It’s as good a time as any to have a story time, so here it goes. Once upon a time there was this guy who was trying to meet someone, and living in Sweden means that it’s nearly impossible to do it in person so he went online. He came into contact with someone, a few weeks after he had a very traumatic experience with someone else that left him shaken and unwilling to jump in head first.

It started out basic enough, nice conversation and similar interests in films. The chatting went on for a few weeks here and there, and then moved to Snapchat where the tempo increased and it was clear that both liked each other.

Plans were made to hang out, go for drinks, and watch films together. The only thing that kept them apart was 30km and the Christmas holidays. However, something interesting had happened in this elapsed time. Photos were sent on a daily basis and chats went on every day, and what might be considered flirting ensued.

This new person was asking all sorts of questions, like if it was okay that they lived at home and didn’t have a good job and was a bit messed up from a past relationship with a girl. This didn’t perturb the hero, because at this point he knew what he wanted and the good that was inside, at least what he thought was good.

And so our hero left for the United Arab Emirates for Christmas to meet a a dear friend, but during this time a Snapchat achievement was made…

Photo courtesy of Snapchat

The evil red heart achievement came into the picture, and undoubtedly was noticed by both. No reaction was made, but it was something that was on the mind of our hero for many weeks.

Days went on, and every day while in the UAE they chatted and looked forward to meeting upon return to Stockholm. More plans were made, and even our hero made a comment about the queue of films, and hangouts in the works. This new person acknowledge and was happy about that, and continued to send flirty messages, emojis, and photos.

The return back to Stockholm was a stress filled flight; one of anticipation and fatigue with no entertainment. Our hero returned back and slept for the morning, planning to wake up in the afternoon and hang out as arranged. Time was getting later and later, and the plans became more delayed.

Eventually nerve was built up, and upon a train this new person boarded. Our hero decided to be polite and meet at the train station upon arrival, that way there would be no confusion about where to go even thought the building was across the street.

Polite greetings occurred and they proceeded back for some tea and chat. The guest decided that beer was the beverage of choice, likely due to nerves and shyness. This was evident with the amount of smoking that was needed; normally this would put someone off, but sometimes people have to look past imperfections for the greater good.

Interesting chat ensued and a passing comment was made about our hero’s hair; what a surprise that it was longer. Well what about the Bitmoji which clearly showed long hair? It was not something hidden in the snaps before, so a bit perplexing.

The guest became curious about some tarot cards that were spotted on the bookshelf. A request for a reading arose, and our hero obliged. Almost immediately our hero realised what the query was and what it concerned. It was clearly a question about a new male person in their life and their unwillingness to let go of the past. In order to seek resolution of the conflict, the querent needed to let go and move on.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Without spilling the beans and speaking a bit vaguely, the hero sensed that it was in direct relation to the current situation. He decided not to say anything, as it would have been very presumptuous. Panic ensued as the time was noticed; it had barely been one hour, but the last train was departing in the next 10 minutes and the guest needed to go. Quick preparations for leaving took place and pleasantries were made while leaving. “We should hang out tomorrow, is that okay?” the guest asked.

Of course this was okay, and the run to the train resulted in making it with two minutes to spare. During the 20 minute journey flirty conversation continued, and when the new person arrived home again a Video Call was made. Much to the hero’s surprise, already being in bed, he answered. This call continued for another 20 minutes before sleep, and all was good in the world.

The next day came up, and our hero slept in and came awake to the world at about noon, having been jet-lagged as well. A daily greeting snap was sent, and it went unopened and unanswered for several hours. Dinner time came, and finally a reply. Negatory on hanging out, after all. No worries, more sleep.

For the next few days, the same question came up about going for a drink, going to see a movie as planned, or having coffee. Negative, negative, negative. Our hero became suspicious and slightly irritated as clearly the tone of the messages had changed. The day before New Years Eve approached and the hero inquired the plan; few options, no decision made. Our hero usually spends New Years Eve alone eating cheese fondue and watching the Muppets, so he invited the other over to join in the tradition. No answer.

