I fell in love this summer. It was the result not of a box of Russell Stover coconut chocolates, nor the arrival of Tori Amos’ new CD, but the projectile spray of an aerosol can of Nair for Men all over my chest. Some call it the third armpit; I call it the third eye – for the curls that wave between my chiseled pectorals opened a window into myself that I had overlooked until this summer.

It all started on July 13. I was involved in a heated game of foursquare. I am damn good at foursquare. As such, I was talking foursquare smack to my meatstick friend who shaves his chest as a means to accentuate his chesticles. Cocky foursquare player that I am, I succumbed to a daunting bet. If the hairless boy lost, he had to shave his legs and his head. If I lost, I had to Nair my chest. Piece of cake, thought I. Mr. Gillette “No Chest Stubble” Fusion slams kickballs weaker than my osteopathic grandfather slams the trunk to his ’87 El Dorado.

Within two rounds of the match, I usurped the Blacktop King position. But a backspun ball, potentially the result of some low-end player’s pinky ring, caught me off guard. And before I could institute any authoritarian legislation, I was off the court and staring at a grim and hairless future.

A substantial bit of my manhood and a decent amount of my chest skin died with that foursquare match. Nair for Men apparently makes your skin redder than a spray-on tan from the Kool-Aid man.

During the three-week regrowth period, an accelerated puberty of sorts, I realized that chest hair should not be taken for granted. I’m not of the mindset that you need to embrace what the lord gives you — I fully condone ass implants and rhinoplasties — rather, my adoration of my chest hair stems from the experience of furless alternatives. Two days of smoothness, two weeks of awkward stubble and ingrown hairs is hardly preferable to the Jonas Brothers’ pubes in between your nipples.

Curls for the girls.