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Are you there, God? It's me, Kristin, and my pubes are turning grey.
Somewhere, my mother is in a cold sweat that I just typed that out. Like, literally sweating.
I’m writing this because my literary bonus mom, Judy Blume, was kind enough to warn me about all the amazing things that would happen to me when I was younger. I was fully prepared for fourth grade and all things maxi pads because of the storied author. I even learned about nocturnal emissions from her and gave the book to a guy friend because he shared his situation with me. What I wasn’t prepared for was the morning I went to the bathroom after a break from waxing and discovered a whole sea of grey hairs down there.
I wish I could say that I was cool about it. I wish that laissez-faire attitude about the hair on the top of my head had kicked in (I just don’t care about a gray hair here and there along my hairline.) But, I wasn’t. I freaked. FREAKED.
I hopped up, I did a full-on yogic bend to get a better look. There they were, shining brightly, waving at me like a geriatric fan club, beckoning for an even closer look. “Hi there! Sign up for AARP! Get those stocks in order!”
I fancy myself a relatively intelligent person. I’m aware that my pubic hair was going to inevitably go grey, as all the hair on my hair and body eventually will. Conceptually, I got that. When it actually HAPPENED, it was shocking. It was like the realization that all the diets you’ve tried in your twenties wouldn’t work anymore, that eating ramen noodles and drinking coffee for three days was no longer a viable option to losing a dress size.
Oh, and if you haven’t hit that realization yet, just wait for it. It’s a cold, cold awakening. The Kate Moss diet of a deep breath for breakfast, a cigarette for lunch and angst for dinner won’t work as you age. It backfires completely.
So, let me prepare you for that day you look down for the first time and see gray pubic hair, as I hope dear Judy would want me to do. Essentially, you will go through the five stages of grief:
Denial -- As in, “Wow, it must be the lighting in here. I thought I saw grey hair.” You’ll check again. Nope, it’s not the lighting.
Anger -- And you WILL get angry. Because it’s a cruel, cruel trick that as you go into your sexual prime, your body starts to turn on you. Oh, the vagina still works. As a matter of fact, your libido goes into overdrive. She wants what she wants and she wants it NOW. Strangely, the body that your brain thinks should be having all this sex is changing and things aren’t exactly where they were last year. It will piss you off.
Bargaining -- You’ll run through the litany of solutions. Maybe if your diet is different. Nope, that won’t work. If I only had more time to have sex with all the people I want to have sex with in my younger body, you’ll think. Too late. The grey pubes are a fact. They’re here and they’re weird and you need to get used to it.
Depression -- OK, so you snark, but there will come a period where you’ll get a bit bummed out about it. This is a signpost on the road to aging where you cannot return. You are getting older, your vagina is going to get older and adjustments will eventually have to be made. You may consider removing the evidence in this stage, promising to get Brazilians for the rest of your life, or dying your pubes. I don’t know about putting dyes so close to my lady parts. I think that whole thing went away with "Sex and the City" and the episode where Samantha freaks out and creates Bozo the Bush.
Acceptance -- And then you just move on. First of all, anyone who gets to see my snatch needs to feel like they just won the lottery. It’s damned awesome down there. If you’re close enough to see hair color, it’s a fucking gift. There should be a carnival sign with lights over my abdomen that says, “Lucky You” with an arrow pointing down, damn it. That’s a gift, people. So, you know, if you’re going to make a trip to Vagina Diner, there’s salt and pepper on the table. End of story.
At the end of the day, I’m exhausted with the whole hiding of aging thing. My age is a fact and I’m sexier now than I have ever been in my entire life. I’m in better shape, I feel amazing and the orgasms are so good I wish someone had told me when I was younger. I would have wanted to get older just to see them happen. They’re a thing to behold, regardless of what the draperies look like.
I wanted to write this piece because no one warned me, and so I’m warning you. The minute you see a gray hair down there, it will freak you out. All of society’s warnings about aging and drying up and “the change” and all that shit will flood to the front of your brain. It’s natural, so just let the feelings pass.
Then you’ll think of all the sex you’ll be having, of all the things you never have to learn again, like which condoms make you itchy and which guys aren’t worthy of the Present of Punayay, and it will make you smile. All those little gray hairs are like a badge of honor, a sign that you’re just moving forward.
So, I’ll continue to wax as usual with the landing strip, it’s just that now the runway has a little snow on it. For all those who are lucky enough to see it, conditions are clear and the location is amazing. You have been cleared for landing. Lucky you.