Thursday, December 1, 2011

Waxing in France

Okay.  So I have a foreign experience I want to share with you.  Mostly because it's funny.  It's embarrassing.  It is soooo not American.  And I thought you might get a good laugh!  Last week I went to an appointment here in France.  It's called epilation here, but for us English speakers, it's just plain gettin' waxed.

Now, this wasn't my first experience, but somehow it is not something I have gotten used to.  I guess I would be considered a prude American.  Let me try to share with you about my experience without making anyone too uncomfortable... you'll see what I mean.

Oh, and guys, if you're out there, this one's for the ladies... I'm pretty sure you won't be interested.

So, I get waxed about once a month, when I am on top of making appointments, etc.  I usually get my eyebrows, upper lip (keepin' it real ladies!), and my bikini waxed.  Now, if we were in America, I would walk in and the specialist would ask me if I want some water or anything and then exit the room while I get down to my skimmies.  There would be a towel waiting for me on the table so I could cover up and not feel so uncomfortable.  She would come back in and proceed to put gloves on and start with my eyebrows.

Now, the only thing about the above paragraph that rings true about the experience here in France is that they start with the eyebrows.  Here, this is a little more how it would look.

The specialist would lead me into the room and shut the door.  She would tell me to get undressed and then turn to wash her hands.  What?  You're not going to step out?  Um, ok.  I would proceed to take off my bottoms and be standing there in my skimmies.  She would turn around and say that I should take those off too.  Um, ok...  Is there a towel or something to cover up?  I quickly scan the room.  Looks like I am outta luck.  Okay, I am standing here in just a shirt.  This is interesting.  She tells me to lay on the little bed/table thingie.  So she proceeds with my eyebrows, without gloves.  That's pretty normal from what I remember from the states. Okay, that's fine.  They use a hard wax that rips off without applying paper.  Which means at any given time you could have 3 or 4 strips just on your body.  She finishes the eyebrows, moves on to the upper lip.  Pretty easy, I'm okay.  Trying not to think about the fact that I am lying in front of a stranger half naked.  Next time I have got to remember to wear a longer shirt!

She finishes up the upper lip and proceeds to move toward my lower region.  Okay, so she'll put on gloves now, right?  I mean, that would be pretty gnarly waxing a complete stranger down there with no gloves.  Wait, is that the wax?  She still doesn't have gloves on!  Um, okay, I guess we're just doing this!  Good thing I showered! For her sake anyway.  She puts two strips of wax on and then the door opens.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? I am lying here half naked with heated wax strips on my coochie (sorry) and someone just walks in???  My specialist tells me one second and LEAVES.  I am lying there, alone, with wax strips down there, and no one to pull them off.  This should be interesting.

About what felt like 30 minutes later (but was probably 2) she comes back in to yank 'em off.  I am happy to find out she stays the rest of the time and no one else barges in to 'check on my progress' or whatever.  Without going into too much detail, let's just say there was wax in places it's never been before.  And I was in positions that now only hubs and French waxing lady have seen. Yet, somehow I make it through.  Amen and amen.  Can I put my pants back on now?  THANK YOU!

Oh, and did I mention, this was all done while conversing in French.  And let's just say, it isn't my first language.  Awkward small talk while laying there half naked is a bit more awkward when you are searching for words in your very limited vocab.

Needless to say, it was quite an experience!! I really did try to spare you the agonizing details.  I wasn't sure whether or not to blog about it, so I threw it out there on twitter and the overwhelming response was to do it!

Well, now it's your turn!  Ever been in an embarrassing situation like that before?  Spill the beans!! Or you can just laugh.  That's okay too.

Follow Ma Nouvelle Mode


Alyx said...

Oh, man. That is the number one reason I have not gone to get a wax here in Europe. My tweezers and razor have become my friends again since moving here.

Suze said...

This is just too funny...Couldn't stop laughing, ha ha ha!

Lesley said...

