Thursday, December 29, 2011
I'm not smart enough to be a woman. Part two.
Woman have to be smarter than men.
They have so many more choices. Issues. Decisions. Options. Possibilities. Worries.
Let's start with just getting ready to go out of the house.
A man can get ready for anything in twelve minutes. Work. Hunting. Black tie. Golf. Twelve minutes.
Do his necessary business.
Shower with Ivory soap.
Shave (maybe, or partially).
Brush his teeth.
Arrange the mop of hair on his head if he still has any.
Put his clothes on.
A man can be perfectly attired anywhere in the world for any occasion with this as his entire wardrobe.
One black suit.
One white shirt.
One pair of jeans.
One black tie.
One pair of black socks.
One pair of black cap-toed lace-up shoes.
One pair of boots.
Not nearly so easy for women.
Let's start at the getting clean part. Well, only because the necessary business part isn't polite. But gents, women sell something to each other called PooPourri. I swear. Look it up. Number one selling item in those stores that sell women everything they want and nothing they need.
But then it starts in earnest.
Bath? Shower? Both?
Soap? Scented or unscented? If scented, which scent?
And or, exfoliating or non-exfoliating scrub? Bath or shower gel? Bath or shower oil? Bath or shower salts? Or bubble bath? Or milk bath? Or milk bubble bath?
Wash cloth? Loofah? Bath brush? Poof?
And then when the bathing is over, there is the next set of infinite choices that must be dealt with.
Just how emollient do you need to be today? Tubes, jars, pumps, bottles, sprays. Oils, creams, lotions, with and without scent.
Oh lordy, and the hard part hasn't even started.
A female business associate I once worked with explained it this way to her always waiting male counterparts at the start of the business day.
"You don't have to complete a painting every morning, now do you?"
I have no idea what order these things are used in. But here is at least a partial list.
Shimmer. Not to be confused with Glow.
And then there are eyes. Mascara. Eyelash curler things that scare the willy out of me. Eyeshadow. Eyeliner. Brow liner.
And then lips. Gloss. Stick. Liner. Cream.
Please remember, for each and everything listed in the previous fifty lines of copy there are exactly one jillion choices of colors, scents, brands, and designers. Not to mention the various tools, brushes, applicators and other weapons of the alchemist.
This is why Alan Jackson sings,
I'm sorry I got mad, waitin' in the truck;
It seemed like hours, you gettin' all dressed up,
Just to go to Shoney's on a Wednesday night.
All the while the buffing has been going on, she has to plan what she is going to wear. And here the number of choices and the reasons why are impossible to calculate.
Who will I see today? Have they seen me in this before? Am I trying to impress, hide, flirt, be sedate, be outrageous, intimidate, please, infuriate, accentuate, emasculate or all of the above?
Dress. Skirt. Shorts. City shorts. Skort. Cullotes. Knickers. Sweaters. Blouses. Shrugs. Tank tops. Tube tops. Halter tops. Camisoles. Jeans. Leggings. Jeggings. Tights. Yoga pants. Cotton. Wool. Indigo. Gold lame. Angora. Sequined. Lycra. Spandex. Darts. Empire waist. Hollywood waist. Belt or not belt. Shawl. Oh shoot me now.
And don't forget, there is an entire selection process of mysterious undergarments that must be selected from. Colors. Fabrics. Appropriateness for the occasion. (What? Different underwear for different occasions?)
I have a daughter in the fashion retail business. They make trunkloads of money selling things that go under the clothes. Things like Spanx. And dimmers. (I wish I had invented those. $25 for two pieces of molded plastic to eliminate public party hats.)
And these are universal issues for women.
A few years ago, I was shopping on a Saturday afternoon on Oxford Street in London. In one quaint shop,. there was a woman covered in full burqa buying the tiniest dental floss g-string thong thing in the brightest color of purple. Allah be praised, indeed.
Shoes? Did someone say shoes?
Have you been in a DSW? Or Nordstrom's? There are two pair of guys shoes in the corner. The other 87,000 square feet are filled with shoes for the lady.
Flats. Platforms. Low heels. Mid heels. Stiletto heels. Mary Janes. Clogs. Boots. Booties. Knee high boots. Thigh high boots.
Slings. Pumps. Sandals. Thongs. Flip flops. Mules. Skimmers.
Open toed and closed toe. (Although Nancy Reagan did say a woman should never let her toes show in public, and things seemed to work out well for her.)
Oh, and then there is hair maintenance.
With the exception of monastic Buddhists and Miss Tanzania, most women don't shave their heads. (And after seeing Sinead O'Connor's recent photos, hallelujah.)
Those with long hair want it short. Those with straight hair want it curly. Those with brown hair want it blonde. Some want it purple. Seems very few want it grey.
So everyday for a significant number of women in this world, it's going to be a bad hair day. After various options of shampoo, conditioner, straightener, curl, pomade, spray, teasing, brushing, combing, and those Satanic creations called hair dryers, it still don't look right.
Women around the world have to deal with the politics of gender in culture, business, government, and law.
Women around the world have more complex plumbing systems and therefore more health issues.
Cysts. When's the last time a man had to worry about a cyst?
Cancers of various parts of the body that men don't even have.
The whole reproductive cycle, peak breeding years, pregnancy (no man has ever died birthing a child), lactation, birth control that too often falls solely on the woman, hormones, menstruation, chapped nipples, breast infections, yeast infections, menopause.
And yet, women handle all this and typically live longer than their male counterparts.
And in the meantime, raise children, start businesses, create art, and make homes out of houses.
God said, "It is not good for man to be alone." Because he made man with limited capacity. Man couldn't multitask. So woman was created to be the perfect complement to man.
I'm sure glad it turned out this way.
What time is the Outback Bowl?