Several hours later, our hero received some snaps clearly indicating that other options were chosen. He went to bed, disappointed in the fact that once again he was left alone to celebrate a new year. He knew something was afoot but didn’t dare say anything.

And so a few days passed, and radio silence. It was at this point that our hero sent a message inquiring what was going on. Up until this point it had been mixed signals: we should hang out, we should watch movies, we should go for a drink. However at every instance of asking to do one of those things, it was met with a no.

Then the truth came out. “I stopped messaging you because you seemed more attached than I was.” Stunned and taken aback. How could this be for our hero? It was the the other one that was doing the flirting and had been leading him on to believe that he was liked. “I am not ready to have any serious relationships, I’m only looking for friends.”

Fine, sure. It’s not like the hero had done anything other than to suggest hanging out. After all it was the flirting of the new person that was defining the relationship. This angered the hero because nothing he had said suggested that hanging out would mean anything serious. Isn’t that what friends do? Don’t friends hang out and enjoy each others company?

Our hero was left to ponder this and came to the conclusion that either he’s crazy, or there is something wrong with other people. And so whatever it was that was going on was dead. Another one hits the dust, however promising the previous month had been. And so he’s left to wonder what went wrong and what was it. Then it all came into focus and there could only one logical explanation.

It’s all about the hair…

Since one of my very first memories in middle school, I disliked body hair on myself. I remember when I was in grade 7 and I was in the boys change room, and it occurred to me that peach fuzz started to appear on my body, and I didn’t like it at all. I was confused as to why I had it, and the immediate reaction was that it made me feel dirty. Little did I know that it would become a concern, fear, and affair for years to come.

I went home shortly and raided the cabinets and found a razor and used it to remove the hair on my arms, and legs. Little as it was, the anxiety I felt was immediately subsided. It was the beginning of the trials and tribulations of hair removal.

Since the age of eleven to eighteen I shaved on a regular basis to keep things under control. After that, I noticed that the hair would grow in thicker and was now brown instead of blonde. This worried me even more and caused me more anxiety. The more it came, the more I took it away and rid myself of guilt. This was very much the same routine until I was 23 and finally started to look older than 16 years old.

I was working full time with a steady job and had tons of money to spend or waste as I pleased as I had no social life. I frequented every month a health spa to have the hair waxed away instead of shaving. The effects were dramatically different, but the interim period required for the hair to grow to an appropriate length to remove was uncomfortable and made me anxious again. This continued for two full years, and in retrospect I ended up spending approximately $1,500 in that timeframe on the removal. I didn’t really think about it until now; shocking I know!

And so I moved to Asia last year and things got a little weird, mostly because shaving in my shower is awkward and difficult as it’s limited in space and comfort and the water is gross. I started to research alternate more permanent options. Naturally I gravitated to Thailand with their cheap deals, but it wasn’t realistic as most treatments require you to go regularly, and zipping off to Thailand would be hardly a good option.

The magic machine

I compared prices of laser hair removal in different parts of the world, and could range between $250 per treatment to flat rates of $2,000 depending on where you went. Paying that much money for light therapy seems ludicrous, so I asked around here in my village and I got a referral. I would pay approximately $600 all inclusive for IPL (Intense Pulse Light) treatment. After the consult I was sold and excited about the possibility of never having to worry about it again.

The price was right, the location was clean and safe and discrete, and everybody seemed happy. Here I am tw treatments letter and already I notice huge differences. It’s amazing to think that in another 6 months or so I’ll never have to worry about the appointments, or ever have to worry about it again. It’s liberating, it’s freeing, it’s magic, and it’s right. It feels right, and it means I can focus on other things.

And thus the affair that I’ve had for nearly 20 years is almost over. Who knew that being aware of hair cycles and anagen phases of hair growth, or light, or the gentle cold feeling of the applicator and the gentle smell of burning hair follicles could be so comforting.

Smoothness ahoy!