Although I know that almost no one reads this (including, erm, me), I managed to pick up a leaflet from my gym that itemises the waxing services they offer and - because I still don't want to do any work - I thought I might just recap on what WTTM reallly means.
Upon further scrutiny, it appears that the Full Year's Waxing for £450 only, yes - ONLY entitles you to "off-peak" waxing. For those who aren't familiar with gym terminology, I should point out that off-peak doesn't refer to a particularly painful-to-wax body part, but to the time of day. So, basically, when everyone's at work. And I'm thinking it's unlikely to be a benefit for the unemployed - ah, you over there, with your handsome Job Seekers' Allowance, why don't you save up about 6 months' money and then you won't have to worry about unattractive hairgrowth ever again. But anyway, there I was, boggling about how extraordinary it was that such a princely sum wouldn't let you get a wax at, say, 7.30am but only between 10.30 and 3.30, when - BAM - I started to read the itemised price list.
Now I'm guessing that I've been living in a sheltered hair-removal environment. As someone who favours only hair removal of the minimal and discreet kind, I'm only looking at, oooh, £15 every couple of months. And that's if I remember to go more than once or twice a year. So that's about £30, really. I'm quite low maintence. But I'm hesitant to go into too much detail here; I'm sure there's a big internet market for specified details of hair-removal techniques (that'll be £14.99 please for seven days' continuous access, all major credit cards accepted), so I'm just going to change the subject and get back to the things on the list. A half-leg (ankle to knee) costs £22, going up to £26 for a three-quarter leg (a slightly mystifying piece of terminology, I think you'll agree, but I imagine it means all-the-way-up-to-somewhere-between-the-knee-and-upper-thigh. Mini-skirt length, but not hot-pant length.), and a full leg is £29. While I'm not exactly leaping on the hair-removal express with enthusiasm here, these prices sound quite reasonable. When it gets "in the pants" though, it's all a bit more bizarre.
A standard bikini wax is a mere £13. In case you're the type to let your pubic hair overflow, I should explain that this entails taking off no more than an inch round the "bikini perimeter". It's a trim. But a Brazilian - which takes your pubic hair into the Adolf Hitler moustache territory - is a whopping £25. Now already I can see that if you're having a full leg and Brazilian every 6 weeks you're looking at a commitment of £54 - or £486 a year. So you immediately become the kind of person who'd save a little bit of money (but not a whole load of convenience) by succumbing to the charms of off-peak Wax to the Max'ing. You might even, under the circumstances, consider going in for a touch of lip or chin (£10) or under arm (£12). Clearly you're the kind of person who adheres to a pretty stringent hair-removal routine, so maybe six-week intervals is even pushing it, and perhaps to keep the Hitler moustache in peak condition you're taking the maintenance time right down to once a month.
Now I can understand this in the same way I can understand having a minibar in your living room; not the sort of thing I'd fancy, but I can see - in the right circumstances - that there's something of an appeal.
But as I continued down the list I was alerted to the fact that there was another kind of wax you could have. A more expensive wax. The sort of wax that makes you look like a porn star or a 9 year old. And for the frankly mortifying experience of revealing your cherubic assets by having every single strand of pubic hair in the, er, pants bit of your body removed, it costs £44 a go. If you're the sort of person who likes to cross their legs on most available days (because I imagine the regrowth must be a little bit painful) then really it must be once a month at a minimum - perhaps even every three weeks. And once every three weeks would cost a totally unimaginable £765.60. Yes, that's right - £765.50. To look like a 9-year-old lap dancer.
I could now take the Naomi Wolf high-ground (although that sounds a bit too much like something related to peaks, so I'm not sure), but instead I'm just feeling a bit shocked, and in the kind of mood to encourage other women to grow their pubic hair - even if it does mean that they will have to slightly adjust their swimming costumes when you get out of the pool. Go on, be free - be a bit hairy, it's not a crime. And if you're partner's been encouraging you, then - really - why are you going out with someone who wants your bits to look like a small child's? It sounds to me like you should take your £765.60 and pop over to New York for a long weekend, or go to Finland for one of those cool holidays where you get pulled around by huskies. Go on, go on. Just remember to keep your knees together if you're wearing a mini skirt.