Sunday, July 13, 2008

Preening Away Your Manhood

The Lord rested on the seventh day, and so did The Common Man, especially after The Boy came down with a cough and a fever and needed his daddy. However, today The Common Man is going to use his son's nap time more wisely, to deliver his gospel to you.

Yesterday, while getting ready for church, The Common Man was encouraged by The Uncommon Wife to try a new aftershave. The Common Man was skeptical of this new fragrance, particularly after catching its name, Blue Sugar. Sounded like a Blue Man prostitute. Yet, though The Common Man is king of his castle, he has delegated most of the power of decision making to his beautiful and talented better half. And so, he complied with her request. As he hesitated in front of the mirror, The Common Man began thinking about how complicated hygiene has become for the modern male.

The Common Man has long believed that soap is soap. Sure, shampoo goes best on hair and regular soap (in bar form, of course) goes best on the body. But in a pinch, anything will do. It's perfectly acceptable to wash your hair with soap if there just isn't one last glob of shampoo in the container. Or, if you get in the shower without looking, get yourself wet and have used the bar of soap all the way down to those useless, wafer-thin flakes, it's ok to shampoo your whole body. After all, there's hair on The Common Man's chest, arms, arm-pits, legs, and, um, other places. So for many years, The Common Man has embarked on his shower armed just with his shampoo and his bar of soap. He thought this was perfectly acceptable.

Apparently (and The Common Man wasn't aware of this), today's man needs a variety of products to look and smell manly. Sweaty musk doesn't do it anymore. As he enters the bathroom in the morning today, The Common Man is forced to negotiate shampoo, conditioner, body wash, aftershave, cologne, hair wax, and facial scrub to go with his *ahem* Clinique shaving gel. What was once a quick process of clean and comb has become a multi-phasic, multi-tasking process to achieve proper levels of sexy manness.

And it has become harder to feel masculine while going through this process during the day. After all, the facial scrub alone takes a full minute to work. A full minute of standing and waiting. A full minute that The Common Man is not engaged in some manly activity, like killing a buffalo. It's easy to feel emasculated by the metrosexual preening men must do in the morning.

As such, The Common Man has begun thinking of and referring to these processes using as masculine a vocabulary as he has at his disposal. The facial scrub, for instance, feels like a team of oxen plowing his face with strong blades, tilling the good skin to the surface.
The bodywash, or man-scrub, is the most efficient way to clean off his body without getting those little chest hairs stuck to the bar of soap (which, come on, you know annoys you. They're embarrassing, so you don't want to leave them for the next person; but they're a pain to pick off the wet bar of soap one by one). One note, under no circumstances can any self-respecting man use a luffa. Hands and washcloths only. Otherwise, the inefficiency is canceled out by the total girliness. The hair wax is like duct tape for your head. As for the fancy shampoo and conditioner, The Common Man's hair has never felt so full and bouncy and alive.

It seems as though the world is consigning men to its metrosexual agenda. There is little we can do to stop it. However, The Common Man urges you to take advantage of the advances in male hygiene, but rationalize them no matter how ridiculous your reasoning needs to be. After all, it's better to feel like a man while you slowly turn into a girl.

One final note. Blue sugar? Smells horrible. Like some kind of burnt offering to the Goddess of Metrosexuality.

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