At forty something I have been long fighting the good fight against aging. There is a grooming ritual that most women follow but few of the opposite sex take on. Those few who do are popularly known as Metro-sexual or what I preffer to call Metro-Men.(I kind of expect a cape to go along with the term)
My husband isn't one of them. Nope, he is a "regular Joe". I drive him absolutely insane fussing after him about his appearance. I pick lint off his clothes: had to introduce him to adhesive rollers and he in return had to teach me boundaries. I now TRY to point things out instead of just reaching for them. He has compared me to a chimp grooming a mate. I confess to have a bit of a dysfunction there. We were once afraid I would get us in to trouble during a wedding. One of the guest at the church had a thread on her dress and we debated back and forward over me pulling it off. It drove me nuts and he could barely keep from holding me back and laughing out loud!
I can't help it, I am a groomer! Between hair cuts I try to clean up the back of my honey's neck with the clippers: usually at the least fortunate times, like when he is showered and shaved about to get dressed and there are 15 minutes before we have to hit the door. I also point out the occasional stray hair and offer grooming equipment as well as assistance (not taking matters in to my own hands has been a big development for me). I am honest when I tell him I expect him to do the same for me. If some mutant something appears on me, I prefer he (my husband) point it out rather than a stranger!
The Metro-Men who I've known are very much in to brand names, following trends and doing everything under the sun to stay young (looking). I see them and I get exhausted by the lengths of their actions.. -- Wait a minute. Women do JUST THE SAME THING!! I am sorry, but someone needs to keep the other mate from going off the deep end. I am glad I have my "regular Joe" to keep me from overdoing something to myself: two people on that same page could overdo it. My biggest fear is that my vanity will get the best of me someday, so I focus on looking "natural". No tattooed eyeliner or lip liner for me. No stiff face Botox or pretending I would look good blond!
Metro-Men exercise to look good or stay looking young. My "regular Joe" exercises/runs and signs up for a half marathon (this year a full marathon) to prove to himself he can do it! The staying/keeping in shape is just a bonus. My dad was a Metro-Man long before the term was conceived. He ran miles and miles to keep fit and after running: would drink glasses with hot water and lemon to melt the fat and cleanse the body. He had tons of shoes and belts and wore always the latest trends. (Think of Richard Gere in American Gigalo)
My mom still remembers her embarrassment of him showing up to pick her up at school wearing hip hugging, bell bottom jeans months before the fashion hit in Mexico! She also remembers him encouraging her to try the latest hairdo. Those were different times for my folks. They had the means to splurge on fashion and my mom has the pride to know she was one of the few to first sport a donut-shaped perm a la Donna Summer in the seventies, again long before the fashion hit Mexico.
I am glad I married a "regular Joe". He notices me (not the latest fashion) and pays me compliments; usually when I am walking around the house in one of his t-shirts. Despite the relief of not having the pressure from him to look a certain way I do continue to keep myself "together" as best as possible, but he gets no rest from me. I have pleaded, bitched and moaned until he agreed to at least "humor me" and try using a cleanser in the shower for his face instead of the usual bar of soap. He won't admit to liking it, but his skin looks healthier and little dry patches have completely vanished. I nagged him about it NOT so much because I want him to look better, but because most men don't usually do simple changes to their routine and have their skin feel better. It isn't MANLY to care. Soap is good enough! Blahh, blahh, blahh. Only someone who loves these "regular Joes" will stir them in that direction, search and provide the products so they don't feel "high maintenance".
Anyways, my husband smirks at my at home chemical peals, but I tell him I want to keep him from walking with an old hag next to him and use that to guilt him in to doing a few other things for me. Oh, don't think I ask him to jump on my bandwagon of beauty rituals. He would never go for that and I think I would loose respect for him if he gave in to that one. What I ask him to do is to at least put on a shirt with a collar when going out with me. I love the casual look, but at forty-something a man shouldn't dress like a teenager in graphic t-shirts other than to hang around the house. And in my opinion NO ONE should step out of the house in wrinkled clothes!! Hey, if I take the trouble to fix my hair and put on makeup before stepping out of the house I expect my mate to make a similar effort and not look like he just rolled out of bed.
Moving on, Metro-Men get manicures and have hair stylists. My husband doesn't believe in overspending on a haircut! For our wedding I begged and pleaded he get a good cut from my hair stylist. I think if he had known before hand the cost of the cut he would have skipped the appointment. That's another thing, my regular Joe doesn't make hair appointments. He drives by "the place" (there are a few of them) when he has time and if there aren't too many cars he'll stop for a cut. Anyways, he got a good cut for the wedding, unfortunately he didn't quite comb/style it like the cut was intended but the fact that he gave in on the haircut because it was to look good on our wedding day is still appreciated.
When my husband and I met he didn't look unkempt. I wouldn't have dated him if he did! He looked like he made an effort, but later confessed he had some of his gal pals help him out when he started dating after marriage #1. I've had to negotiate with him ever since we moved in together and you know what? I think back at the men I dated before him; the few that had to be introduced to some type of fashion/self care who moved on as better dating material to other women. I had thought that in my age range the man who I would find would now have been accustomed/molded by other women already saving me a bit of the nagging. I guess my husband never got accustomed before or diverted to old habits. I am glad he makes the effort for me and I truly do not bug him too much about what he is wearing when he isn't going to be seen with me (smirk). If he is for example gaming with the guys.. Well, gaming doesn't require the latest fashion. That is the place where he gets to sport his latest geeky t-shirts, that I of course have surprised him with because I find it amusing and know it makes him happy.
So despite some admiration for Metro-Men with their "together" look, and not one hair unintentionally out of place, I am glad I married my "regular Joe". I feel more feminine around him and his occasional giving in to my craziness shows that he at least cares how he looks to me. Now I must excuse myself because I want to see if Netflix has "The Cannonball Run (1981)" to stream. I have been thinking of Dom DeLuise's alter ego "Captain Chaos" the entire time I have been writing.