loosely here).
Now, I don’t think Mom had intended on inflicting child abuse upon her middle child, but she plugged in her Lady Razor (or Soviet instrument of torture) and demonstrated how to use it on her nearly hairless legs.
Then it was my turn. My never-before-shaved, innocent, hairy legs awaited.
The Lady Razor got to work, ripping and snarling my leg hair, making sounds like a chainsaw stuck on a knotty oak tree.
“It doesn’t hurt for me,” Mom said, confused. “But then again, you are my little Gorilla Baby.”
It was a few more months before I learned about regular old leg shaving and the chemical burns you can get from Nair. But that’s a story for another time.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! Thanks for trying!