A couple of years ago, on my way to a workshop, a conversation started with the friend I was staying with.
The conversation moved to women’s beauty routines and the effort they make to pamper themselves. I noticed a reaction in me when it came to thinking about me doing ‘that stuff’. I never saw Dad do it, surely Men are tougher than that, a bit of cream after sunburn is okay, but anything more and you were a ‘nancy’ (sorry to anyone called Nancy).
I made a choice in that moment to feel what might be behind my reaction rather than just run with the reaction. What I found brought me to tears – a life-time of wanting, yearning to be touched that tenderly, to be held with that much love, to be allowed to ‘pamper’ myself. A lifetime of choosing rough and tumble over caring and gentle.
That was when the secret mission was launched… I was a bit embarrassed at not knowing where to start, so I did what any self-respecting man would do in this situation… I called my wife. After a couple of pointers, I headed out on my own to the ‘girly sections’ of a department store and to those ‘smelly’ shops with soaps and stuff.
It was a bit overwhelming – lots of smells, lots of choice…I stayed away from anything pink (of course), and if something said ‘for men’ it must be safe to test! I got a bit overwhelmed by people trying to spray stuff on me… it was obvious that they had no idea how serious this situation was.
Stage one complete. I walked away with body scrub, bath oil, moisturiser, my first bathrobe since I was a child (not too fluffy of course), and one of those brushy things. NB: no rubber ducks or toy boats.
Back at my friend’s house… no kids, no wife, just me, my bounty and my ‘not too’ fluffy robe. I sank into the bath… first miracle… I didn’t want to leave my wife and join a ‘Kylie Minogue’ tribute group… second miracle… It was AWESOME… third miracle… realising that maybe a rubber duck could have been a nice touch. Stage two complete.
Stage three… repeat often.