but secretly you'd love to know what it's like for a girl
tuesday night at the bookstore, i'm perched on the floor in the health and beauty section, scanning titles and shelving (fyi to all you bookstore shoppers out there - should you decide you really don't want that book on fetishes, please just put it at the customer service counter rather than stuff it recklessly in other areas. we won't judge you. a few of us will simply blog anonymously about you later, but we'll never judge). after about 45 minutes at this task, i have to admit i was taken aback by the number of different books out there to help women look and feel their best. glamour does and don'ts. instyle guides. don't go to the beauty counter without me. what to wear. what not to wear. pluck this. wax that. it was endless.
cripes, even my latest acquisitions on stripping came with detailed instructions (with pictures!) on how to create and maintain a 'landing strip.' (yeah...i so love that slang). one book even provides templates to create "the prettiest kitty."
it's a lot of work to be a girl. haircuts and colors. styling. manis and pedis. shaving this, that and the other. lotions and potions. we may say it's just for us. that it makes us feel better.
it's so not just for us. please!
but back to the books. nowhere among the stacks was a book to help men wanting to look their best, feel their freshest (actually, do men even care to feel their freshest? is that just my personal dream for them?). sure, i know there are magazines out there that guide them in the latest fashions and may offer consumer reviews on grooming products and whatnot. but for the most part, do men take this stuff seriously?
my experience with men has been a resounding "no!" kudos to those of you who do, btw. i find what you accomplish with a razor to be delicious. i appreciate it when you take that extra step, yet still don't go so far with it that you're plummeting into girly territory. i know it can be tempting sometimes, but there's little need for you to go to the m.a.c. counter the next time you're at the mall, as far as i'm concerned.
but i do like a little concern, and the men in my life - past and present tense - really don't seem to think it's important. i once dated a man who, when he came to my apartment to spend the weekend, came 'as is.' never had an overnight bag stocked with a change of underwear or a clean shirt. toothbrush? how sissy! a razor? ha! i'd told him i liked him rugged. two days minus shaving helps that look along.
now granted, most of our weekends were spent sans clothing and yes, there was showering involved. sometimes two or three a day. but the man brought only the clothes on his back for a 48 hour excursion.
now that's s-e-x-y! obviously, it had to have been love that was blinding me (or impeding my sense of smell).
i often encourage my husband to take up the cause of male grooming. "it'll be like one of those 'magic eye' puzzles," i tell him, tossing in a wink to let him know that optical inch only means good things ahead for him. he simply rolls his eyes (under brows that could stand a minor tweezing) and returns his gaze to whatever is on the sci-fi channel at the moment.
he did trim up for me once while we were dating. surprised me with a full-on self-barbering. let's just say there's sexy and then there's creepy. it was creepy. i'm not convinced i'm a 'natural' kinda girl.
i preach sunscreen and moisturizers, eye creams and balms. i ushered him into a new decade with an up-to-date hairstyle and coaxed him into believing it was ok to use hair products. we can say "hair wax" without feeling silly.
i want to wax his back, pop his "bacne," clip at skin tags, exfoliate his feet and scrub his face each night before coming to bed (this, however, does not happen despite my insistence that, although he doesn't eat cheese, i swear to god his face smells of aged gouda). i've been known to take a sick delight in searching his body for errant hairs and wayward flakes of things (yes, i know. it's gross. but admit it. you've done it with your partners, too).
i'm not high maintenance, and he's not a troll, but come on. let's call it tit for tat. i try to look nice for him. a little reciprocity can only be rewarded.
and if he got good at it, then naturally, i could write the book on it.