Wash before wear


Wash before wear, a warning I should have followed. 

I’m finally ready to talk about it, maybe even laugh, but I need to make sure no one else suffers the same fate.


I’ve never been one for buying cheap clothing, but a students money has to stretch, and no matter the budget a girl still needs to look good.

So when I find myself in a parking lot buying clothes out of a strangers trunk, I consider it a necessary evil.

The guy seemed harmless enough, even with the facial tattoos and piercings. He didn’t try anything or tell me that I could pay in trade.

I probably should have asked where the clothes came from, but who asks that sort of thing at a shifty trunk sale. Until this ordeal I’d always prefered not to know the answer.

For a laugh, I was tempted to ask about his return policy but he didn’t seem like the laughing kind, which is funny considering he was selling a bunch of clown clothes and leotards. I want to guess he robbed a circus but it could just as easily have been a fetish club.

I had never seen him before and I haven’t seen him since. I’ve tried to track him down with the little information that I have, but other than going to every trunk sale in the Tri-state area, and I have, my chances of finding him are limited. If I had just paid attention to the licence plate maybe I could fix this.


Anyway im getting sidetracked.

The clothes I bought were handmade as was the wash before wear tag, something I thought was odd. Why would someone go to the trouble of making a warning tag?

They were beautiful, clean boho chic, well taken care of, and smelt like a tropical garden in spring.

I tried some on, fell in love and bought everything.

The day was becoming overcast so I left on an open front basket weave sweater over my singlet. It felt perfect, not just the size and cut, but also the fabric against my skin, like it had reshaped to fit the moment I put it on.

The only issue I had were a few stray hairs. The last owner was obviously a cat person I thought, but I would just give them a going over with the lint roller when I got home.


Now this is where it gets freaky, literally.

By the time I made it home I had a tingling sensation. It started in my fingertips and made its way through my whole body. It was an empowering feeling, like fire poured right through my veins, but then came the itch. All over at first, then localised to my face.

I took every pain killer I had in the house and passed out.


When I awoke the next morning, I let out a scream so gut wrenching anyone who heard would have thought I was in the throes of childbirth.

I had grown a beard! Not a petite little thing some french women can get away with, no, a full lumberjack number overnight.

I shaved, but it returned in hours and by midday I was looking like I should be donning a stovepipe hat and freeing the slaves.

I shaved and I shaved and I waxed and I shaved. My clear skin never lasted more than twenty minutes and the hair was starting to grow back thicker.


I became a hermit overnight, not willing to deal with the ridicule of world. It was days before I made the connection between the clothes and the beard.

I burned every item, did some useless chanting a wicca friend suggested, and a few other things involving animals I won’t go into. Nothing has changed the situation.


It has been a month now. My month as the bearded lady.

I guess it’s not as big a deal as it was say ten years ago, we all saw Eurovision.

These days I’m more worried what might come next, you know, testicles, and the other thing.

Because I’ve to say, I’ll need more than new wardrobe for that.


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