Mary hung the last pair of black cotton knickers from the laundry basket, onto the white clothes horse. She stood back and surveyed the clothes horse in its usual position, stood against the patio door in the kitchen. She wondered, would today be the day, it finally collapsed. Would her trusty steed finally give way under the weight of the family’s laundry that she heaped onto it weekly?
Mary had made it a military operation each week strategically placing items onto the rungs of the clothes horse in a certain order, to maximize capacity. Trousers and towels at the edge so they don’t overhang on the lower rungs. Socks and underwear at the bottom closest to the ground and hidden so no unsuspecting passer-by can see what they cover their private bits with.
Today though, something bothered Mary as she stood back and examined her handiwork. “You are finally losing it” she said out loud, as she picked up the empty laundry basket and returned it to its place on top of the washing machine.
Mary flicked the switch on the kettle and took her favourite cup down from the cupboard above her head. She stared at the cupboard in front of her trying to figure out what was it that was trying to come to the front of her mind. She extracted her knickers from completely disappearing inside her and poured the hot water onto the instant coffee granules in her cup. As she headed up stairs to her home office sniffing her coffee, the caffeine aromas awoken her senses. She suddenly realised what had been bugging her about today’s washing. She paused on the step. Her coffee slopped over the sides at the abrupt halt. Shaking her head, she jogged the last few steps and kicked a piece of Lego from her path. She slumped onto her office chair, picked up her phone and dialed her best friend Caroline’s number.
“Hiya Mary how’s Monday morning going for you? Must be great if I am getting a phone call before 10am!” Caroline’s sarcastic tones came down the phone as Mary smiled and took a large swig from her mug of coffee. Caroline was the only survivor from Mary’s mother group. When she had first had Rory, she was so grateful for the mothers group. She relished being around other women, all with the same fear, worries and questions. Being a new mother was hard enough and the group was a welcomed relief to help ease the fear, she was doing it all wrong.
But as the babies grew and started taking their first steps, the competition in the group began. It was then that Mary realised, she missed her career, and she didn’t really care if Tommy crawled before Megan. She was so grateful Rory was still alive, she was not bothered that he was slower to stand up than others. Eventually it dawned on Mary, the only thing she had in common with most of the women, was that they had had a baby. Some were devoted wives and excited at the prospect of being a stay-at-home mom and getting cracking on baby number two. Some were more well off and excited to hand the children over to the nanny or day care so they could resume their yoga and spritzer lunches. Caroline however was just like Mary. Riddled with the guilt of wanting to return to work and have some alone time, while at the same time, constantly freaking out she was corrupting her child and destining them to a lifetime of therapy!
Mary knew she could say anything to Caroline, and she would not be judged. After the initial pleasantries, Mary took a deep breath and said, “I think my vagina is dead and all my knickers are gone to its funeral”.
A laugh fell from Caroline’s mouth and then she contemplated Mary’s statement ” I don’t think I ever had a funeral for mine.” A silent understanding sat between the two women before Caroline spoke again, “Now will there be a wake, where we all need to go and pay our respects to your dead vagina or is it a straight to funeral and burial kind of thing you’re thinking?”
The two women collapsed into hysterics at the thought of the wake. They made suggestions and tried to outdo each other on who might come to their dead vagina’s funeral. As the laughter subsided Mary caught her reflection in her computer screen ” Seriously Caroline, I have not had sex in months and to be honest, I don’t blame Jerry. The state of me! My wardrobe consists entirely of comfy trousers and ill-fitting blouses or active wear. My roots are down to my earlobes and, I think a beautician will need a hedge trimmer to tackle these eyebrows, if we ever get out of lockdown!”
“Will you stop Mary” Caroline soothed, ” you are no worse than the rest of us. This Covid is a bitch, and you cannot claim all the misery for yourself, I won’t allow it! Besides, is Jerry walking around looking like Chris Hemsworth these days?”
Mary giggled; Jerry was as far from Chris Hemsworth as you could possibly get. He had Chris’ height but that was where the similarities ended. Unlike Chris, Jerry was a tall, angular man. Lanky and thin, Mary was often afraid he would blow over with a big gust of wind.
“No, no Jerry’s still the same, out running every day and as lean as a lamppost. To be honest Caroline, I’d be afraid I’d break him if we even attempted to have sex with my laird ass”.
Caroline couldn’t stop a giggle from escaping from her lips as she smiled down the phone at her friend. “Right, we better resuscitate your vagina and come up with a plan before either it or Jerry croaks it. Meet me in the park at lunchtime. One o’clock by the pond.”
“Ok, thanks Caroline. See you then.” Mary hung up the phone and turned her attention to the 17 unread emails that winked at her from her computer screen.
