By Jason Menard
Jan. 16, 2006 — I went away over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and came back a changed man. Yes, the numbers 2006 add up to 10 per cent more gay!
Now before you go all a-titter – and for those of you who are sitting there saying, “I always thought he was gay” – I’m still happily married to my wife, and the instructions on my hardware still read insert Tab A into Slot B. No, my transition in to the world of homosexuality has been facilitated by and limited to one word: product.
A revolution in personal grooming from the Neanderthal to the Metrosexual is upon me – and I’ve never felt better.
Like many guys, I’ve never place a priority on myself in terms of grooming. Sure, I’ve styled my hair (with varying degrees of success) and take a shower every day (I even use soap). But the idea of using specific products for various tasks was foreign to me. In fact, I always thought that the forces behind the grooming industry were just these Machiavellian marketing execs laughing as they invented new terms – and with them new products – for our grooming needs.
That was until I tried a few. Now I’m hooked.
Like a senior citizen being dropped on the Information Superhighway, I was flummoxed and lost every time I found myself confronted with concepts like moulding putty and exfoliation crèmes. And just as that senior will run back to the record player to return to the comfort of their Tommy Dorsey 78’s, I returned to the relative security of my cheap gel and bar soap.
But slowly, quietly things started to change. I would make gentle forays into the world of personal betterment. If I ran out of my soap, then I’d reach for my wife’s body wash. And with what was I to apply it with? A loofah of course. It didn’t hurt, so I was able to be more bold with my metrosexual ventures.
Even television conspired to help me through the transition. Shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy showed not only that certain products and procedures could help men look and feel better – but also showed you how to use them. Knowledge was growing and all I needed was the opportunity.
And then came the New Year. Staying at the home of a gay couple, opportunity availed itself to me. A host of products just waiting to be used, exploited, and enjoyed. And, with my wife eagerly encouraging my experimentation, it happened.
First it was a bit of moulding putty in the hair as opposed to cheap gel. With a, “welcome to the 21 st century,” my wife supported my transition from my 1980s comfort zone to the world of technology. Next came an exfoliant and a moisturizer. And the transformation was complete.
Well, almost. You see, I’ve retained enough of that Neanderthal man in me to resist paying the ludicrous prices that companies charge for these products. So I’ve baby-stepped into the world of affordable skin care.
It’s a difficult transition for many men to make, but it really shouldn’t be. After all, when technology brings us the next gadget, don’t we run out and get it? While we’re playing our PlayStation 2s aren’t we secretly wondering what the next generation console will be like? Look at the crowds for the Xbox 360 when it was released. Why do we not get as excited when technology advances our grooming products?
So while we’re comfortably on the cutting edge of certain aspects of our lives, other parts live in the dark recesses of our consciousness. Damn it, we used gel in high school, it’s still good today, right? Well, yes and no. Many of us also used mousse in the 80s and few of us are willing to relive that Flock of Seagulls feathered do again.
No, styles, products, and attitudes change. The rugged Marlborough Man transitioned into the singing Irish Spring guy, who has now followed the evolutionary path all the way to metrosexuality. These days, rugged must be seasoned with a healthy dose of refinement.
I’m slowly buying into the idea. I still draw the line at eyebrow tweezing, but that’s less about aesthetics and more about pain. I’m 10 per cent more gay and it feels great! And best of all, my wife likes it – and that’s a reward in itself.
2006© Menard Communications – Jason Menard All Rights Reserved