spring evening, 1959
The smell of (kosher) hot dogs mixes with that of denatured alcohol as Maribela goes to work. “Outdoors is best, if you can,” she had told Mitzi. Mitzi had the idea of making it a party. She hesitated for a moment, thinking she might be showing off, and showing off the fact that she and Ephraim were going to the banquet, but after talking with Ephraim she decided to go ahead with it. Also . . . “I’m going to need some support to get me through this.”
It’s almost like dinner theater, everyone munching as they watch, Saul and Naava and Isaac and Leah and Moe and Jessica and Hillel and Sarah and Sam, and Ephraim sitting to the side. She’s up on the picnic table, legs spread as wide as she can spread them, leaning back on the legless “floor chair” Maribela has provided, as the waxing specialist continues her work. She wanted a drink but Maribela has restricted her to a soda, which she sips uneasily as she pokes her head forward and looks down. Maribela’s dark skin (she is from Mozambique) makes her stand out, as does her colorful wrap-around dress. She has finished snipping away the larger curls and is now using a battery-operated razor, tightening the design.
What kind of design? Maribela had shown them her catalogue. It was a weird experience, looking through an album of women’s vulvas, and all the haircuts. Hearts, spiky flares, ocean waves, blocky squares and triangles . . . Mitzi and Ephraim laughed when they turned the page and saw a Star of David design. Why not? Well . . . some of the people at the synagogue might be offended. It is difficult for newcomers, especially, to get used to being around Mrs. Lichtenberg. Better not make it worse. They finally decided on a “V” design, the corner of the “V” starting about half an inch above the clitoris. It would be a big, tall “V”, given Mitzi’s lush endowment. “You have a lot to work with,” Maribela said, meaning it as a compliment. “Some women, they are so sparse, they don’t have many options.”
Indeed there is now an impressive pile of black curls in the little bag at Maribela’s elbow as the “V” takes shape. “It looks like you’re in the R.A.F.,” Saul says. Isaac laughs. Both were in the Normandy invasion and spent time in England waiting for the big day. So they know about inverted chevrons. “Private Lichtenberg!” Isaac says. “No, she would be a Lance Corporal.” “Oh . . . right.” “The Women’s Auxiliary should have shaved themselves by rank.” “How do you know they didn’t?” Everyone explodes at this. Mitzi’s belly laugh makes her clitoris hop up and down. Maribel has to pause for a moment.
Now Mitzi winces as the safety razor comes out and it tugs at the clipped hairs. Her toes wiggle uneasily. The shaving cream burns. But this will not be the worst of it. Everyone has been told about the process and they are breathless, knowing what will come next.
She does indeed need support. Leah holds her left hand, Naava her right. The soft strips are pressed in on both sides. At first she looks down but then decides to raise her face to the sky, eyes shut, teeth gritted. “AIIEEE!! . . . AIIEEE!” Her cries echo off the house and out into the woods as she squeezes her friends’ hands with the ripping off of the strips. She tries not to move but cannot prevent her butt from rising off the table. And now she almost cries at the ferocious sting of the alcohol-drenched gauze.
The hard wax part is not so bad. People feel more comfortable now, the worst being over, and crowd around. “You wonder who first thought of this!” Naava says, to nodding heads. Now Mitzi is made to turn around and get onto all fours as the anal area is denuded. She has been assured there will be no damage. “The sphincter is very sensitive, of course” -- Mitzi knows this quite well, having been subjected to some of Mordecai’s weirder ideas -- “but there are no hairs there. It’s just the area around it.”
As instructed, Mitzi brings her hands around to pull her butt cheeks apart. This forces her head down onto the table so instead Leah and Naava do it for her, each grabbing one little cheek with both hands and leaning away. Mitzi’s enormous breasts lurch from side to side as she gets up and plants her hands on the table, arms locked straight, looking up to the sky, her face a picture of distress. Her nipples point downward, stiff with fear. “Wider,” Maribela says. Leah and Naava lean back further, using their full weight as leverage, as if trying to pull their friend asunder. Mitzi’s breathing becomes labored at the strain. She gets a good laugh when she says, “C - call Sid about this!” Sid, their neighbor, is a proctologist.
“Akk!” she cries out as her crack is filled with the gooey hard wax.