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Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Bathroom Odyssey: Women Just Have So Much "Stuff"

We have two bathrooms at home: one, I affectionately call "my bathroom" because it contains my favorite John and the sink that I normally use and another I call "my wife's bathroom" because it is her exclusive command post that she so skillfully occupies for her long routine of getting ready for the day.

Her bathroom contains the shower, and I use that shower nearly every day. Most of time I don't even notice anything in the room except the shower stall, but I walked into "my wife's bathroom" to shower yesterday and suddenly I felt overwhelmed by all of the various articles of hers there.

Let's face it, women have lots of "stuff."

On the sink alone, (not very large as some sinks go) I saw Hempz pure herbal extracts moisturizer, Olay active hydrating beauty hydrating lotion, Fructis flexible control anti-humidity hairspray, Granier fructis style hairspray, Aveno positively radiant daily moisturizer, Neutrogena pore refining exfoliating cleanser, Mary Kay gentle cleansing creme, Keri shea butter conditioning therapy, Nivia anti-wrinkle and firming creme, Hemp Nation tan extender, Softsoap coconut and warm ginger hand soap,  Goodsense rubbing alcohol, Leader witch hazel, Colorsilk definition color and shine, Edge active care advanced gel, Biotene dry mouth oral rinse, Oral B sonic toothbrush paraphernalia, Dentek triple clean floss picks, some gear for feminine parts I won't mention, plus a giant plethora of makeup products including concealers, eyeliners, and lip sticks.

My wife Cindy says, "It takes a lot to keep me looking good." I'll take that comment on face value. But, let me tell you, I've been in many doctor's offices, and I'm pretty sure the physicians weren't as well equipped with "stuff" to sustain a pleasant life as my wife is in her complicated operating room.

I didn't even mention the ten or eleven kinds of shampoo and hair conditioner she keeps in the shower stall, the contents of the medicine cabinet above the sink, or all her things in the drawers of the sink cabinet. I wouldn't know how or where to begin preparing myself for a new day surrounded by all the "stuff" in her bathroom. I would need to take a semester course on application even to try.

Now, I'm sure everything in Cindy's bathroom is essential to her daily preparation, but I question overkill. Don't all of those lotions and cleansers and moisturizers tend to counteract each other? Or, do they operate on the principle of partying -- "the more, the merrier"? Perhaps, what one doesn't improve, the other does. Still, it would take a person with degrees in dermatology, internal medicine, cosmetology, pharmacology, and business administration/marketing to plan a proper regimen.

I think men like me try to minimize all preparation. Each day I brush my teeth, shave, shower, brush my hair, roll something around my armpits, and spray one squeeze of aftershave on my face. And, I'm good for doing it all in under fifteen minutes. I guess my body is probably suffering from too little extra care, but I'm not a mousser, not a hair sprayer, not a gray concealer, not an anti-ager, and definitely not a man who prefers staring in the mirror at his own image for any longer than necessary.

I think men have one objective to prepare themselves to meet the day -- kill the stink. Anything else is just window dressing and not necessarily conducive to maintaining a manly appearance. Old guys like me tend to see gray hair, scars, and wrinkles like barnacles on a ship -- they accumulate with time and give a certain rustic tone to the natural setting. We aren't trying to be pretty, and "handsome" is just some aesthetic term only understood by females. To us, primping is basically a waste of manly time. Instead, we could be watching a ballgame, napping, or eating.

But, women? Jesus, they have to have tons of stuff to prepare for meeting the day. Not "some" stuff or not even "a lot" of stuff, but magnitudes and oodles of stuff. I plead ignorance on maintenance of women. It's all I can do to get a little conversation and a smile from the females I know. What keeps them happy and how it works are mysteries of life I have accepted long, long ago.

I know women have reasons and plans and secrets of their own they will never teach men.  I am sure of it. These female "things" used to fascinate me and inspire me to conjure solutions, but I found that trying to understand them is impossible.

I learned this very early in life. In grade school, all the girls would fold pieces of paper in elaborate ways to construct a neat, hand-held, fortune telling device. I've see this done many times with my own eyes. When finished with the detailed, ornamented contraption, they would put it one hand and manipulate it slicker than David Blaine... zip, zip, zip.. to tell a person's future.

Well, I and every other well-intentioned young lad in our third grade class tried to construct one of these origami-like devices. No boy, not one, could ever finish the fortune telling thing. We tried and tried, but only the girls succeeded in the art, one trick now I consider part of feminine deception. This was the first time I actually realized women had "stuff" I could never master.

If you think I'm kidding, click here for the instructions of the fortune teller:

As I got older and more interested in love, I attempted to discover a girl's proclivities for romance. Again, I soon knew, as a male, I was over-matched. Women had just too much damned "stuff" that I didn't understand -- so many things to do and ways to do them. I tried, mind you, but what little I learned was often unreliable.

The efforts to study all of those complicated  feminine parts alone left me more confused than ever before. There is just too much "stuff" there. So, guys, as the cliches goes "this ain't my first rodeo," and I advise you all to thank God for what little we men know about women and just forget the rest... that is if you can forget it. That's why we have beer, men. It helps cushion the inadequacy of our existence alongside the mysterious sex.

I will leave this post with one suggestion for all the men. Guys, when you walk into the bathroom and see the sea of products your significant other employs, don't ask questions. You likely will meet with resistance if you question her, and besides, you would not understand an answer if you got one. Just close your eyes, head to the shower, and quickly get the stink off your body.

Then, walk away, friend. Don't look back and don't even wonder what may be going on right under your inept masculine nose. It's far too complicated to consider.

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