Wednesday, January 20, 2010

From Totally Metro to . . . Totally Retro

Two mesh body sponges hang side by side in our master bathroom shower; one purple, one blue. Neither one is mine.

My Laura Mercier french vanilla body wash is kicked, but for two drops. I haven't used it in weeks.

Someone has been using my sleek black bottle of hair spray and my gigantic round brush to comb his hair.

That's right. I said it. HIS hair.

My husband has a problem. He is totally metro. Sexual, that is.

His eyebrows have a nicer shape than mine. He smells of luxurious soaps, lovely colognes, expensive hair products. He has loads of primping tools, including a Mangroomer, for eliminating hair in hard to reach places, like the back. He sometimes uses my Degree Ultimate Control Deodorant for Women.

Although he was totally metro when I first met him, 3 years ago today, I feel partially responsible for the metro mania that has swept our household.

My man's metrosexuality hit an all-time high when I took him to a specialty soap store in NYC, called Sabon. He rolled his eyes in protest of browsing through yet another soap store, but he indulged me and followed me in. After quickly picking up a few of my favorite things, I met him at the cash register. He was smelling a chunk of brown and beige glycerin soap.

"What do you think of this?" he asked casually. I took a whiff.

"Yum, I love it! What is it?

"Dulce de leche," he read from the label on the packaging. "I'm going to grab a couple of bars."

Within a week, Dulce de leche was dripping from his pores and he was contemplating how Sabon could create other products in the same delicious scent.

"Babe, I emailed the the product development team at Sabon today," he announced one afternoon.

"No you didn't!"

"I did. I suggested that they make a Dulce de Leche candle too."

"Who ARE you?" I yelled, in hysterics.

My man was a mad, mad metro.

And it didn't stop there. He started saying to his buddies over the phone, "Dude, I got this great new soap, you have to try it...." WHAT?! After dining out with friends , he would lean in close to one of his college boys and whisper, "Remember that soap I told you about?" and then slip him an extra bar of Dulce de Leche the way someone would slip a dime bag to a friend.

When friends or relatives would come visit us from NYC, they would bring along pounds and pounds of Dulce de Leche soap at my husband's request.

I thought this was more than I could take. But, then a few weeks ago, something happened.

My metro man came home from Rite Aid with Old Spice body wash and cologne. Let me say it again. OLD SPICE! I wanted to take his temperature. I asked to check his Blackberry for evidence of an affair with some cheesy 50 year old woman with feathered hair. I wanted to know what the hell happened to my metrosexual husband who would ordinarily turn his nose up to such a putrid retro product.

He dismissed my fears, laughing. "I wanted to try something new, that's all. It reminds me of my dad."

"First of all, your dad is ALIVE, and he doesn't even wear Old Spice!" I complained. "It's awful."

"Just give it a chance," he said, slicking his hair to the side like an extra on Mad Men.

"You know I have a nose like a blood hound! PLEASE go back to Dulce de Leche, Laura Mercier, Kiehls....your usual cast of characters. I can't take that Old Spice smell!"

The next day, after he left for work, I grabbed the red family-size bottle of Old Spice body wash from the shower and hid it in a kitchen cupboard while on my tippy toes. He would never find it there.

"Where's my goddamn Old Spice?" he pondered with a western drawl, the second he came home and saw me giggling.

"I don't have a clue," I laughed.

"Come on, give it back, it's starting to grow on me."

"No, the only thing growing on you is all that hair on your chest! You look like a '70s porn star!"

"It's a new look for me," he laughed.

"A small animal could be burrowing in there and you wouldn't even know it!"

Somehow the purchase of Old Spice changed everything. My husband went from totally metro to totally retro. It was like I was married to Burt Reynolds circa 1975. I know, I know, he was a sex symbol. But that was 1975!

I quickly started to miss my husband's well-groomed eyebrows, his gelled spikey hair, his clean-shaven face and body.

I thought a weekend in NYC might do the trick. In the middle of a restaurant in Bryant Park, my sister mentioned, "There's a small Sabon store over there with the other shops." My husband's face lit up.

"Let's go check it out."

There were 100 people crammed into a store the size of my bathroom.

"I'll wait out here," I told him, "but take your time."

I smiled at him through the frosted window. He asked the sales girl to hold up a whole bar of Dulce de Leche soap, the length of my leg.

"Should I get the whole thing?" he mouthed to me.


And, with that one purchase, my husband went from totally retro straight back to totally metro.

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