Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Mirror Crack'd

It's funny how trivial things can pop into your head from many years ago. Just the other day I had a vivid memory of a conversation I had with Lore, the wife of the man who owned the company I worked for.

We were at a dinner following a conference we were at and somehow Lore ended up talking about the soap bar in the shower. Insisting how hygiene demanded it must be thoroughly rinsed before being used, she asked, "What is the last thing you wash before you get out of the shower?" Apparently I failed the test, because I answered "My face". She looked at me incredulously and then bellowed, "No. It's your butt."

I should add that Lore was originally from Austria so it is probably not unexpected that she had a conversation about washing your butt, and really not all that surprising that she insisted she knew my private showering habits better than I did. But the reason I remember this conversation so well is because A) it was the first dinner conversation I had had about the subject and B) I did begin to wonder if I was the only person in the world who washed their face as the last step before getting out of the shower.

To me it makes sense because the next step after drying off is to shave, and the softer the stubble the smoother the shave. I began to think of this as a Guy Thing, one of the unspoken actions that divides men and women, most clearly expressed in the equation, "Woman is to Man as Ass is to Face."

And the reason this conversation popped into my head is because I had a shocking Guy Moment two days ago. Or to be exact a Retired Guy Moment. I was in an elevator with a mirror. I looked at myself and was actually quite stunned by what I saw.

My hair (obviously the bit on the back of the head) is getting long enough to have a small ponytail. I won't wear a ponytail, by the way, because LK has said that if I ever do she will remove the rubber band and apply it to another part of my body. And she is probably not joking.

I was wearing an old sweatshirt that had visual reminders of at least six or seven different meals. Even though it was pretty chilly, I was wearing my shorts, and my footwear was black slip-on sneakers that pretty much look like the shoes Mickey Mouse wears.

As we got off the elevator, I said to Linda, "I don't look much like a business executive anymore, do I?" She shook her head and quietly said No. And it occurred to me that going out in public looking like that is almost exclusively a Guy Thing. I have seen bag ladies who scrubbed up better than I did.

Overall, I am pretty comfortable with looking, well, pretty comfortable. Is it really a Guy Thing or am I just inherently a slob? And is it possible that I am the only guy who doesn't wash his butt last? Does it matter? Hmmm, let me think about it a bit. More tomorrow.

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