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Men couldn’t do it
June 15, 2015
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by Ivan Raconteur

I’m glad I’m not a woman.

One reason is that if I were a woman, I’d never get out the door in the morning.

There have been a couple times recently when women have said in my presence, “I haven’t done anything with myself today.”

The implication in these, and many other cases I have witnessed in the past, was that the speaker did not feel she was fit to be seen in public unless she spent an hour or two on her hair and makeup first.

I disagree.

The fact is, women are judged much more critically on their appearance by other women than they are by men.

Guys are less observant in these matters, and don’t have the technical expertise to be overly critical.

For example, some guys might be able to see an automobile a block away, and instantly be able to identify what make and model it is, and what year it was produced.

These same guys may not be able to identify what their wife, who is seated across the table from them, did differently with her hair that day. Most guys don’t have the skills.

There are days when it’s all I can do to stumble out the door in reasonable order after the minimum preparations I undertake now. It would be a disaster if I had to go through all the convolutions some women go through every day.

I don’t have to style my hair. In my case, it’s more of a buff-and-go process. I do try to ensure that my beard is trimmed and combed so I don’t look like an advertisement for the free dinners sponsored by some mission in Minneapolis every Thanksgiving.

I make a point to be clean and make sure my tie matches my shirt and is tied straight.

I’d be in deep trouble if I had to stop and curl, crimp, braid, or straighten my hair, while applying sprays, gels, pastes, thickeners, foams, glosses, waxes, texturizers, glazes, or mousses.

I wouldn’t know where to begin if I had to add scrunchies, ponies, clippies, or bobbies. Beads, barrettes, combs, and claws confuse me. And, I don’t even want to think about extensions.

It would be awful to have to slap on a layer of primer and apply an arsenal of blushes, bronzers, powders, or shimmers before I set out each day.

Oftentimes, I’m lucky if my eyes are completely open before I leave the bachelor pad. If I waited until I could see clearly enough to apply liner, shadow, and mascara in a way that didn’t look like I was auditioning for a horror film, I probably wouldn’t make it to the office until about noon.

Women’s clothing is also a lot more complicated.

Guys have to decide whether to wear the black shoes or the brown shoes.

Women start out with undergarments that are much more complex, and that’s only the beginning.

Ladies dress in layers, all of which must coordinate with other layers. They also favor accessories, which must also be compatible with the rest of the ensemble.

Instead of having two pairs of shoes to choose from, some women have two closets full of shoes to choose from. If that were me, I’d be up half the night worrying about which shoes to wear, and I’d never get any sleep.

On a recent Saturday I went out with two friends, one male and one female.

The woman went through five complete wardrobe changes in six hours. It was like being at a Lady Gaga concert. She had one outfit for the car ride; one for lunch at the pub; two separate ensembles for sunbathing at the lake; and one for going to the bar for happy hour. During the same period, the other guy and I wore shorts and polo shirts. I concede she looked a lot better than we did, but our day was simpler and required less luggage.

I suspect a lot of other guys are in the same boat I’m in, but I can’t say for sure.

That’s because another difference between men and women is that we men don’t talk about things like that.

I’ve heard women engaged in intense discussions about styles and colors that are foreign to me.

The range of subjects about which guys talk to other guys is fairly limited, and under no circumstances does it include personal appearance (except possibly to mock the appearance of another in public).

In my more than half-century on this planet, I have never called another guy before going out for an evening to check what he was going to be wearing; nor has any other guy sought this information from me.

On occasions where guys happen to be in the same place when getting ready to go out, no guy has ever paraded around the room and asked his buddies if this sweater matches these pants.

There has never been any instance in which a guy tried on a pair of jeans and turned to his pals to ask if they made his hind end look large. That just doesn’t happen.

Guys talk to guys about women, sports, jobs, and machines in roughly that order. We do not talk about the three deadly Fs – fashions, feelings, or fears. I’m not suggesting this is right or wrong; I’m only reporting how it is.

Women also share clothes.

Guys don’t do that.

You will never hear a guy say to another guy, “Hey, John, try on this shirt. It will really bring out the blue in your eyes.”

That’s not going to happen.

Not only do guys not have the training to engage in the elaborate preparations some women practice, but we don’t have any way to learn about these things.

One thing I am sure about is that women have my respect. If men had to do all the things women do to keep up their appearance, we’d be too exhausted to get anything done the rest of the day.

Ladies, my fedora is off to you. I can’t do what you do, and I’m glad I don’t have to.


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