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The race to get out of the house and into traffic so we can crawl slowly to my daughter’s first-period class is behind us, our coffees are secured in cup holders, the final touches have been put on teenage hair and makeup. Ava smiles at me, impish, and puts one foot on the dash, exposing a lot of leg. “Go ahead,” she implores me. “Touch it!” Oddly, this is a common morning ritual. She is happy with her baby-soft, just-shaved legs. As her mother, it’s my job to admire her hairless handiwork.
“I finally got all my crevices hairless!” she announces.
I laugh. She is trying to make me uncomfortable. But it isn’t working. She is simply saying out loud what most women keep to themselves: Shaving the tricky topography of all our surface terrain is problematic. If we manage to get out of the shower — after struggling with inadequate tools in a poorly lit, wet, and slippery environment — without discovering a big patch of missed tufts, we all want someone to say, “Wow! Amazing job.” Ava simply had the hutzpah to ask for that moment of admiration.
This time, I had given her a new razor to try – the Venus Swirl™ – a smarter razor that glides, by virtue of the movement in its next-generation FlexiBall™ grip and Contour™ blades, over leg landscape like an all-terrain vehicle, swirling and twisting to accommodate bony ankles, sharp turns, and – as Ava points out – crevices. Not only does the Venus Swirl™ look futuristic, edgy and robotic, it is actually jointed like a robot and so it is able to accommodate our uneven surfaces.
I had tried the Venus Swirl™, too, and come out of the shower with none of the usual missed tufts around my knees and ankle bones. But when it comes to shaving, my teenage daughter is a Picasso. (Her description.) She is also a Jesse James (my description) willing to steal (mostly from my bathroom) anything she needs to make her perfect art possible. So handing the Venus Swirl™ was preemptive theft prevention on my part.
Today, she was satisfied. And, strange ritual though it is, I play my part, running a hand over that proffered leg. “Soft as a baby’s bottom,” I say. Soft, even as her own baby bottom was not so long ago, I think. But I keep that last observation to myself.
We have arrived at her school and this strange moment of mother/daughter bonding is over. She grins, hugs me, and heads confidently into the dangerous world of high school. “Hmmm,” I think, watching her go. “That skirt is too short.”