Not everything comes as advertised

Published 11:38 pm Friday, August 18, 2017

I was around 20 when a shaving contraption called an “Epilady” came out. It was a time-saving, nick-free, no-need-for-water way to go from forested to smooth-as-silk in no time flat! I had to have one. They were pricey, but I saved up and in three weeks I was the proud owner of an Epilady, and on my way to having the sleekest legs in Troup County.

The Epilady was shaped like the electric clippers that the barber used on brother, except that instead of having a vibrating blade on the end, there was Celtic knot made of tightly wound coils. I figured the coils created sonic waves that when held close to my legs, would ease the hair right out! I couldn’t wait to be sitting around on satin sheets, waving the Epilady up and down my legs, smiling at how the sonic waves denuded my extremities with every pass, just like the lady in the ads!

I’d stopped shaving when I saw the first Epilady ad, so I had a healthy three-week growth. I sat on the edge of my bed, stretched one leg out prettily, and powered on my new gadget. I slowly and elegantly waved the Epilady up my leg. Nothing. It buzzed and the coils vibrated, but I was still hairy. I tried again, with the same results. I got out the instruction manual, and it said I was supposed to let those vibrating coils touch my legs.

The whole neighborhood heard me screech when I made the next pass! Those blasted vibrating coils trapped the hairs and yanked them out by the roots! I looked down at my poor leg and instead of a glossy smooth length of satiny skin, I saw a denuded patch of reddened war zone, and the little three-week-old hairs that had been yanked out were floating around me as the springs flung them free.

I’d never felt pain like that in my life, and all I had to show for it was a two-inch strip of angry skin and a feeling of faintness. I figured I’d have to repeat the process at least a dozen more times to get both legs the same amount of hairless. I thought hard about just wearing long pants all summer, but Mama always said, “No pain, no gain!”, so after I rested a minute, I revved the Epilady up again.

It took me two hours and all the tears I had in me, but I finally yanked every single hair out of my legs. I considered lighting the thing on fire and salting the earth around it in case it came back, but in the end, I just hobbled to the trashcan and dropped it in.

Pepper Ellis Hageback is a resident of LaGrange.