I met my husband when I was 13. We started dating when I was 17 and bought our first home together when I was 21. After 30 years together, I suddenly noticed that something fundamental had changed quite dramatically … his side of the bathroom cabinet!
When we first lived together, we were pretty skint and didn’t even have a bathroom cabinet. Our bathing products were quite basic in those days. We would share shower gel and bubble bath, I’d use the cheapest shampoo and conditioner I could find and he’d treat himself to a bar of Imperial Leather soap.
My treat was Oil of Ulay face cream (as it was called back then), plus we had his ‘n’ her’s deodorants. Top that off with a can of hair mousse and hairspray, plus wet-look gel for him (well it was the 90’s) and that pretty much covered our products, not forgetting toothbrushes and a tube of Colgate, of course.
In addition to those basics, us women tend to have a little bag of tricks – ‘The Essentials’. Ask any female and she will have a nail file, tweezers, paracetamol, a spare tampon or two and a couple of sticky plasters stuffed into the bathroom cabinet and replicated in her handbag. It’s like the adult version of what every Brownie Guide should keep in her pocket.
In case you are wondering, I still carry a postage stamp, string and a safety pin, but the 2p for a phone box has been replaced with a smartphone. Part of me has moved with the times! Men don’t seem to carry anything, do they? In our teens and early 20s, he only carried his wallet, car keys and sunglasses (if it was summer/sunny), and even that ended up in my bloody handbag!
I digress … back to the bathroom. After 30+ years together, we have a slightly bigger house and a bathroom cabinet with double doors, no less. You feel very grown up when you buy your first bathroom cabinet, don’t you? Well I did, anyway. A proper bit of adulting, right there.
Quite naughtily, I’m one of those awful people that will take a look inside other people’s bathroom cabinets, too. Don’t tut at me, judge me, or roll your eyes – we’ve all done it! I would never pry too much and look at personal things such as medication, but I’m just curious to know what’s in there. What brands do they use? What skin care products do they have?
Maybe I take a small moment of glee to discover they are not a natural brunette, have help with their wrinkles or have had a little cosmetic help with their skin/teeth whilst professing to be all natural and actually blessed with good hair/skin/teeth. My discoveries remain our little secret, though, so don’t worry as I won’t tell anyone.
Back to Mr SJB and his products. As a man in his 20s he survived with a can of Lynx, wet-look hair gel and a bottle or YSL Kouros aftershave (something that always pissed me off because an ex-girlfriend bought him some and he continued to wear the fragrance for years!).
Peeking into his side of the bathroom cabinet now makes me feel a little sad, as it certainly reflects our age. The contents sit there reminding me that we are a few decades down the road of life … a prominent display in both product and gadget form that highlights we are no longer in the first flush of love or youth.
Let me share the contents of the bloke’s side of the bathroom cabinet with you …
- Rennie tablets
When does indigestion become a thing? I don’t remember when he started taking these. He isn’t popping them like smarties, so no cause for alarm, but I do find handy little sachets stuffed away in useful places.
- Mouth guard
The ultimate passion killer. The old boy grinds his teeth in his sleep. Again, a new thing. Maybe the pressure of work is playing on his mind. The dentist spotted grooves forming in his teeth and said he needed to wear it every night. Going to bed with a man with a mouth like he is ready to play rugby has put paid to any impromptu snogs under the duvet. I guess that is something else we are getting too old for, too!
After finally banishing the scent of choice from an ex to yesteryear, I am pleased to announce an improvement in this department. Obviously my taste in fragrance is far superior than hers and the replacement is the delightful Bleu de Chanel. However, he does like a splash of something on a daily basis, so this sits shoulder to shoulder with a bottle of Brut. Oh yes, Brut. Occasionally Old Spice, but usually Brut. Such a 70s boy!
- Industrial strength toenail clippers
He used to use my delicate pair of nail clippers. Not any more. A combination of age and sport have resulted in him having a big toe nail that would survive a nuclear holocaust in a cockroach kind of way. It doesn’t look any different to his other nails, but my little clippers were not up to the job any more. He has brought in the big guns. I have to say I use them too, as they whizz through my dainty trotters in half the time.
- Baby lotion
Yes. He moisturises. Not in an expensive male-grooming kind of way, but in a sensible purse-friendly kind of way. Just as well, as he slathers it on every day. All over.
The man staple is still there. Luckily not the Lynx Africa Marmite bodyspray (yes – there is such a thing!) Have you ever seen the Lynx website by the way? Totally lost on my fella who has zero contact with anything online, but full of male-grooming tips including how to blow-dry hair. I don’t think Mr SJB even knows where I keep my hairdryer! But what a loyal fella he is to have stuck with a brand for 25 years, to ensure he ‘smells like a legend’. (Their words at Lynx, not mine.)
I recently found 3 pairs of tweezers on his side of the bathroom cabinet. Like a beauty magpie, he has been ‘borrowing’ mine from my various stashes, but then puts them back in his side of the cabinet. I can’t tell you the relief when I found them … at my age my chin has ‘needs’!
So, tell us about your bloke’s side of the bathroom cabinet, and how it has changed over the years. Give us a giggle, because life is too short to worry about getting old.