As some of you know, dear readers (Hi, FBI!), I live at home with my parents. Which is more good than it is bad, but there are definitely days when I honestly think squatting in the props room at the local theater would be an infinitely better alternative. Like the days when I get out of bed, follow the cat into the room where Dad is putting on his shoes, and stumble into the following conversation:
Dad, suddenly: Ugh! You have hair on your legs!
Me, warily: Yes, I do.
Dad, making a face: Why are you so hairy?
Me, warningly: Because I’m human.
Dad, frowning: It’s not normal.
Me, resignedly: Yes, it is. Humans have hair.
Dad, dismissively: Well, we have B.O. too. That doesn’t make it okay.
Me: *silently petting cat*
Dad: You don’t want people to think you’re a lesbian. Or maybe you do *uncomfortable laugh*
Me, warningly: Is it any of their business?
Dad: Well, they might have an interest in the matter.
Me: *silently petting cat*
a few minutes later…
Dad, cheerfully patronizing: Why do you have to be so anti-…whatever? Girls don’t look like that!
Me, in another room: *silently petting cat*
In my defense, I’d been awake for about ten minutes before the conversation started. The overwhelming majority of my neurons were still stranded in the Twilight Zone of the previous night’s dream. And, yes, my default coping mechanism for dealing with my father in these instances is sullen silence and intense interest in the nearest feline. Which is not terribly mature, and only really works well when there’s a cat readily available. But I think most people can sympathize with not wanting to start the day out with…whatever the hell that was.
Anyway. Here’s the thing: In the winter, I don’t shave my legs. I’m pretty sure it’s been at least four months since these babies saw a razor. I have my reasons for this, but I’m not going to get into them because, guess what? They’re my legs. I can do what I damn well please with them.
This decision doesn’t impact anybody but me. If I hadn’t happened to walk into Dad’s room in my boxer shorts on a very sunny morning (something I apparently have not done in the past four months), he wouldn’t even have known. So for him to react to this accidental discovery by expressing disgust and offense is just…grr.
Look, my father is a proud member of the kyriarchy. I’m mostly used to this stuff from him. But this bugged the heck out of me. My body is not disgusting. It is not offensive. It is MY BODY. What right have you to be offended by my choices about my body? It’s not like I’m growing my leg hair at you!
You guys Ducklings, I’ve figured it out.
MY FATHER IS AFRAID MY LEG HAIR IS COMING TO KILL HIM
Because clearly, drawing myself as a vampy heroine on the melodramatic poster for a campy vintage horror flick is the most appropriate response to all of this. I’m just lucky no one sat with me for lunch or I would have had some ‘splaining to do…