Subourbon Mom


The other day a group of us were discussing a fashion trend that some of us find…interesting: Manscaping. I don’t just mean a little mowing the yard after a shower–I’m talking serious, no-hair-anywhere Manscaping that leaves most actors in the 35-and-under category weirdly hairless—like pre-pubescent boys.

Now, I’m all for not seeing Sasquatch peeking out from under the collar, just as I imagine no one wants to see a fig leaf bikini on the beach with palm fronds growing out of it. But one guy in the conversation (which was started and dominated by women, so kudos to the guys there for holding their own) finally asked, “So if a man is hirsute and he’s trying to do this, exactly where does the carpet stop and the tile begin?”

Excellent question. I went to that trustworthy source, Google, since asking my friends was doing nothing but causing hysterical laughter as we talked about waxing and trimming horror stories and mistakes.

There a lot of how-to sites, most concerning the techniques of using razors and wax and laser removal. But here are a few tips from Esquire magazine (and a couple of other sites) that I agree with:

  1. For the chest that does not see a lot of gym time, a layer of hair can be a blessing. But if you do choose to show it off, make sure your chest hair is in proportion to your arm and leg hair. You can trim them all, but the key word here is TRIM. The character Schmidt on the television show New Girl is the perfect example of things not matching up. The guy has a crazy-thick head of hair and 5-o’clock shadow, but no hair anywhere else that network television will show. For the chest, waxing or using clippers is recommended to reduce ingrown hairs and shave-rash.


  1. Back hair—it’s gotta go; and the neck too. No matter how much you rock your partner’s world, no one needs that extra something there to hold onto. As for the neck, any decent hair stylist should be taking care of it anyway.images-5
  2. The buttocks—back to the carpet/tile question: “No one wants hair shorts,” says Esquire. Maybe trimming is the compromise?
  3. Nose and ear hair—really? Is that still even a question? And no, there isn’t an age limit on when that should stop being an issue. I view nose, neck and ear hair as the weed whacker areas. Get the proper tools and it’ll go quickly, while making everything else look better.images-4
  1. The undercarriage: Word on the street is that trimming up the undercarriage can make the muffler look bigger; however, you can’t run around in your tighty-whities anymore afterward. Hair on any part of the body acts as a moisture wicking device, as well as a friction reducer. Tight underwear can cause rashes, itching and chafing.
  2. Trimming your chest/body hair into cute shapes is a no-no (see below).images-1
  3. The Boyzilian—I’m not touching that with a 10-foot pole (that’s probably trimmed to look like 12). A man getting that done–that’s an image I DO NOT want in my head. If it’s something you want to try—good luck to you. Your partner should spring for the Advil and the bag of frozen peas.

Now that summer is over, waxing season has begun. Start now, and it will be less painful and less frequent by next summer. Christmas is coming up (according to most stores you’d think its next week. It’s only October, people! Can’t we get through Halloween first?), so that might be a good time to ask for that trimmer. Whatever you choose to do, you might want to make sure it’s not permanent. Just look at all those women out there with eyebrows like a pencil line; that style’s out now, and thicker brows are in. They don’t make chest hair pencils—yet—just sayin’.

(And after looking for all of these pictures, there are now about a dozen images I can’t ever un-see…you’re welcome.)

Mirror Mirror, On the Wall
May 16, 2013, 11:22 am
Filed under: Exercise, Middle Age | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Like many women, I have toyed with the idea of “getting some work done.”  There are so many options available! You can inject things into your face to get rid of the wrinkles. You can make your lips fatter, your bottom rounder and your thighs skinnier. You can even take fat from one part of your body and put it somewhere else.  But none of those things has ever really appealed to me. I have found a much cheaper way to make myself feel better about the toll time has taken on my face and body.


I recently heard a speech/performance by Canadian poet Shane Koyczan, about bullying (you can watch it by following the link at the end of the post.) There were many phrases and ideas of his that resonated with me, but the one I want to share is…


“If you can’t find something beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror.”


So I did.


My new mirror isn’t anything special.  I got it at the Dollar Store for, well, a dollar. It has a white plastic rim, and for the moment, doesn’t have any water or toothpaste splotches.  The glass doesn’t really magnify anything, but it did show me some things in a much different light.


The crow’s feet around my eyes come from years of squinting at diamonds on turquoise seas and Virginia mountain sunrises, and from searching for the Daughters #1 & #2 as they shot a goal or cantered over a jump.


The bump on my nose that makes my glasses lopsided is a reminder of my love of sports, although playing soccer might not have been one of my better choices (I broke my nose by kicking the ball into my own face. Try it at home—I dare you).  Running, jumping, kicking and throwing—what a way to celebrate the body I was given!


The wrinkles on my forehead are the marks of a mother who worries about her family—are they doing okay in school? Will we have enough money for college?  Do I still make Hubby happy?  It is a miracle to have those things to worry about.  Why would I erase them?


Even the wrinkles on my upper lip are testimony to the years of clamping my mouth shut in twenty years of marriage. I finally learned that not every opinion needs to be voiced—even though mine is usually better.


The freckles and age spots on my hands come from hours of driving my children to and from school as we talked about our day, from driving across country with Hubby, and riding horses as often as I could.  Sure, I could get them lasered off, but why? I don’t want to look like I never had any adventures.



My hips and stomach are no longer flat or small. They shifted and made room for two daughters. No, I don’t have the body of a twenty-year-old anymore—I have the body of a mother, of someone who has survived my babies’ colic, teething, first steps, tantrums, first day of school, and first dates.


None of this is to say I’ve totally accepted this body I’m living in. I still highlight my hair every two months to cover up the gray, and I struggle to fit into jeans that I probably shouldn’t. But when the mirror on the wall in my bathroom isn’t making me happy, I try to remember to get the other one out, the one that says “You’re beautiful because of those lines, and wrinkles and sagging parts. They are the result of living your life, of all the things that have made you who you are.”


The erosion of the walls of the Colorado River could have been viewed as a tragic invasion of pristine countryside—instead, we now see the Grand Canyon as a wonder of the world.  Why can’t our bodies be the same?


To see Shane’s performance, go to

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