Mummy and I first met as colleagues. We lived in staff accommodation at a hotel. I was her boss. That was the first and last time I was able to say that. The rooms were small and didn’t have much in the way of storage. Mummy have come from a mysterious far away land and brought with her treasures new to these shores. She had more luggage than Prince Akeem and Semmi in Coming to America and I had similar views about its fate. Amazingly she managed to find space for it all. I don’t think her roommate was too impressed but then, her roommate was the polar opposite so it worked out well. I started noticing new bottles in the shower. I hadn’t even realised it had shelves. Until that point it had only been males living there. I had always considered myself well maintained, although not by today’s “Metro” standards, but still… I had separate bottles for shampoo and conditioner and another bottle for everything else. Three bottles. That’s pretty much the top of the shower accounted for. I was happy to share with my colleagues, quietly confident that they used less than me. But now we lived with a girl, okay girls (the other will forgive me). Bottles and tubes started popping up everywhere. The window sill, the cistern, the sink. How dirty was she expecting to get?… (I considered the obvious here but no, too easy. She is now my wife after all). It became a topic of conversation amongst the liver-inners, herself included. Turns out there was a whole drawer full and I mean a proper 4′ by 18″ drawer, FULL. It was a hobby if you like, a collection. That and she used to be a rep for Avon. I used to collect Smarties lids but I never had more than 26. It was all put to good use. I have never seen anyone take as good care of themselves as my wife. It is not in a vain way either, more self respect, dignity. She had it (still has it) and she looked after it with an air of elegance I was not familiar with.
I became familiar…
12 years on and I do not have to think about cosmetics. I like the surprise of what will appear on the bathroom window sill next. I couldn’t care less if I go to work smelling of essence of lotus flower and I know my Shea Butter from my White Cocoa. I do occasionally get asked to “dispose” of those which didn’t meet her ladyship’s expectations. They are usually the spicy winter specials. I just get a bit liberal with the the application until it’s gone. There was a particularly nasty one with orange and cloves and I got a wake up call from some tea tree and lime concoction. Never mix lime and plums. A little too fresh. Mummy even buys an extra couple roll-ons now although I have noticed a few sneaky “pour hommes” appearing. Urgh. There can’t be too many blokes with a grade 2 cut that use conditioner but I find it improves the smell of my hats. There is one bottle that I will insist on and that is the Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Foaming Face Wash which was and continues to be my spot saviour. Must be my ‘normal to oily’ complexion? I draw the line at waxing but I have tried some of those nose strips that you have to get wet then stick it on your nose then let it go dry then let your wife rip it off… Wait… “Honey!”
I can’t believe I’ve only just worked that one out.
We have a fraction of what she once kept but even so I reckon we could last a good couple of years without buying anything at all. I would say I’m pretty low maintenance in the bathroom by today’s standards but I’m always fresh as a daisy and I kind of smell like my wife, which when I’m at work for hours on end is a welcome reminder of home. If she wanted a more manly smelling man, I’m guessing she wouldn’t have gone for me in the first place. This has been passed on a generation too. The little man has at least one of each of the Johnson’s bath and shower products with correlating moisturisers/body lotions to match. If he keeps even half the routine of his Mum he’ll still be getting ID’d when he’s forty and that can be no bad thing.