Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hairy Knuckles No More

Aside from my squeeze the Cheez calling me Macaroni, I've never really been nicknamed.

Unless you count the nicknames I've given myself.

The alumni office of my beloved alma mater, always looking for some emo-glow-to-get-you-to-send-the-dough connection, once asked all the graduates to fill out a form asking for such personal information as Your College Nickname. Now all my mail from Harvard comes addressed to Knuckles.

It is so nice to know they care.

If only I were really as rich as the alumni office believes a Harvard grad is supposed to be, I could endow Knuckles Hall. Or the Knuckles Professorship. Or underwrite an annual Knuckle Ball at which the guests would nibble on Knuckle Sandwiches.

Prevaricating to academic institutions about my name has become something of a habit. When I was in graduate school back in the heady days of the early 90s, I managed to convince the university email system that my middle name was Puts the Femme in Feminist. I was quite pleased with myself, both for thinking up the phrase and for knocking the (argyle) socks off all the other humanities dorks when my "official" name appeared in their inboxes.

Until the day I realized it was a dirty lie.

Well, maybe not dirty, but not as kempt as femme is supposed to be.

Sure I sport long hair, bright lipstick, and short dresses. But really, my hair is long because I'm too lazy to get it cut very often. I actually have a kind of salonaphobia. And it's easier to wear dresses than pants, because you make one fashion choice and the whole outfit is done. And the lipstick? Just think of it as the chromatic equivalent of an exclamation point, drawing attention to the big mouth out of which the feminist rants come.

But what's really kept me off the editorial board of Vogue magazine: I haven't shaved my legs since 1990. Specifically, since my roommate Christopher went nosing around in my tackle box of toiletries and knocked my 69 cent BIC razor behind the dresser.

I was too lazy to dive back with the dustbunnies and retrieve it. And way too lazy to travel one whole T-station to the drugstore to buy a new one.

Eighteen years of hairy legs qualifies as putting something in feminist, but I'm pretty sure it's not the femme.

And then, this week, I did it. I shaved my legs.

It took for freakin' ever. Probably because I had to rinse hair out of the razor every 2 inches.

All that raze, rinse, repeat action gave me ample opportunity for calculating how much time I've saved by not shaving. Figure at least 15 minutes a week, average. Times 52 weeks per year. Times 18 years.

That would be 234 hours. Nearly ten full days.

I would have calculated how much money I'd saved, too, except it turns out I was the only one in North America who still believed you could shave with a 69 cent BIC razor.

It could take me 234 hours just to figure out all the shaver options at the local Walgreen's.

Instead I directed my attention to avoiding shaving over any bug bites, for fear I'd start hemorrhaging. So I have this hairy Cyclopes just below my right knee. And another an inch and a half above my left ankle.

Still, the effect was transforming. Gazing down at my newly shaven legs, I realized I looked like a celebrity sex symbol.

Unfortunately, it was this celebrity sex symbol.

So maybe I never really will put the femme in feminist. And maybe Puts the Johnson in Feminist doesn't have quite the connotation I was hoping for.

At least no one can call say I put the Hairy Knuckles in Harvard.

My armpits, however, are a whole other story.


bono said...

you never had a nickname?! what the heck was "Sid" to you? what the heck was i to you? *sob*

Macaroni said...

While it's true I was Sid to you, didn't I give myself that nickname too? I think I did. I think you asked my name and I said Sid and you said Like Vicious and I knew we were gonna be friends.

Anonymous said...

Nicknamewise you are lou to me or loulou if you are really funnish!

Rossi ;-D