The “Lost Pages” of Epiphanies, Theories, and Downright Good Thoughts…

Not everything I write makes it to print. And that’s a good thing. If everything a person wrote made it to the presses, then I’m sure they’d be met with moderate to limited success. Even guys like Mark Twain and Shakespeare cut a few things from their original scripts before their work went public. That’s just the way it goes. As such, my latest book may not be up there with the likes of these great writers (not yet, right?), but I can feel their pain with all the chopping and editing I did before I sent the latest “Epiphanies, Theories, and Downright Good Thoughts…” out the door.

One such chapter that met its fate early on was a short essay on “shaving”. You know, the act of cutting unwanted hairs from various surfaces of the body. Though this may seem like an obvious topic to touch upon when you’re a bachelor, I honestly felt like I’d be losing some of my female audience. Yes, I’m fully aware that women shave too, but to tell tales about shaving beards, shaving chests, or shaving belly buttons to eliminate unwanted belly button lint – yeah, I didn’t see the relevance. But in the spirit of good fun, I decided to pick out some parts of that chapter and put them on my blog.

Hope you enjoy. – J.C.L.

Hair – it’s probably the one thing that will confuse a person greatly as it pertains to men and women. Forget courtship, dating and the pursuit of love – I’m talking about hair here. Guys want it on their bodies when it’s convenient but hate the thought of it on women. Conversely, women like a well-groomed man, but despise the very feel of the stuff on themselves. What a conundrum hair must find itself in. Unwanted, unloved, and constantly poking itself up in the strangest places.
Since I’m a guy, I have a love/hate relationship with the hair on my face. Sometimes I like the sight of my beard; other times, I wish it’d never grow back. And thus, I’d be rid of that strange area by my cheek where only a single, solitary hair grows. Most bothersome if you’re not cognizant of this unwanted passenger. For if a date or a close friend happens to point out the half inch of hair sticking out beneath your eye, you’re sunk. And there’s no going back after that. Embarassment and shame will only follow; as will a quick pluck via a set of tweezers but even that does very little to keep that bugger from growing back in a month’s time. Oh well, I suppose. You do what you can.
And that’s precisely what I do with my own hair – just what I can.
I’ve never been an overly hairy fellow, but I can at least lay claim to having a full head of hair well beyond my 25th year. Some guys I know? Well, they’re about as bald as a cue ball. So I’ve always been lucky in that regard. But what about my face? Now that’s another story.
I don’t think I got facial hair (and I mean real facial hair) till I was about 17. I had small outcroppings on my jaw, under my pits, and naturally in other places (which we won’t go there) but beyond that, I was a naked child. No mane to flaunt around like an alpha lion and certainly no power ‘stache that told the ladies, “Yes, I have plenty of testosterone for all of you.” No, that just wasn’t me. But when I got to college, everything changed. I started shaving once every 3 days (a rarity); then once every other day, and soon, I had to shave every day just to make myself look presentable. The term “five o’clock” shadow actually made sense to me now.
So that’s what it means, I thought. And there it was – I felt like I’d made it. I finally had a healthy layer of hair growing on my face. That meant something, did it not? To a six foot tall, 150-pounder at age 20, yes – it most certainly did.
But, as it can, the allure of possessing something new and exciting will fade quickly into a state of disillusionment if you’re not careful. For as I was shaving my face daily, I was neglecting to see how more hair was gathering upon my chest, congregating in groups and eventually forming a marching band line all the way down to my belly. It was here that my hair stopped to set up shop and once it did, it began another altogether ridiculous project – creating an entrapment device specially designed for accumulating large amounts of lint.
Why? I don’t really have the answer, but that’s what happened. For some reason my body thought it’d be funny to start gathering the loose fabric from my shirts. It was as if my belly button had some hidden objective. One that I was completely unaware of until I noticed a large wad of blue cloth protruding from my midsection.
Honestly, I wasn’t that startled to discover this but when I pulled out the first real ball of lint, I swear I saw my intestines come creeping out. That’s how deep this stuff was.
I resolved to let the situation sit a while until I decided what to do about it. Should I cut all the hairs around my belly button? Or do I just make it a habit to relieve my torso of the lint every evening before I go to bed? I didn’t want to make the hair any thicker around my waist by cutting it constantly, but I definitely wasn’t going the route of waxing either. I’d heard enough horror stories from women to never want wax anywhere near my body. So that was out of the question.
And so, I let it sit. And I removed lint day-in and day-out. Until one day I got tired of the process and shaved the hair off.
In hindsight, this was a stupid decision. I itched like crazy and if I stood in the light at the proper angle, it looked like I had a small sun lying on my belly. Yes, this was not a very nice situation.
Oh well then, right? I had tested the waters and experienced the stinging pain of the result. My stomach hair and I may never be on equal terms again, but I sincerely hope the hair on my head doesn’t hold a grudge for my earlier acts of discontent. I’d certainly like to keep those hairs around. For as long as I can

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