Today, as I showered I had a vivid memory of the first time I shaved my legs. In my house, it was almost a rite of passage. For most, it seems that a girl’s first cycle is the rite of passage. Not me. For me it was shaving.

With most things related to physically maturing, I just did it myself, for example, I stole feminine supplies from my mom for a year before she realized. I fudged my age and got piercings without permission. But for some reason, I honored my parents and waited on the shaving bit. It may have had something to do with me being blonde and it not being super impactful but I don’t really know.

It finally happened going into the summer I would turn 14. When I showed Mom my new swimsuit, well, it was obviously time if you get the drift. I remember sitting in our bathroom with the horribly ugly green marble tile Mom by my side. She had her leg up and demonstrated a stroke and then I would mimic on my own leg. She gave me tips on how to handle the danger zones, ankles, knees etc. and how I could save time by stopping at my shorts line if I wouldn’t be swimming anytime soon. She allowed me to get a variety of razors and creams, even expensive ones, so I could determine which I liked best.

Not sure why I remembered this experience in the shower today, it could be related to all the loss I’ve experienced lately. Going to funerals where moments are rehashed and cherished and wondering if the deceased realized how valued they were.

No matter. Thanks Mom, for taking the time to give me the experience of a rite of passage. To this day, I rarely cut myself while shaving and still use the same razors I decided on back then. You done good.

I find it interesting how I don’t remember being eager to join the shaving women of America. I know I sat there with my fuzzy legs while friends talked about waxing, shaving, nair, but I don’t remember feeling left out, or grateful or reluctant either. Just indifferent. Which is odd given how opinionated I am. I also find it interesting that I never questioned that I should shave, it never occurred to me to go natural. It certainly occurs to me now. I daydream about a society where smooth doesn’t equal sexy and in winter months I get quite soft and furry…but now we’re getting into a whole other topic.

This memory has left me curious about a few things.

Can you remember your first time shaving?

Have you experienced a rite of passage, what was it?


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