Monday, March 28, 2011

Gender Appropriateness

You know those things that men should just know and do? (Kill bugs, repair cars, take out the trash, fix things.)

Well, what if roles were reversed? Could we get used to the idea of a woman doing “man things” and a man doing “women things”?

I always have kept ‘one-eyed opened’ when a man tells me he wants to go shopping with me. But, it got me thinking…when I whip out my tools to fix a loose leg of a chair, does he think I’m butch?

I grew up in a house wherein my father didn’t know how to fix anything. He hired people. And he never ever went clothing shopping. My mother on the other hand always “tried” to fix things and she bought all his clothes. As for my siblings…we were given gender appropriate tasks: Brother took out the trash, my sister and I did dishes and helped with the laundry.

The other day a guy I have been dating asked me what I was doing, and I replied, “fixing my sink.” He went on to joke about me dialing a plumber … and I was like no, I put on my kitchen gloves, turned off the water, and got out my wrench. He found this odd yet titillating at the same time.

After being a homeowner for a number of years, there are just some things I always found I could do on my own. And every roommate I’ve ever had will admit I am a spider and/or bug killer.

Is it wrong to have these certain skills? Do we really need to be subservient to male roles? Haven’t we moved beyond that?

Looking back, I remember my dad going to a barber, but today’s men have a hairdresser. And is it me, or have men been using more and more “beauty products” lately? Times have changed.

When it comes to fixing my car, I am utterly clueless. This why I have a AAA card and call them then I get a flat tire. But what if I could jack up the car, and replace the muffler? And hell, fix my boyfriends car too?

What if your straight boyfriend was sewing curtains on a Saturday afternoon vs. playing ball, would that be odd…or would you buy him some fabric to make you some too?

So let’s go there, would you hire a female plumber, electrician or exterminator? What about a male maid, make-up consultant, or gynecologist?

I don’t have any answers, but I am amused by my re-conditioning of the male and female roles and now more than ever wondering what he really thought about me fixing my own sink. Hum.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Funky Scent

What do Matthew McConaughey, Robert Pattinson, Colin Farrell, and Johnny Depp have in common?

Funk? Odor? Halitosis?

They allegedly smell.

I received a call from a friend “I need your advice, I think I have a deal killer.” Her story: she had been chasing this guy for a few weeks – Type: Hot actor, they were doing a show together and had been flirting. Finally he got up enough courage and asked her out on a date. “We made out in the parking lot, and he is a great kisser, but he just had um, body odor.”

Deal killer maybe, mood killer for sure.

My advice was simple…their “make out” was, of course, after a rehearsal. So maybe he was a bit physical under the hot lights and as such…had some odor. Cut him some slack and not pass judgment until after a real date wherein he would probably shower.

My friend Troy outlined it best: “Men are like mayonnaise. You leave them out in the sun for eight hours you can expect bad things.”

But it got me thinking about scents. Have you ever walked through the mall, or been standing in line at the coffee shop, or even hanging at the DMV, and there, walking past you is a nice smelling man. He’s put together, hair in place, clothes are ironed, and he carries an air of confidence. You notice him.

Or how about those moments when you are about to have a first kiss, and somewhere in the last two minutes he must have slipped in a mint, yet you aren’t really sure when? I take appreciation in that attention to detail. In fact, recently I was on a date and my date slipped out to the bathroom before departing the restaurant, and he must have had a cherry lozenge. It was nice.

But body odor. Hum…whole new issue. There is a certain basic cleanliness you should attend to before you go a courtin’. Now, there are those who are attracted to, shall we say, the “natural scent” and I’ve done enough traveling in Europe and regions abroad, and met women who have no issue with those who forego the use of daily deodorant applications. This is not me.

And then on the other side of the coin, there are those that go WAY overboard with their colognes. In fact, just the other day I was daytripping with a new guy and we had a “close quarters” ambush with a gentleman who went a little liberal with his Old Spice application. I could literally taste this guy’s cologne and had to move to another part of the store. Be mindful of those around you: crowded areas like a bus, metro, or elevator can choke out the fresh air.

There needs to be a balance. A freshly bathed scent is just fine. If you are going to do physical activity, make sure your deodorant is working and for heaven’s sake, take a shower before you go on a date.