Wax On. Wax Off. But Please Bring a Bucket Of Ice Cubes for the Thighed Burns!

Sigh*. I have to go shopping for a couple of swimsuits. Now, I don’t know about you, but no matter what shape my body is in, I need a two piece. I’m not fond of the tankini because of the top’s “ride up” factor. Just like a bottom of a one-piece that insists on riding up my derriere like a proctologist at the ready to perform a colonoscopy, the Tankini top loves to ride up my chest like a nursing baby.

Black-Ruffled-Tankini-Swimsuit-1from beachstuffshop

The Tankini just doesn’t work for me. Although I want to know where this model got her spray tan from!

Instead, I opt for a bikini with a high-cut, high-rise bottom. It’s not easy. And, I’ll be searching online as well as stepping into various shops specializing in over-priced swimwear.

Old Navy Bikini Bottom

I do have an Old Navy bottom like this, but I need a bigger size..or should I just get….

Ultra high lands end

This one from Land’s End? OMG. Look at those thighs! Mine haven’t been that thin since infancy!


I DO love this bathing suit top though!

Stretch marks, cellulite, a flabby belly from childbirth—these issues don’t really bother me. You don’t like it, go look at the young woman at the next blanket. The sagging “girls”—hey, that’s what underwire and padding are for—right??

me at beach

This is the kinda guy I attract at the beach! Note the bulging belly, but I don’t care. When I stand up, I just suck it in!  Bonaparte snapped this shot of me in Cannes!

No .What I consider to be the most important factor in wearing a swimsuit is the bikini wax. Let’s face it—who needs the “thighed burns”? I want to be able to sit any way I want without having any little wires peeking out.

Benefit bikini was chart

Benefit Cosmetic’s cute little bikini wax illustration. Very tasteful!

But as much as we need to look great and well-trimmed at the beach or pool, I’ll warn you to be careful and have a professional give you a wax job. It is worth the money. The DIY can turn out to have disastrous results! That is, if you are me. Read along as I “wax” sentimental about my very first attempt to perform a DIY bikini wax many years ago……..

It was an early summer’s day. Our house was pretty close to the bay, and with no air-conditioning, the inside of our house could be stifling if there was no breeze.

I purchased a huge cake of wax—the brand was “Zip” Wax. Now mind you, I was 17 years old at the time. We’re talking 43 years ago. Waxing wasn’t done much in salons, let alone attempting it by yourself.

Zip Wax ad

You can tell this is an old-school ad. No mention at all of “bikini” waxing!

Since I was a very *cough* private young woman, I wanted to attempt this when everyone was out of the house. With four other siblings, it wasn’t easy. However, on this one morning, my mother had taken the younger kids out somewhere and the other two were probably playing ball or something.

Finally having the house to myself, I ran upstairs to my bedroom and opened the bottom drawer of my dresser. Underneath all the sweaters that were folded in that drawer, I had hidden a box of Zip Wax. This particular form of Zip Wax came in a rectangular box. In the box was a plastic tray which held an olive green cake of wax that was divided into equal parts.

Zip wax

And might I add, this cake of wax was incredibly dense and heavy!

Not bothering to even take a glance at the directions, I headed downstairs to the kitchen. Ever conscience of my mother’s kitchen utensils, I made sure to melt the wax in one of the Teflon-lined pots. I didn’t want my mom to have the slightest clue of what I was going to do to my body. I also took one of her wooden spoons. She had so many of them, most likely to use as disciplinary tools more so than to cook with, that she certainly wouldn’t miss one. I would use the long handled end to apply my wax.  Since I figured I had a large area to wax, I threw the entire cake into the pot and proceeded to melt the heavy cake.

Wooden Spoon

Wooden spoons. They aren’t just for disciplining and cooking. You can apply hot wax to your body with them too!

When the wax finally melted, I took the pot and my wooden spoon into the bathroom.

peas soup

It truly was disgusting. The melted wax resembled thick pea soup–without the ham!

Even though the heat of the house was unbearable, I proceeded to apply the melted wax to my bikini line.   Visions of me sitting with legs crossed and uncrossed ran through my head. I could imagine myself running from the sand and jumping into the Atlantic and not having to worry whether or not one false move of my bathing suit would produce a vision hairier than Frank Zappa’s head!


 I would not this peeking out of my bikini bottom. I loved you Mr. Zappa, but with all due respect……. Although I DO love those words to live by!

I was delighted! But not for long. Since it never occurred to me to read the instructions, I just went ahead and slathered most of the melted waxy cake onto and into my upper thigh area.   I waited for the wax to harden. I waited some more. And some more. Between my body heat, which was now increasing with anxiety, and the indoor temperature of our house, the wax wasn’t melting. At all.


Time may have been flying, but that darn wax was not hardening!

