Thursday, March 08, 2012

Get Ready!

Ladies, please don’t read this.

I feel the need to address a very important issue that has plagued Mankind for millennia. It has nothing to do with religion, politics, war, disease or crime. It’s far more important. It is the disparity in the amount of time men and women take to get ready when they go out.

You know how it goes: the two of you are going out to a party. Or dinner. Or a ball game. Or a concert. Or a bar. It doesn’t matter. The man throws on a jacket and waits patiently while she showers, dries her hair, puts on make-up, tries on seven different outfits, and writes a novel. This takes approximately three presidential administrations. “For crying out loud,” the typical man thinks, “they’re not gonna kick us out of Fuddruckers if you don’t look like a runway model.” But try telling this to a woman and she will look at you as though you just told her that Kim Kardashian has a college degree. Or a high school degree. Or talent.

Whenever a girlfriend or wife has told me that she was “almost ready”, I’ve believed her, so instead of using that time to do something productive, like perhaps grout the guest bathroom, I’ve sat on the couch, watching whatever happened to be on cable, with my jacket on, sweating.

We men have really been missing out. While we secretly resent our women for making us wait, they enjoy a sacred ritual. Well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. It is time for us to get in on this and make our own lives better by learning to enjoy personal hygiene. Therefore I present my new routine for getting ready to go out.

The first step is to get in the mood. I pretend to hold a microphone and lip-sync an 80s song. This keeps me busy while waiting for the shower water to heat up to the point where getting under it won’t remind me of the Seinfeld “shrinkage” episode.

Many men rush through showering as though it’s a dreaded chore. Not I. This is “me” time, when I get to touch myself in places that would normally get me arrested -- places that no one has touched me except a few girlfriends and my third grade gym teacher. Guys, please take your time to, uh – how can I put this delicately? – be thorough. This isn’t a race. Don’t simply give your pits and crotch a cursory rinse and be done with it. The human body has lots of nooks and crannies that harbor dirt and bacteria, which will result in odors and possibly infections if not addressed. You’re already standing in your shower naked and wet, so why not spend a few extra minutes to do things right?  Yeah, I’m talking to you, you fellows who brag about needing only 5 minutes to take a shower. I think we know why you only need 5 minutes: you’re leaving vast expanses of your body unattended. You disgust me.

Okay, after a good shower that lasts AT LEAST 10 MINUTES, it’s time to dry off. I make sure to use a soft towel. I will never forget my experiences in Europe where the hotel towels were so rough that it was like drying off with 80-grit sandpaper. I gently rub or pat my skin dry, and I don’t worry about looking wimpy or unmanly because no one’s watching. Of course, I just put that image in your mind. Sorry.

Now it’s deodorant time. I have 3 different fragrances to suit my moods. My favorite is the old Axe Kilo. I say “old” because the new version is not nearly as good as the one I bought in 2007, so I recently bought two more fragrances, one of which smells nice and fruity. Don’t judge me.

I have 4 kinds of cologne. Two were Christmas gifts from an old girlfriend’s mom. The third is called Polo, and I’ve had it since college. The fourth is something called First Class Male, which comes in a bottle that looks like a mailbox; I won it in a golf tournament in 1975. I’ll wear one of these only if I won’t be drinking good beer, because I don’t want a perfumy aroma to interfere with my beer enjoyment. Sure, I want to smell good for the ladies, but beer is more important, which is why I usually don’t get a second date. Well, that and my personality.

All right, the body has been prepped, and now it’s time to get dressed. The most important piece of clothing is my T-shirt. It defines me. First of all, it must say something. Plain shirts are boring. Your body is a walking billboard, so why not put something on it?  Also it must be soft because I want to feel good in it. Finally, the tighter the better, because it shows off my physique. Baggy shirts are for fat people so they can hide the fact that they eat too much. Tight shirts are honest shirts because they reveal the real you. I have beer shirts, rock group shirts, wrestling shirts, and shirts with jokes on them. One of my favorites is my “Boogie Til You Puke” shirt. I found it in my fraternity attic in the early 1980s. Its unsavory phrase is the title of an old song by Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band. I used to think it would cause single females to want me instead of men who have class. In reality it causes even desperate women to suddenly remember that they have to be somewhere else. But I wear it anyway because it feels good and I like the way I look in it. Anyone else would use it only to pick up their dog’s poops.

I have to brush and floss because my teeth must be smooth. If I have something between two of them, I cannot relax until it’s gone. Many times at parties I have been unable to pay attention to anything anyone said because I was too busy trying to dislodge a tortilla chip fragment with my tongue.

Finally, my nose must be cleared of all boogers. If my nasal passages aren’t completely empty, I clean them with a few hard blows or, for stubborn nose nuggets, my pinky.

So that’s my ritual. It might take upwards of an hour, but I enjoy it, and since I have learned to enjoy it I no longer resent the women I date for how much time they take getting ready or try to hurry them up because I know that they enjoy it and I don’t want to diminish their fun. If only they would give me the same courtesy when we’re at the beer store.