I am about to reveal what is easily one of the most mortifying moments of my adult life (we don’t have time to go into moments of my childhood. That would take pages, books, endless inches of text).
I was living in my parents home during my sophomore year of college. Scratch that. I was living in my parents home precisely because I had just dropped out of my sophomore year of college (right now, in bewilderment, some of you are clicking on the “About Abby” tab to make sure you’re reading about the right Abby…but again, we don’t have the time for that adventure). One of my best friends was visiting and we were prepping for a night on the town, and we were running late. Impossibly late. Get your shoes on your feet and MOVE kind of late.
Of course I hadn’t even showered yet, so I certainly wasn’t ready for shoes. My friend sternly told me I had exactly two minutes to shower and get dressed or she would walk out the door without me.
“Not a problem,” I said breezily. “I’m not one of those people who needs twenty minutes in the shower.”
I hopped into the shower while she paced outside the door, applying and reapplying her lip gloss. I shampooed madly, scrubbed myself clean and was about to exit the shower and do the I-told-you-so dance to my friend when I realized what I would be wearing that night. A skirt. And a skirt only means one thing: the shaving of legs. UGH.
This was going to take FOREVER and we were going to hit traffic and I just didn’t have time and I hate doing it. But I had to; there is nothing good to say about female legs that haven’t seen a razor in several days.
It’s moments like these when I wonder how much time I would have saved by just doing it, rather than having a Hannity and Colmes-like debate with myself on the time it takes to shave versus the benefit of shaving.
So I grabbed the only razor in the shower, one that looks like the kind hotels provide for free: orange and white, a single pathetic blade, no sign at all that it will grace my legs smoothly. At least, being in the wrapper, it had never been used (thanks Mom!).
Naturally there wasn’t any shaving cream, just a bar of Dove and my hands to create the lather. I started shaving as fast as possible, working that soap and blade like they were born for each other. In order to keep my legs out of the stream of water from the shower head, I faced away from the faucet and put my leg on the side of the tub. I slid the razor up my lathered leg, then held the razor behind my back to rinse it before the next swipe. Things were going brilliantly — I was making good time.
All of a sudden, as I whipped my razor from my leg to behind my back, I felt a stab of stinging pain run up my backside. “What in the world?” I thought. Did something just BITE me?
I quickly stood up and strained to twist myself so I could see my back, and just as I turned my head I saw gushes of blood running down my leg.
I sliced my butt with the razor.
A huge, unbelievable four-inch gash was stamped across my butt cheek. I was in shock, staring at the most grotesque example of poor skill ever exhibited in the shower.
I grabbed my cheek with one hand and tried to reach for a towel but I couldn’t go anywhere without blood dripping down my leg. I couldn’t turn off the faucet, dry myself, and continually hold my butt cheek all at the same time. They don’t teach this in Home Ec.
I had no choice. What else could I do? I had to call for backup.
In a state of sheer humiliation that I knew could only worsen, I yelled for my friend to get herself in the bathroom. She opened the door and said, “What are you doing? We need to GO. Get dressed!”
And then she realized I was standing in front of her completely nude, one hand reaching for a towel and one hand holding my rear.
“I cut myself shaving my legs!” I cried. “But I didn’t cut my leg…I cut my tuchis!” Using Yiddish vocabulary always makes painful situations funnier, I apparently decided. I could barely finish my sentence before shaking with laughter.
“What were you doing shaving your ass!?” she yelled. Then I moved my hand and she saw the gash and screamed, and called for my mom. This was going from bad to worse.
Now I had both of them standing next to stark naked me, laughing uncontrollably and trying to find a bandage big enough for this laceration.
“Oh my gosh,” my clever friend said. “Aren’t you so em-BARE-ASSED?” Cute, my friend, very cute.
Few times in your life do you ever imagine that you will have your friend holding your butt cheek while your mother applies a bandage. Maybe when you’re four. Maybe when you’re in a coma. But most definitely not when you’re 20 years old.
At least it only left a scar in my mind, which I much prefer to a scar on my behind.