Why do women shave, and when did the custom start anyway? Men don’t shave, other than their face/heads. Why is it acceptable to see hairy armpits on a man and not on a woman? Hairy legs? Are they ‘prettier’ on a man? I don’t think so. Many European societies accept, in fact, embrace hairy women, so why in North American society are we besieged with commercials about razors and electrolysis, all striving for that smooth, hairless look?

Raised in Canada, I am one of the ‘hairless’ because that’s what was dictated to me. And while I can’t say I aspire to my hairy counterparts in Europe, I have to admit I admire them for having the sheer audacity to appear in public with body hair.

I suppose it has its’ advantages. Closer to the north, European climates are colder so warmer clothing is required. Maybe leg hair is natures’ way of providing warmth in lieu of leotards. Or maybe it’s a marketing strategy. Long leg hair provides a multitude of design opportunities for ‘leg barrettes’ and various hair dye colours for the “psychedelic” out there. Surely dyeing your leg hair would be safer than injecting a dye into your skin for a tattoo? (Wait, that opens up the whole concept of  body hair fashion ….and doesn’t that give the title ‘hair dressers’ a whole new meaning?……sure glad I’m not in hair dressing)

Women spend thousands in electrolysis, waxing, sugaring, and just plain shaving, to get that ‘hairless’ look, and why? We were born like this, and we don’t expect it of our men. In fact, a hairy man is a sign of virility (Ok, I’ve never understood that, but I wouldn’t expect them to shave to the extent they demand of us either) Why then, is society not accepting of hairy women?  (every man should have one,,,, a hairy woman that is)

I suppose at the end of the day, it’s a matter of preference for most, and economics for some (the ongoing maintenance of hair removal is expensive) and until research has progressed to the point where they can effectively transplant leg hair to bald spots on the head, we’re going to have to accept the growth of hair where we don’t want it.

By the way, I happened to mention (ok, complain) about hair growth to my doctor recently and she said. “hair continues to grow in a ‘healthy’ body. When hair growth stops, the body is struggling (ill) and/or preparing for to shut down”. That shut me up! So if hair growth is a sign of good health, ‘Cousin It’ from the Adams Family must’ve been popping steroids!

Here’s to a long, healthy and hairy life!

Hairy legs

Dance Lessons

I love to dance. In fact, I love music. My radio is on ALL DAY and I would sooner listen to music than watch television.

A few years ago, when my daughter was getting married, I enrolled my husband and I in dance lessons. Ballroom dance, to be specific. I always wanted to take ballroom! Now let me preface this by saying, I was raised by European/South American parents so music and dancing were a HUGE part of my family life. My mother loved her native sambas and rumbas, and my father could polka till the cows came home. Both sang in choirs and loved to dance. In short they loved music, so it was a given that I too would have music in my life.

Then I fell in love with a man who’d had little music in his home life. His family never had a stereo or records in the home and aside from CBC talk-radio on his fathers’ satellite radio, there was no audio equipment in use at all. The only music to be heard was on birthdays when the family would gather to sing, if you could call it that. Each family member took a different pitch and rhythm from the other, and it was hard to decide if I should try to put the beast out of its’ misery or just jump out a nearby window to save myself. (Interestingly they all claim to love music). My husband, who sings the loudest says he loves music but hates dancing. How can that be? ( fyi darling, you are completely tone-deaf)

Over the years he’d come to really enjoy various styles of music (I refused to turn off the radio so he had no choice) and I had high hopes for the dance lessons. We enrolled for 10 classes to be held in a group setting, every Thursday night. The first few classes were alright because all participants appeared to be at the same level. Some were more adept at picking up the moves, so progressed. Others struggled with the coordination of dance steps, but eventually memorized the routines and they too moved on. We were not among those.

My husband and I would listen to the instruction and step through the moves as directed but we invariably wound up out of sync with the rest of the class. It might’ve had to do with the fact that if my husband didn’t like the song played in class, he’d just hum a different tune in my ear as we danced (who dances to Sinatra?) And for someone who soooo has coordination on the golf course, he danced with 2 left feet. It got so that I would get so frustrated we’d argue (are we having fun yet?)

Eventually the instructor pulled us aside and suggested ‘private lessons’ where we could get the benefit of ‘one-on-one’ instruction. Who’s she kidding? What she’s suggesting is remedial dance class for the slow learners and no way am I going to dance class for blithering idiots 101!

Determined to make a Fred Astaire out of my Fred Flintstone, I took the lead. We’d practice at home at night and we stuck it out to lesson # 8 when I finally threw in the towel, and at our daughters’ wedding while the rest of the guests danced to Moon River by Andy Williams, I was bobbing a clumsy two-step while my husband crooned Frank Sinatra’s My Way in my ear.

Ballroom Dancing        ………………………………………………           Flinstones dancing.jpg

Gossip and Rumour

Why are we so drawn to scandal? The juicy details of another’s private life provide us with such entertainment……until we become the topic of discussion, then it’s not so fun.

We learn to ‘embellish’ at a very young age, probably because it gets a better reaction to our story, and the more we draw the interest of our audience, the better we get at embellishing. Eventually we have no idea what the facts are because typically gossip is second hand news and each messenger adds to the story until eventually there’s little truth, if any, remaining in the tale.

