Every couple of months, I find myself in a compromising position, where the strangest part about my situation is not that I don’t have any pants on. It’s not that a virtual stranger is hovering over me with a giant popsicle stick, or that hot wax is involved. Or that I actually enjoy the process. It’s always something else with my waxing sessions.
There was the time in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where I swear the woman was using a pumice. It was so painful, it scared my hair into not growing back for nearly two weeks (unfortunately, it’s also been the best wax job I’ve ever received). There was the time I ended up hearing about how much skin you have to push, pull, and generally move around when you wax a scrotum. That time I got offered a job (I’m still not quite sure what to think of the fact that the only time I’ve been offered a job on the spot, I was naked from the waist down). And then there was that time that the nice lady working industriously over my nether regions was convinced that I really needed to get on Tinder.
Of course, I could lie. “I’m dating this awesome guy, fantastic in bed,” I could say. “I’m totally gainfully employed; love my job,” I could also claim. Yet, somehow, being deceptive at a time when you’re lying back, half naked, seems extremely silly. And because that translates to guys as well, I haven’t allowed myself to download Tinder. Besides, I like to tell myself, I’m not a reliable date. After all, I’ve been prescribed Dom Perignon.
Okay, it’s domperidone. Not quite the fizzy, alcoholic elixir – ironically named after a monk – of the French aristocracy, and more like a small, coincidentally pale yellow tablet that lets me eat somewhat normally. It’s the current fix for stomach problems that have been getting progressively worse over the past three to four years: hardcore morning nausea, a tight throat and more nausea after meals, and other unpleasant symptoms like bloating until I look pregnant.
And so, while I had hoped by this time that I’d be re-establishing those tan lines, I haven’t ridden outside in over two months.
It sucks. A lot. The worst part is the unpredictability. I’ll be fine for five days in a row, and kitted up and ready to head out on a long-anticipated outdoor ride, my stomach will suddenly throw a temper tantrum. I’d like to say that I’m coming to terms with it, but my friends would probably claim otherwise. They’d be right; I’ve been reduced – more times than I’d like to admit – to lying in bed in my bib shorts and sports bra, weeping in frustration.
It hasn’t been all bad, though. Usually, I’ve managed to make it to the gym a few times a week. One could argue, of course, that if I could lift, I can probably ride. That may be true; but fighting nausea in a squat rack near friends seems far more appealing and comforting than trying to keep a belly full of Skratch down while attempting to pedal myself home, alone. And though I still can’t squat for shit, I’m finally growing some arms. I’ve made gym friends I can laugh with, too, and lifting ensures I go home genuinely, honestly hungry.
On days I lift, the rest of the day can throw what it wants at me. It can involve stories about scrotums, some serious exfoliation that borders on sadism, or not-so-subtle hints that I need to get laid. It can involve that frustrating feeling of being hungry yet nauseous at the same time, for the entire day, or acid reflux that burns my throat and keeps me up at night. Even getting creeped on by the local creeper at the gym ain't no thang. I might not have my bike to run to, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay.
If not, I can always take more Dom Perignon.