Anonymity at department stores.Now that's something I'd like to see. Isn't it embarrassing shopping for personal hygiene products at the department store? The store clerks and the checkout girl know all your preferences.
Margo soap.That's as embarrassing as it gets. "Uh my skin's allergic to all the other soaps.I get rashes.Yes, even Hamam". But I never get a chance to explain. Its frustrating. My cousin recently sent something called 'Irish spring'.Smells terrific. Unfortunately the better smelling the soap is the worse my skin's reaction to it. For ages I've had to put up with Hamam and when it went rogue I had to resort to Margo. I've stopped caring I suppose.
Pride went after fall today when I placed Garnier 'Fall Fight' shampoo on the counter. Quite a fall from the 'Long & Strong' I used to buy when I was growing my hair long.Couple years ago. Wonder what the checkout girl was thinking.She'd inquired why I cut my hair short back then.And now this embarrassment. "Y'see I travel to work by bike now and have to wear a helmet.I dont really have a hair loss problem.Its not my fault.Its the traffic law." But she doesn't ask. 50 bucks now or hair weaving later.Tough choice. None of my friends or cousins ever wear a helmet and yet they never get caught. The one time I didn't wear one I ran into a full patrol...ironically while returning from the department store....two streets away. Today I encountered the same patrol. Ever find the closet actor in you coming out at such situations? You have to maintain the vehicle at medium-speed.Avoid eye-contact and stare straight ahead. Aloof.Non-chalant.Matter-of-fact-ly.In a manner that suggests confidence mixed with indifference. Look,I'm not speeding or swerving to avoid you.I'm not panicking. I've got all the papers in order.Don't waste your time checking. It works....mostly. The helmet is the first filter condition really.You could drive around without even so much as a license and still not get caught if you have a helmet on. But at times one does get caught despite the helmet. And one gets asked the vehicle license plate number for verification. And one starts to wonder "how the hell do I remember my neighbor's van number from 15 years ago but not my own bike's".
Okay I'm meandering.
Life used to be simpler when I was younger.The shower-to-shower powder era.Deodorants were unheard of. But now the choices are mind boggling. No, I dont want the Axe effect.I'm fine with my Cinthol Spice.Really. Only problem, the damn fools have stopped manufacturing it. My deodorants and I always seem to have only short term relationships. There's always something new that keeps coming along every few months. Nice packaging.Spunky name.It hits all the right spots.Then just when you start getting ready for a long term commitment,wham! Sorry, we've stopped making it. Of all the deos in all the towns in all the world, they choose my favorite to stop manufacturing. You move on.But you can't go back to the old one you dumped.No, that one's had its run. Then a new brand hits the market but clever sods that they are they will always have 5 new fragrances. Its always a tough choice when you have to decide between smelling woodsy,sporty, marine-y,lemony,spicy,musky or ah well the choices are endless. I pick one and try to stick to it but I can't help wondering "what if this white musk isn't the one for me.What if the classic cologne was the one I really shoulda gone for". And one will often fall prey to such temptation and go ahead.Problem is it always turns out to be a dud. And the old faithful smugly sits there as if saying "hah! lets see you get through that". Its hard to dump a near-full deo that cost me 200 bucks.Just not done. I have to count the days till it runs out...It never does.
Nowadays I've become a polydeogamist. I use Old spice fresh,Jovan black-musk and Fa speedster,round robin style. Sometimes all three at once. And sometimes just for extra fun I throw in Navaratna ice cool and Park Avenue talc. Suffocate and die, morons.
The most irritating thing about picking a new deo though, is 'testing' it. The store doesnt allow samples.I have to discreetly pry open the lid and get a whiff of what's in store. There's this old hawk there that always stares at me like I'm a potential shoplifter.Doesn't matter that I've been going there for five years. And whenever I try to pick a new deo she's right there daring me to spray a little on.So I have to depend on my nose.Everything feels alright.Until the next morning when my mother likens it to a roach spray.She's right sometimes.Love at first sniff.phooey.
Then there's the task of picking a toothpaste. I've always been a Colgate guy.Give me the old fashioned plain Colgate white any day.But advertising starts playing tricks on your mind. So one wishes to experiment.For awhile I was hooked on the Herbal flavor.Then for some reason I decided I would like my breath to smell like peppermint instead of sage. Now I'm stuck with a big tube of blue gel that doesn't quite feel or taste right. Sometimes I try to co-ordinate my deodorant and toothpaste.And at times the hand-wash and soap too. Margo lime & neem,Lifebuoy lime hand sanitizer, Colgate citrus blast and Fa Speedster. Let's just say the citrus phase didn't last long.I was starting to smell like a giant walking talking lemon.
Rounding off the list are shaving razors. For some unfathomable reason the store I shop in keeps its shaving razor blades in a special glass enclosure.Locked.Opened only on request.As if they were so invaluable. If there is going to be a stick-up at the store, I dont think the thugs are going to worry too much about their facial hair. What's the deal with these disposable twin-blades anyway? What is the expiration date on a blade once its used? How many times can I reuse it? If any of you know please let me know.Its never mentioned on the back wrapper. Tomorrow I don't want to find a horrible growth on my face just because I used a razor one time too many. Perhaps that's why I hardly shave.I'm more of a 'prevention' guy.
When I was a kid most of my relatives from the USA used to get us tons of BIC pens and razors. My dad always sports a beard and I wasn't old enough to shave then.So I always hated those useless razors. Strangely enough, now when I wouldn't mind them no one seems to be getting those. Now they've moved on to getting us after-shave lotions instead.Logical progression I suppose. But when a person shaves once in a month, the backlog of after-shave lotions can build up to ridiculous proportions.And then by the time I empty one the rest are over 2 or 3 years old.Expiration dates come into play again.
It's a vicious cycle every 6 weeks or so.I should just let my mum do the shopping for me. Only she prefers a different store and they always get it horribly wrong at following a simple list. Ah well.