People I Have Paid to Hurt Me

1. Spinning instructors

2. Crossfit instructors

3. The many women I have gone to for eyebrow threading.

4. The woman who gave me an anti-acne facial. “You will feel so good,” she said. And there were a few nice minutes in there with some creams and steam. But mostly it was EXTRACTIONS, during which she pressed down hard on a sharp tool and dragged it across my face to clean out my pores. Found myself resorting to lamaze breathing exercises learned from watching birth scenes on sitcoms. “Cannot endure torture” just another reason I’ll never be a spy.  


5. The woman who gave me an exfoliating facial in 2007. “It’s like a chemical peel but all natural,” she said. I looked like a burn victim for three days.

6. The woman who waxed my legs four times in the summer in 2006. I was living in California and thought that if I could endure the pain and cost for a few sessions, my leg hair would never grow back and I’d have silky smooth California legs forever. This did not happen.

7. The woman who waxed my bikini line one time and one time only. Leg waxing felt great next to this. I had a bruise on my wrist afterwards from where I had dug my fingernails into my flesh.

8. Airlines. 

9. A nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood. I got an IUD, which is a piece of copper and plastic inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. The fear of the pain lasted way longer than the pain, but: THE PAIN. Insertion only hurt for a second, but that second was enough to make my entire body break out in sweat. It also made my previously painless periods incredibly painful. And yet: I recommend it highly. Would do it again.

10. Bartenders. “Yes, I’d like one pint of poison, please. Keep them coming.”


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