Gossip is the mainstay of the office watercooler and lunchroom crowd. Who’s having marital issues? Who’s secretly bulimic? Who’s pregnant? (or maybe just pudgy) Gossip is typically about private things, the things people don’t want to openly discuss, and it is often true. (who doesn’t have something to hide?) Rumour, on the other hand is pure speculation, often having no purpose other than to ‘entertain’. (get a book, get a hobby, get a life, get whatever it takes to get off the rumour mill)

I recall a party game we played when I was young called ‘telephone’. We’d sit in a circle and one person whispers a phrase in the ear of the person beside them. They then pass along the phrase, as they heard it, to the next in the circle until all have received the message, and I was always amazed at how distorted the message was by the end of the line. Sometimes it was a matter of mis-hearing the message, but more likely it was embellishment because distorting the message was what made it fun.

Gossip, in its’ truest form isn’t fun. It’s hurtful and insensitive, and exposes the vulnerability of a fellow human being. Rumour is just mean and borders on bullying, and I think it’s safe to assume that no one wants to be the topic either so next time someone tries to pass along a juicy tibit to you, shrug and change the subject. Make it clear you’re not interested. If you appear disinterested you disarm the gossip and effectively stop the trail of rumour. You also put them in a place of self reflection (that hopefully shames them) and good for you…. you will never regret taking this higher road.

Here’s to stopping the rumour mill!



We’ve come a long way baby….. or have we?

Throughout the ages it seems that females of any species have borne the lions’ share of the workload within their communities and enjoyed little, if any, of the benefits.

I recently hiked a trail that was once occupied by families whose livelihood depended on their employment of the building of a local canal. Along the trail were occasional images of the homesteads which dated back to the 1850’s. Men worked at digging the canal, women stayed in their very rudimentary homes tending to the families most basic needs; cooking over open fires, growing their vegetables, curing meats, not to mention child rearing. I noted one of the historical images was of a tavern and the caption “this was an establishment for the enjoyment of the Navies (men) and their horses” cause, what, God forbid he should take his wife out for a snort? (she was probably busy beating the laundry on a rock somewhere anyway) It’s not like the little lady would enjoy a glass of wine after a day of killing and cooking his dinner, shoveling out the stalls, and probably giving birth. Nah, better he takes his horse out for a drink!

This got me to thinking, and I realized this blatant neglect of a females’ contribution to her clan didn’t stop with just the human race.

Take a pride of lions. Male lions have all the hair (probably the only male species to have a thick head of hair throughout their adult lives, but I digress) and this luxurious mane is both a compliment and a curse. It attracts the females (whore lure) Unfortunately, their showy locks also make them highly visible to potential prey, rendering them totally useless for the hunt. (nothing a good haircut can’t fix) This, in addition to the male lions role as ‘protector’, excuses them from the hunting duties, so it falls to the lionesses because their more bland appearance blends in perfectly with their surroundings, providing much needed camouflage. (ok, so pretty boy doesn’t want to work cause it might mess his ‘do’) Not only is the lioness required to hunt to provide for their pride but she must observe the ‘pecking order’ when the males are present. The males feed first, then the cubs. Once they are satisfied the females are then left to fight over the remains, (oh goodie, leftovers again) often leaving them hungry.

In summary then, the females provide for the pride, ie do all the work  (Man, we just can’t cut a break!) and the males ‘look pretty’ and ‘protect’ the pride. (Protection from what? If the females are doing all the killing, I wouldn’t think they’d need a lot of protecting) One of these days, these females are gonna realize they’re getting a raw deal and I wouldn’t want to be a male in the vicinity when they do cause all the ‘pretty’ in the world won’t save their bacon!

The male pheasant, like the male lion, has all the looks (oh great, another ‘pretty-boy”) They have colourful plumage splashed with striking colours, and strut with major attitude. The females are colourless and quite rotund (they look like they swallowed a beach ball) and they have a distinct waddle. The male, or cock, exerts little energy in the rearing of chicks, focusing on attracting the female, mating, and preparing his body for the next winter; molting. (yeah, it’s a tough life stud!)

The female, or hen, on the other hand, depletes her energy after the demands of egg laying, nesting, incubation, renesting, and raising the chicks. She has little time to prepare herself for winter (cause God forbid that pretty-boy should help out with the kids) If she’s lucky she’ll succumb to her exhaustion but it’s not like it would matter. Pretty-boy will just go out a find himself a younger hen.

Bees! Now there’s a species that got it all together! Worker bees are ‘imperfect’ female bees and are the largest group of bees in the hive. Workers do everything but lay eggs and mate. (so once again the females do all the work and by the way, if they are your entire labour force I’d rethink labelling them as ‘imperfect’). The drone or the male bee doesn’t have a stinger and doesn’t gather nectar and pollen. ( they don’t do a damn thing…so they might as well be a lion, or a pheasant or a human) But here’s the good part. The drones primary role is to mate with a queen bee…… after which he dies quickly.

(All in all, not a bad system…)

Working woman.jpg                            Man relaxing.jpg