As lunchtime rolled around Mary met Caroline at the pond as instructed and they fell into a synchronized step beside each other. As they walked around the park at a brisk pace, Mary could feel the Covid cobwebs lifting. She breathed the fresh air deep into her lungs ” I am going to do this every day. No excuses. Don’t let me give up.” Mary pleaded at her friend.
“No problems. It is so important to have time for yourself Mary, even if it’s only a quick walk. You work all day and then spend the evenings running around after Rory and Jerry. If you don’t, your sanity will be joining your vagina on death row.”
Mary smiled at Caroline and linked her arm through hers “So what is your grand plan to bring me back to life?”
“Right, I have been thinking. You don’t need a beautician. Now days there is a YouTube video for EVERYTHING. So, after our walk, go to the chemist and get yourself some wax strips, a nice new body lotion and a new lippy. Then I want you to go home and order a sexy nighty online. We’ll spend the next week walking and waxing and by the end of the month, you will be ready to seduce Jerry and celebrate your vagina rebirth!”
With a plan in place, Mary’s step quickened, and she filled with a giddiness she could only recall as a distant memory.
“Oh sorry Caroline I never asked, what about you and your vagina?“
“Don’t worry about me. I have been revirginized and to be honest, I quite like it! Caroline stared ahead and didn’t look at Mary’s concerned face. “I have zero interest in sex. It just hasn’t come back yet after Lily was born but I am sure it will eventually. And when it does, I will be like Madonna, touched for the very first time!” The two women giggled and finished their walk singing Madonna.
After the park, Mary entered her local chemist and surveyed the hair removal aisle. In front of her lay colourful boxes of varying shapes and sizes. It was like a pick n mix for hairy humans. Razors, hair removal cream or wax were standard enough but what she had never realized, just like make up or clothes, there was now a hair removal option for everyone.
Mary stared at the display pondering, did she want the vegan friendly wax strips, the plastic free fabric strips or would a pomegranate and grapefruit hair removal cream be the best option? Was her vagina average size or would she need two boxes of the strips? She dithered and shifted her weight from foot to foot desperately trying to calculate how hairy she actually was.
“Excuse me please.” a petite young woman interrupted Mary’s calculations and stretched past her. She took a box of the popular brand wax strips down from the shelf and put it in her basket. She smiled at Mary and looked at the box of vegan friendly wax strips being turned over in her hands. “Don’t use them! They nearly took my whole fanny with them!”
Mary hastily put the box back on the shelf and meekly thanked her. She waited until the young woman had moved to another aisle and then lunged at the box of wax strips, copying the woman’s choice. She then scurried around the chemist grabbing the first moisturizer and lippy she could find before making her purchases and leaving the shop.
That evening as the kids were asleep and Jerry was gone out for his nightly run, Mary began browsing for a new sexy nightdress to reignite her marriage bed. She googled sexy lingerie and after a couple of wrong turns past lonely housewives and sexy Japanese twins, she found a site that could work.
Mary scrolled through the images of beautiful models looking seductive. She scoffed as she then saw the price, “$60 for a piece of tooth floss!”. Mary’s mood began to dip as she looked at the perky breasts in front of her. Hers would never look like that after Rory had hung out of them for nearly 8 months. She needed a forklift not a balcony bra to lift hers back up. Mary clicked the website closed and slammed her laptop down. She stalked into the kitchen and made herself a cup of tea. As she waited for the kettle to boil, she took the chocolate biscuits down from the cupboard and began munching on one. She silently mocked herself for being so silly and pulled her long grey cardigan tighter around her body.
As Mary sat back on the couch her phone beeped. Caroline had sent her a link and a thumbs up emoji. She clicked on the link and was brought to a small women’s boutique. The site described itself as “Real style, for Real Women”. As Mary sipped her tea and browsed through the images, she had to admit the clothes were beautiful. While the models were beautiful too, some of them at least looked like they had eaten in the past month.
Eventually Mary stumbled across a silk black nightdress with lace embroidery around the top. She hovered her mouse over the image and examined the detailed stitching. She paused over the add to cart button. It would probably only be worn once, and could she justify spending $80 on a nightdress? Dithering Mary clicked on the description, she went through all the reasons why it was not suitable and why she should not buy it. Then she found one reason why she should, MACHINE WASHABLE. Mary needed no more convincing and made her purchase with a tingle of excitement.
As the weekend fast approached Mary began her grooming. She started by exfoliating her body in the shower. She scrubbed at her skin until she was red raw and then lathered herself in her new moisturizer daily. She figured moisturizing was just like basting a turkey. The moister the breast was, the plumper and supple it would be. She hoped the same was true for her own breasts.
At Friday lunchtime Mary abandoned her daily walk and instead entered her en suite bathroom with steely determination. She took the wax strips from the bathroom cabinet and sat on the edge of the bath. She read the instruction leaflet twice and then took the small wax strips out of the box and lined them up along the sink like a military parade.