Eeek! It's crazy how barriers come down so far when you're forced into a position like that!
Glad it all turned out ok!

GingerPeachT said...

That's so awkward!!! I would have cried. For more than one reason lol I've never been waxed, I'm too scared of the pain and the awkwardness lol

Mimzy Wimzy said...

I have never gotten more than my eyebrows waxed. Now? I don't know if I ever will!!

Jaime G. said...

Thank you for making me laugh on a pretty crummy day!!! Those Europeans love some exposure. I delivered a baby in Germany and at the doctor appointments they don't have sheets to cover up with. And during delivery, you don't get a robe/gown thing so you're naked or wearing a t-shirt. Turned out having a c-section and te only drape I had anywhere on my body was held up so I couldn't watch.

Nav said...

Oh Natalie, this was hillarious! seriously.....crazy! I cant believe things are so different there..haha i guess thats for a different culture. Thanks for sharing!

xo Nav

K said...

Oh gosh that sounds ridiculous! Clearly you are a rockstar for voluntarily putting yourself at this woman's mercy.
When I lived in France I had a similar but (thankfully clothed)awkward run-in when I went to get my ears pierced. The guy did one ear and then couldn't pierce the other one (apparently one ear lobe is thicker - weird stuff, I know)so he just left me sitting with a needle in my ear for what felt like an hour (more like 15 minutes). Needless to say that I switched to English :)

Sarah said...

Seriously awkward!! Thank you for sharing though! I was trying to navigate the big mall in Lyon Part Dieu today with my limited French and a very ill husband in tow (who was an absolute sweetheart and insisted on coming so he could communicate with shop assistants for me, even though he should have in bed) . . . by the end of the day I was so exhausted and frustrated. . . thank you for making me see the lighter (although it probably wasn't for you at the time) side of cultural/language clashes again!

Renee said...

Bahahaha!! This is hilarious!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

Christina Dely said...

Akkkkk I am so uncomfortable for you, reading this! Pants off during the eyebrows? That is just maddness!

KY said...

Ohhhhh!!! MY!!!! GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahaha this story just made my night. You need to start writing a book!

lilmoomoo said...

oh. my. gawd.

No big deal. just sittin here with my coochie out while you wax my eyebrows.

I. am. DYING!


Lindsay and David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay and David said...

Hello! I am new to your blog, I found it from another American living in France blog- I had to share my most recent very similar story in Thailand.

No one warned me that massages are different in Thailand!

So I asked for a coconut oil massage at a nice massage place not a sketchy one, this lady took me in a room, shut the door and stood there. She knew no english, and suddenly started pulling at my shirt- ok, ok I will take off my shirt, so I did asking myself why she was still in the room while I was undressing- I kept my shorts on, to which she started pulling them off- any way she eventually handed me a small towel, to try and be somewhat covered while i laid on the table- now for the weird part- the whole massage she flung the towel here and there, leaving me exposed, motioned for me to turn over on my back, and I started to get worried! She put oil on my stomach and totally tried to massage my chest!!!!

I almost fell off the bed, I quickly pulled the towel back up over my chest and she laughed!!! I was so mortified- I thought for sure I was taken advantage of! Only to find out a lady whom I met the next day had the same experience, but this time the lady actually massaged her chest- to which she said was like the lady was kneading bread!!!! She told me once you are her age you've seen it all! Ha ha

So apparently in Thailand massages are waaaayyyy different than they are in America!
Had to share!

MiMi said...

I'm afraid to do it in France?? No way. LOL!!

Maddie Kertay- The Domestic Anarchist said...

Oh my!... and yes.. totally worth blogging about!


Kasey Lynne said...


I would've DIED!!! Especially if some random person walked in DURING the consultation. KUDOS to you girl...

MathildeLFV said...

BAhahhah. That must be the East peeps; because here in West of France, it doesn't happen like that. Or maybe it was just that lady.
When I went to do my bikini épilation, she left the room and all (okay, maybe because i asked her)
Love (from France too hehe)


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