I readily admit that I am not the best company when I first get out of bed. The Main Squeeze has said to me when I first rise in the morning that I am a “moody, broody, irksome, annoying, irritable, gloomy, vexing, dark cloud on the horizon.” She usually says this with a voice that is icier than admiral Byrds ax. She sometimes has a way of expressing herself where you don’t have to ask: “what do mean by that?”
I confess that mornings are not my best time. I am about as cherry as a meter maid with bunions. I don’t get good sleep. I often have insomnia, and when I do sleep, I rarely sleep the night through. I wake up looking like the star of a hostage video, and like I had slept under a marching band. Usually, I wake up in so much pain that I thought I had slept in a cement mixer.
So, Excu-u-u-u-u-u-use ME, for embracing my inner grouch for a while.
The other morning, before I became my charming and witty self, I was looking in the mirror and almost recoiled because I scared myself. I looked as haggard and red-eyed as a shanghai rat and felt older than salt. (I was supremely thankful at that time that wrinkles don’t hurt.)
I asked the Main Squeeze, “should I be moisturizing my face?”
I think I saw orange juice coming out of her nose when I asked that. She was laughing so hard. I felt like I was in danger of getting kicked out of the testosterone club with that last question, but I was tired of looking at a face that was sunk like a bad souffle’.
One of the things that most men and I do best is not waste a days pay on some “sensational, wrinkle reduction creme” that costs as much as a pound of plutonium. I, like most guys, wash my face with common bar soap and dry it with a hand towel. (Provided there is one handy.) If one isn’t convenient, we can grab a sock, a tee-shirt, or a curtain. This is the entire skin care regimen from start to finish. I keep my head shaved because it is neat and doesn’t need care, and I have a beard because it is easy.
The mere concept of moisturizing is foreign and confusing to men. I grabbed one of the Main Squeeze’s tubes and asked if I could use it on my face. “That’s hand lotion,” she said.
“So? If my face feels as soft as your hand, I would be satisfied.” I used hand lotions with names like “Intensive Care” and “Cornhuskers Lotion.”
She said, putting hand lotion on your face would be about as stupid as washing your hair with a bar of soap or dishwater detergent. I kept my mouth shut on that one because even when I had a full head of hair – I used bar soap on a regular basis and dish detergent in a pinch.
(Maybe that is why the hair left my head to find a safe place in my ears.)
The Main Squeeze tried to explain the difference between lotion, and facial creme, and exfoliant, and emollients, and moisturizers and all of the other magic formulas that keep the Main Squeeze looking beautiful. I had no idea of the things these women have to keep track of. It was like memorizing every volume of the tax code. It made me feel like an addle brain. Less than three years ago, I made the jump to “body wash” from a simple bar of soap and I was feeling pretty hip.
I felt like a clueless old dork, but I pushed on. (Someday, I’ll learn.) “ Never mind your explanations, will it get rid of these?” I said, pointing to my face.
“Well, maybe if you had gotten started about twenty years ago when they were fine lines,” she said, “but these have become grooves, crevices, and ravines. Have you tried Spackle?”
It wounded me that she would say that, when I absolutely have not said one, single solitary syllable about the main Squeeze that was anything but how lovely, elegant, adorable, charming, gorgeous and stunning she is. (Forget those things that I may have written in past Heads and Tales.)
So, I suppose the concept of moisturizer and facial cremes, and lotions will continue to be a mystery to me. I am not going to spend one extra minute of my time figuring it out. It’s almost as bad as trying to figure out women themselves – and we have been at that since time began and we still don’t have a clue.