She shuffled out of her baggy tracksuit pants and perched on the toilet seat. Doubts began to cloud her horizon as she surveyed the wax strips. You could never be too prepared she thought, as she took out her phone and began watching YouTube videos on how to wax. 20 minutes later, Mary had fallen down a rabbit hole of waxing fails and sat traumatized on the edge of the toilet seat.
“Right there is only one thing for this!” Mary commanded herself up from the toilet seat and marched down the stairs in her underwear. She reached into the top cupboard above the fridge and took down Jerry’s good whisky. She unscrewed the top of the bottle, placed her nose above it and inhaled. She then went to her handbag and took out two Nurofen tablets. Clutching the bottle of whisky tightly, she took the tablets into her mouth and let the golden liquid wash them down. She swallowed hard and then looked at the bottle, “better bring this with me just encase”.
Mary walked slowly back up the stairs and into the en-suite bathroom. She stood one hand on her hip, one hand clutching the whisky as she eyed the wax strips suspiciously. She set the whisky down by the side of the bathroom sink and peeled her cotton knickers down over her bum and onto the bathroom floor. She quickly scanned over the instruction leaflet and then began warming one of the wax strips in between the palms of her hands. When her hands began to get clammy, she peeled off one side of the wax strip and gentle placed it at the top of her leg. She patted it down with her fingers and then took a big deep breath.
“FUUUUUUUUUCCCKKKKK!!!!!!!” Mary wailed as she tore the strip away from her skin. “Mother fucker” she cried as she attempted to angle her lips down and blow cool air onto her red skin. She waved one hand in front of the injured spot, fanning it cool. With her free hand, she reached for the whisky and slumped back onto the toilet seat.
Dazed, Mary sipped on the whisky bottle. When the stinging had eventually subsided and enough liquid courage had been deposited in her stomach, Mary went again. She warmed the strip between her palms and placed it above the recently waxed skin. She patted it down, took a deep breath and then tore the strip once more. Again, Mary cried out in pain and hopped around the bathroom attempting to fan her scorched bits.
For the next hour Mary continued her routine, whisky, wax, whisky, wax. Her legs tingled and her heart slowed as she settled into the rhythm. Eventually Mary was down to her last wax strip. She placed her foot on top of the toilet seat and angled her head down to meet her under carriage. She examined her beautification. Only one more strip at the back and the torture would be over. Mary’s back leg wobbled as she came upright. She steadied herself with one hand on the sink and then began her warming routine. She took another swig from her bottle and then stuck her head between her legs and attempted to place the last wax strip into position.
As Mary began to pat the strip into position between her legs, she noticed the bottom of the strip was now stuck to the palm of her hand. She tried to shake her palm free, but the strip was glued firmly to her leg and her palm and moving either end, was torture. “Shit, shit, shit” Mary cursed. She now stood with one leg on the toilet seat and her hand stuck to the inside of her vagina. Her shoulder and head were pulled downwards, and she was left staring at her stomach. With her body contorted into a position it did not like, her back leg began to shake.
Suddenly Mary heard some movement and noise coming from downstairs. “Shit, shit, shit!” she hopped up and down on her standing leg and attempted to get closer to the en-suite door to close it. She reached and stretched as far as she could with her free arm. She could hear Jerry on the stairs “Mary I’m home early, you here?” With one last effort Mary lunged for the bathroom door.
Sometime later Mary opened her eyes. She winced at the pain in her head and could not work out where she was as she stared at the ceiling. She put her hand to her head to shield her eyes and saw the wax strip was still stuck to her palm.
“Well hello sleeping beauty”. Jerry’s mocking tones came from behind her. Dazed and confused Mary tried to sit up. Jerry was sitting behind her with her head in his lap. “Easy now, gently” he soothed as he helped her to sit up right beside him on the floor of the en-suite.
“So, are you going to tell me why I found you knocked out on the floor of the bathroom with an entire bottle of whisky drank?” Jerry asked raising one eyebrow and looked into Mary’s eyes, concern written all over his iris.
“Oh Jerry, I’ve been a real fool”. Mary sobbed her embarrassment too much to contain. “I wanted to try and seduce you and I tried to wax myself and it was too sore and I then tried to numb the pain and now I hurt everywhere. My fanny is scorched, my head is killing me, and I think I have broken a rib”.
Jerry laughed from his belly and hugged Mary in tight to his chest. “Come on now don’t be upset.” He stroked Mary’s head and smoothed back her hair. As Mary’s tears stalled Jerry took her shoulders and turned her to face him.
“Mary, you don’t need to worry about seducing me. I love you and I would gladly have sex with you any day! And plus, now I know what positions you can put your body into, I don’t care how hairy you are, I’ve got plans for you!”
Jerry winked at Mary and kissed her seductively on the mouth. Mary’s vagina fluttered. Maybe there was life in the old girl yet.