My anxiety turned into fear as I waited for my mother to return. The front door opened. I called out. My mother did not answer. It was one of my sisters.   I asked her if she knew where our mom was. Luckily she did. My mom was up the street at a neighbor’s home. I commanded my sister to run and get my mom because I was sick.

Forty-five minutes later my mother returned. The wax still had not hardened.

My poor mother always seemed to be in a state of agitation whenever anything involved me. I was always up to something that never quite worked out well. She had this keen sixth sense. She knocked on the bathroom door and frustrated, asked me if I was, in fact, OK.

I opened the door about an inch and whispered for her to come in.

Before looking at me, she spotted her pot—her Teflon pot and her wax-covered wooden spoon handle.

“What.” “Did.” “You.” “Do?” she asked with that stern mom face. You know, the one where the lips are pursed so tightly that she could have aced a ventriloquist class.

I explained what I did. Worse, I had to show her what I did and where I did it.

After what seemed like a fifteen-minute pause (she was probably praying silently to St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Impossible Causes), she left and returned with a bowlful of ice cubes.


I, St. Jude, may feel that your daughter, Catherine just may be too much of an impossible cause for me to handle. But, hey, keep praying!

 There simply are no words to describe the humiliation of what went on in that bathroom for the next hour.

Individual ice cubes placed to both my bikini line and “other” placed hardened the ice. The big issue was ripping the wax off of my skin which produced not only the hairless areas that I so desired, but also left me without a layer of skin.


“Ice, Ice Baby” was NOT written about me! There are no words…..my poor mother!

Since I just about ruined the “lady” area, my mother made an emergency appointment with the gynecologist rather than our family doctor. (Which would have been even worse since I went to school with our family doctor’s son.) Dr. Fogarty was so amazed at my stupidity, bodily mutilation, endeavor to be more beautiful at the beach, that he was left speechless.   After a stern lecture from the good doctor on being more careful and treating my body like a “good friend”, we left with creams and word that I was NOT. Repeat—NOT do anything “THERE”, including shaving, until I was healed.

Two weeks later I still wasn’t “healed” completely. New skin started to come back, but was red and tender. However, it looked pretty good to me! In my opinion, I was healed. It was now time to go back to the razor and a clean bikini line! I went back into the bathroom and ran a bath. I realized, though, that the only available shaving cream was Barbasol “Menthol”. You don’t put anything “mentholated” by raw skin.


Do not, I repeat. Do NOT shave your “lady area” with menthol shaving cream–despite what the can says!

Back to the doctor. My mother, whom I thought would keep this episode a secret, had to blab this entire debacle to my dad. Now both parents were pretty pissed off at me.

For the remainder of that summer, I wore shorts and a bikini top to the beach.

To this day, I won’t do a bikini wax because it’s just too traumatizing. Instead, I opt for the new bikini razors! What a concept. Where were these 43 years ago? Huh? Where?

bikini razors

I coulda used these 43 years ago!

*I have to add. Some years back, “Allure” magazine ran a story about bikini waxes. I wrote a condensed version of my story as a letter to the editor. My oldest son was a college at the time. Oh yes. It gets better. He was at a party in his dorm. A couple of girls were hanging out doing the girly glancing at magazine things. One girl saw my letter. She showed the letter to Jake and made mention that this woman had his last name and was from the town that Jake was from. Jake told her he had no idea who I was.   When he came home for a visit, he relayed the incident to me and begged me never to use my name in any future publications. Oops!

 Well, since the subject is swim wear and we all love the beach, here’s some Beach Boys to put you in the mood! XOXOXOXOXO


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in Barbasol, Beachstuffshop.com, DIY bikini waxes, Frank Zappa Beach Boys. Venus Bikini razors., Wooden Spoons, Zip Wax. Zip Wax Cakes. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Wax On. Wax Off. But Please Bring a Bucket Of Ice Cubes for the Thighed Burns!

  1. gk says:

    I love your blog! So refreshing to see a candid glimpse as opposed to the standard “lifestyle” (what does that even mean?) blog.

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks so much for your appreciation of my candid writings. LOL–my “lifestyle” should be deemed “Lifestyleless”–right? I write about “real” life–and the mishaps and imperfections. Isn’t it better that way! Hope you continue to enjoy my musings! Best to you XOXOXOXOXO!

  2. Jean says:

    I too love your blog. It’s so, well, real. Opinion please. How old is too old to wear Lily Pulitzer. A debate among friends is ongoing

  3. Catherine says:

    Hi Jean, Thank you. I aim to keep it real too! On the great Lilly debate. Lilly clothing is happy and bright and the cuts of the shift dresses are universally flattering. You are never too old to wear Lilly. I’ve seen overly-tanned, leather skinned women sporting Lilly frocks and they still look great! It’s all a state of mind! Besides, those prints lend themselves well to spilling brightly colored tropical drinks–and after a few of ’em, you just know the aim to the mouth is slightly off!

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