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January 24, 2008

Why real men only understand KY gel...

One of the greatest shocking moments of my life – and it is not easy to shock me – is when going through my dad’s shaving kit, I came upon a certain object.

Now my army officer dad has been every bit the epitome of what a ‘man’ is supposed to be: A good husband, a loving father, someone who dictates what everyone watches on TV irrespective of what serial episodes are missed, bans supporting a cricket team he does not like, frowns at clothes he thinks are inappropriate (which would be everything he hasn’t bought), dislikes all boys I might like or even look at and frequently reminds everyone (that would be bro and me) who makes the decisions in the family. Till I was 18, he had also banned discussing Hindi movies at home and any discussion on English movies started and ended with Guns of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare and if at all it had to be commercial, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. He also believed in hiding editions of India Today that had any articles on sex in them.

He also considered going to the parlour a rather vain experience and one that young girls were supposed to avoid till they become young women, which was of course once you got married. All that directly resulted in me having to live with bushy, caterpillar eyebrows till I was 18. Dad also firmly believed that ageing was a natural process and frowned upon anyone who did anything to ‘undo’ the ageing process or camouflage it. Consequently him and mom had rather heated debates on why she needed to colour her four grey strands when he was all set to “age gracefully”, wrinkles and grey hair and all.

So after ALL that, when going through his shaving kit one morning – I was 24 by now and dad was posted in Ladakh – I came upon Certain Object, my shock knew no bounds. It was the ultimate deceit, the ultimate con and I could not believe that the man who had hitherto been so strict and forthright and so anti anything not natural was into… Anti-ageing creams. I was holding a green-and-cream jar of Synergy Anti-Ageing cream and even as I tried to understand what it was doing in my dad’s shaving kit, he walked in and stopped short on seeing me with the Offending Object. As we exchanged looks, papa grinned sheepishly and said, “That was the only one in the canteen and I needed a moisturizer.”

I think I have either fainted or shrieked out loud. Papa was using a moisturizer! He who didn’t use anything other than Old Spice, Keo Karpin hair oil and that horrible Clinic Plus shampoo (it causes hair loss but he wouldn’t listen and now it’s too late)! I was shocked and hurt, called him a pretender and asked him why he had suddenly decided to give up all his theories on real-men-don’t-use-beauty products. “I am in Ladakh goddammit, the wind cuts my face and your mother insisted that my face looks white. She threw a fit. That’s why.”

I forgave him because there was a logical explanation to WHY he was using moisturizer. And not just him, most men I have known have had an abhorrence for any sort of ‘beauty’ product. For a long time, a Park Avenue beard shampoo (apparently had beer in it) was the only ‘other’ beauty item I had seen for a man, apart from Aramusk soaps, shaving creams and after-shave lotions. Today though, it’s a whole new world out there for men. They even have face scrubs that are ONLY for men.

Sincerely, I do not understand this new breed of man: The body hair waxing, face-mask applying, blow drying hair variety of man. I appreciate my man to be sensitive, but the idea of my man discussing a zinc-oxide pedicure would make me queasy. At the same time, I wouldn’t want him to have corns on his feet too… And that’s where perhaps I do empathise with the guys.
On one hand, we have girly magazines declaring how women like their men being spruced up. On the other hand, a man with soft, manicured hands is ALSO supposed to be macho. Somehow soft, manicured hands and a bike handlebar just don’t go together with me. What’s a guy to do then?
As far as I am concerned, there are some simple things that differentiate a REAL man from a doubtful-about-him-being-real man:

1. Real men will moisturize their faces because a white-streaked, patchy face FEELS uncomfortable. However, he will pick a ‘moisturiser’ without getting into if-it-has-aloe or does things for his T-zone. I am quite happy my man NOT knowing what a T-zone is.
2. A real man will trim his nails and ensure nails don’t have stuff under them. I am uncomfortable with a man who goes for deluxe pedicures because they put things on his feet that make them glow.
3. A real man will apply after-shave because it soothes his skin after shaving instead of having eight different varieties of lotions to suit his mood.
4. A real man will trim hair that grows out from under his collar – or too long nose hair- unlike the others who get their pubic hair waxed.
5. A real man will know only two types of gel: Hair gel to keep it in place (and not in oodles) and KY jelly.

I could go on… but you’d better read the man’s point of view instead…

(It’s also bedtime and real men usually don’t like hitting bed with their women typing away to the world in general. Haha. So goodnight)


taurius1 said...

I know what a T-zone is and I'm proud of it!
*shakes fist at stereotypes*

aluchaat said...

Really like your blog. Makes me smile and think at the same time.
but please do real women or real people (read normal!) get deluxe pedicures and have different lotions to suit their moods?

sorry if the blog post was tongue in cheek and i have just made a daft comment, kindly forgive.

Indeterminacy said...

I enjoyed your post - maybe i am the last rugged man around - I don#t even use aftershave. I have all these bottles of it, some I got in the 80's, and just never use it. I shower and bathe, and I like my gray hairs.
Haven't been by in a while - wishing you a great 2008!

Eve* aka jb said...

aluchaat!! haha, love that name...and please! this blog is not about "daft"...if you read the archives, have been writing quite a bit of my internal daftness out to the world. we are sharing our time and thoughts and daft be damned. feel free with what you want to say, agreeable or not!

And erm, yes... this hopefully real woman does get deluxe pedicures (feet look bloody pretty) and has two lotions for moods!! *grin* one is a baby oil when i want to feel really luxurious and pampered and another for regular days. Also, i definitely go in for a more expensive spa treatment when am feeling particularly yucky. :) Perhaps the reason i dont want men doing it too...its a woman's domain. LOL. i am expecting some of you guys to give it back to me now... Taurius has already been shaking fists.

Taurius = shakes hands instead of fists. hahaha. :D

Eve* said...

Indie aka Indeterminancy... what a bloody pleasant surprise to see you here. Had added your blog loooong time back...and truly quite happy to have a visit from you. do be around and if and when possible, join us here. its always good to have REAL men around. (wink) and with THAT beard, the only space left for your after shave is your nose. thankfully, cant smell you on a blog.

the mad momma said...

oh thank God. I was accused of being regressive when I said I dont want a man who knows one moisturiser from another. I have been blessed with a man who will use whatever soap is lying in the bathroom - even a Rin bar if he is in a rush. I think thats a good thing!

Eve* aka JBo said...

haha @ momma... yes, it's quite a blessing. Here, Partner will jump off a moving auto if threatened with even the bittiest of moisturiser. I love it! :D And calls face packs "cement mortar". Hah.

Mystique said...

yes, it's a woman's domain!!!guys please stay out!!
by the way...
what IS a T-zone?

Maxine said...

I miss my luxury :(,almost forgot such things exist.hmm.

A T-zone is the area of the skin where a guy spills his Tea and his partner takes off his T-shirt and marks her area ...the T-zone.The stains thus accumulated in the mans skin can be removed with a moisturiser, thus poking the metrosexuality in him.

duh.I'm just bored,nevermind.

eve's lungs said...

Well hoorat for stereotypes . It makes me comfortable that my man has been known to mistake conditioner for shampoo because it read "hair something" on the bottle .