Male Grooming and Other Ridiculous Stuff

I’m not talking about the mundane, ordinary, and necessary. I’m talking about the things imposed on us by society and, worse yet, women. Let’s skip brushing your teeth, flossing regularly, and combing your hair. Combing your hair, that is, if you have any.

Boys, it’s just us here. Let’s be honest.

I’ve talked about some of the useless aisles in the grocery store, such as those devoted to water or milk. These aisles just have too many choices. The male hair product and cologne aisles are also chocked full of a ridiculous amount of selections. First, the hair. Mousse, bounce, fluff, straighten, and just plain gel. Then there’s the ‘pick your scent products.’ Come on now men, your scent? Don’t we want to get rid of our scent? Have you smelled yourself lately? Select from lilacs and ponies to construction workers. You can smell like an old gym sock. Now I don’t know most women, but I’ve met some women. Let me assure you, none want you to smell like you just finished a six-day hike across the Serengeti.

Whatever happened to using just soap? You know, the stuff your gym teacher told you to use more of, lots more. You might even break out your dad’s Old Spice when you went to the Jr. prom. Yes, maybe, but only once a month. Most of all, I suggest soap: regular unscented, and plenty of it. Start at the top and work down. Not the other way around.

There comes a point in a young boy’s life when he wants to shave. This happens around age four. Soon and for the rest of our lives, it becomes a daily chore. Eventually we use an electric shaver or the new and improved Mach 37 with ninety-five micro blades. I’m old enough to remember straight razors and safety blades. Choose your weapon. When you’d finished, your face looked like you’d just returned from a knife fight with Bruce Lee. No matter how much men’s razors have improved, they’ll never get to all the places on your face you need. For example, can you name a single brand of razor specifically designed to delicately coif your unibrow?

While we’re on the subject of shaving, let’s stay on the face. Now there’s a real problem. I’m not talking about the occasional touch-up of the back of the neck. I’m talking about ENT. Have you looked in your ears lately? Your wife has, and it’s gross. When she offers to braid your nose hair, you’ve gone too long. We’ve all had that embarrassing moment when our chest hair pokes out over our tie. Maybe Tom Selleck can pull it off, but trust me, you can’t. Take as much time as you need. But if you find yourself spending more time grooming than your wife does, get therapy.

Facial hair. I just don’t see the point. Over the years, I’ve tried it. You know, the mustache. Goatee, and all the variants. For me, it just takes too much time. On one incarnation, I grew a mustache. Must have taken thirty-seven years to grow it just right. Then one fateful day I shaved too close. One side was shorter than the other, I trimmed, I got the mirror out to look sideways. It did no good. After about an hour of careful surgery, I looked like I wanted to conquer Europe. At that point, I shaved the darn thing off. Facial hair is just a pain in the butt.

Moving on. You, old guys, can take a rest. We, old guys, haven’t seen below our third-trimester belly in years. Old guys get a pass. I’ve move on to millennials and Gen-Xers.

Gen-Xers and millennials have a real problem.

Space: the final frontier
These are the voyages of the star ship Enterprise
It’s five year mission:
To explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life and new civilization
To boldly go where no man has gone before!

Yes, I’m talking about ‘manscaping.’ This ridiculous invention began, no doubt, with the ad agency promoting Michael J. Fox’s 1985 movie Teen Wolf. Do you realize there are specifically designed implements of follicle destruction intended for areas of the male anatomy better left alone? Where’s Tom Selleck when you need him? My only real problem with manscaping is; when you start, when will you end? After your five-year mission, you’ll be in syndication.

Ok, ok, let’s move this topic back up the male anatomy a bit. Time to talk about male pattern baldness. Let me explain male pattern baldness by delving into the science. According to the commercials I watch, more money and research go into curing male pattern baldness than all but one other male problem. I’ll save that other male problem for my Patreon subscribers, so let’s deal with man’s bigger yet less significant head.

Here is the summation of the results of billions of dollars of research into male pattern baldness. According to John Hopkins (my neighbor, not the University), “We get old, and we lose our hair.”

What to do, what to do? Fortunately for us, science has come to our rescue. Right back in the useless male cologne aisle of the grocery store they sell chemicals to restore your hair. Guys, here’s a big warning. If you use this stuff, be careful. First, it seems to not work on your head. Well, it doesn’t seem to work on the top of your head anyway. It does however, work in your ears and up your nose. AND wear gloves. I know a guy who didn’t. After about two weeks of applying these dangerous chemicals, the knuckles on his hands looked like the twelve-year-old boy his mother warned him about.

The baldness patterns are endless. Me, I’m blessed with a receding hairline. At sixteen, when it started, it made me more attractive. Attractive according to my subscription to Cosmopolitan Magazine. That juried periodical, said  girls dig guys with a receding hairline. It makes us look smarter. It makes our heads look bigger, and women like men with big heads.

The little bald spot in the back of the head. Hard to notice at first, but the area thins out. We do the comb-over. We apply gel. I think they make spray paint that fixes this problem. You can get it at Home Depot. Ask the guy. He’ll tell you the right aisle.

Some men lose all the hair on the top of their heads, but not around the sides. It grows like wildfire. This pattern is a curse. A curse because if you don’t trim the side of your head every other day, you start to look like Bozo the Clown.

This has nothing to do with male pattern baldness, but I found it brilliant. Several years ago, when our son was in his first year of college, he was a bit challenged for money. To save where he could, he bought himself an $11 dollar pair of clippers. Soon after he began cutting his own hair, a cute gal in the row behind said,

“Oh, Jason, you cut your own hair. There’s a big patch missing. You don’t need to do it yourself. I’ll come over and cut your hair.”

Years later, Jason confided in me, “Dad, that was the best $11 dollars I ever spent.”

Don’t let women, the ads on TV, or anyone else tell you, ‘Your head looks so good, why not just shave it all off. I’m warning you guys. If you do, your head will just look like a big thumb.

I suggest regular unscented soap. Lots of it. I also recommend brushing your teeth and combing your hair. You might not have either of them much longer.

There you have it. Male Grooming and other ridiculous stuff.