Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am under absolute duress to be ready for anything in any reasonable amount of time. Even more than that, I can’t even get ready in an unreasonable amount of time. Celebrities don’t take this long to prep for the Oscars – but for me to run to the supermarket is a production. I have tried things to quicken the pace, but sort of like a gentle soufflé, you cannot rush certain things.
My wife always argues with me about how long it takes me to get ready, but while she looks absolutely perfect and requires very little touch-ups from the moment she rises out of bed, when I wake up I look like one of the zombies marching in back of the float in the Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance video.
My toiletry regimen alone is a great big process in and of itself: I set my Ipod for one song and then get in the shower. It should not take longer to shower than one random song. That’s not the time-consuming part. The exception to this one-song rule is if you have fallen into the cesspool (Lance) or had a plumbing pipe full of shit (literally, full of shit) explode into your mouth and onto your chest (Hal) – At that point, take as long as you feel necessary in there and no one will say a word.
Back to the routine; I like to start at the top and then work my way down. The opening act, or my first facial scrub, is just a tingly little wake-up call and then we head straight for the follow-up nourishing face wash and immediately into the Bliss face wash after that. I then grab my two thickening shampoos (it’s sort of the same philosophy that I have with Pumpkin muffins, where if one is good – two will be much better) and wash my hair. Obviously, the shampoo is dripping down my body and I would need to scrub again after it – so it just makes sense to use the body bar after the hair is done. Moving on to my Oil of Olay Age Defying soap for certain parts of the body – though never on this gentle face with a bar soap! I actually don’t understand why anyone would choose to use a bar of soap to wash their body and then use that SAME bar to wash their face. Any bar of soap that touches my feet or cleans my balls surely isn’t going anywhere near my face!
Blue Body wash is next for the rest of my body that the soap doesn’t cover. I don’t mind scents, but I feel like it needs to be blue or it won’t fully clean me. I don’t know why blue body wash strikes me as more thorough – but I just can’t use another color. Then I dry off and get my robe and waist towel (what my wife lovingly refers to as a skirt) and put on my Birkenstocks so my clean feet won’t touch the ground. Did I forget to mention that I HATE to be barefoot and just cannot do it? Nothing gets me worked up more than that. OK, the beach does – I mean you’re sitting in dirt – It doesn’t make any sense!!!
(I actually had a mini panic attack at the airport last summer when I rushed out of the house in flip-flops not thinking and then had to go through security when I got to the airport. I almost scrapped the whole trade show that I was going to for work when they told me I had to take the flip-flops off. I asked for some napkins or paper towels so I wouldn’t have to walk on the floor – but they looked at me like I was the crazy one. Needless to say the sight of me scrubbing my feet in the men’s bathroom sink immediately after going through security didn’t go over well. Two people looked at me like I just escaped from the mental hospital and another told me that I was crazy. Screw them – people can shave in the sink and hair is everywhere, but one foot on the counter sets them off? I was balancing like Nadia Comaneci because if one of my barefoot little toes had touched that disgusting airport bathroom floor – they would have taken me out on a stretcher right into the ambulance.)
For my next act, I move straight into oral hygiene and start with my Listerine pre-rinse and floss and Q-Tips to check for wax or and then grab my Radius toothbrush to start on the choppers with my Tom’s of Maine fennel toothpaste. Don’t let them fool you, if it’s not fennel – it’s not fine. I will not use a toothbrush that isn’t Radius – it just gets the job done! If you haven’t tried it – get one right now. Your brushing will shoot right up to the next level and you’ll be thanking me for it for years to come. The zesty tingle after a good brushing just starts me on the right path and keeps me going all day.
If you were just thinking that I was finished and ready to leave the bathroom, you would be mistaken. The next stop on the OCD Express is my eye serum for the bags under my eyes (regular face creams are just not gentle enough for this area) then we move on to the T-Zone cream (for the nose and forehead) which tends to be an oilier area so you have to use a product of a different consistency and then I finish up with my gentle SPF Facial cream for the chin, cheeks, and neck area.
I hit the Styling Paste to spruce up this thin crow’s nest I’m calling my hair these days, and then an extra healthy spot of Rogaine Foam. Rogaine is the only one of my toiletries I have a heavy hand with – you never know. I now head for the brush to get my hair under control and give it a “look.” With my hair, I try to go for the “messy, cover-up” look to make it look thicker, but it usually just comes across as the “desperate, comb-over” look.
We haven’t even gotten to the deodorant (Spray? No way!) and cologne yet. Lately, I have been going back and forth between Tiffany for Men and Diesel. I’m actually a little scared of using the Diesel at full force with more than one squirt – so I go very sparingly. It says right there on the bottle in big letters to “Use with Caution” and I take that warning very seriously. Seriously, the last thing I need is to go waltzing into work after one too many squirts of Diesel and set that little minx in Accounting off into a Diesel infused stupor. Instead of her flirting with the Subway guy at lunch like she usually does, she’ll be trying to steal the pickle off my McRib sandwich! That’s the power of Diesel!
I grab the tweezers for a quick little maintenance check and to make sure there is no hair trying to escape out of my nostrils or ears. There is absolutely nothing more offensive or careless than nose hair. There’s just no excuse for it. Why don’t we use this as the general rule of thumb for nose hair from now on: If you can grab it and twirl it or if small children can jump rope with it – there’s a problem. If your nose hair is long enough to floss your teeth with – stay the hell home and trim it!
One last check in the mirror for the once over and then I am ready to leave the bathroom and pick out clothes to wear. I did leave out one minor detail which doesn’t help my time spent in the bathroom: I have to do all of these things a certain number of times and simply cannot veer off of that. If I don’t brush my teeth forty-five times – I need to start over. If I don’t rub the Rogaine on my head into a circle seventy-five times – I need to start over. Also, if I go out of order in my routine in any way, I need to start over. That’s not a joke either – I don’t think of it as compulsive, I think of it as thorough. I will literally get back in the shower and start over.
If this sounds excessive or crazy, just imagine that I shower multiple (3 – 5) times a day. When I wake up (obviously), every time I take a shit, if it’s summer and I’m sweaty – add at least two more showers that day, before I got to the gym, when I get back from the gym…It’s actually a good thing that I’m overweight and have decided to cut out my time at the gym so I don’t risk a heart attack or I would have to get up even earlier than I already do to take another shower.
This doesn’t even take into consideration me wearing gloves to sleep in after I apply the hand cream. Since I wash my hands so much, I constantly have really dry hands. They’re so dry that when I shake hands with someone, they wince in pain because my paws feel like sandpaper. Add my blinders that I can’t sleep without and you can imagine how much my wife enjoys co-habitating with me.
If you didn’t feel bad for my wife before this – I’m sure you have now joined the growing crowd that does. I actually used to feel really bad for her too because she is so patient, but then one day I stopped. The day that I stopped feeling bad was the day that her and her crazy sister actually jumped me in their mother’s basement to try to “Cure me” of my OCD. They had seen a documentary where this lady got a vacuum cleaner dumped on her head while she was duct taped to a chair and they got inspired. She sat there crying her eyes out and the light bulb went off above their heads.
When I say that they jumped me, I actually mean that they jumped on top of me and threw me to the ground while the two of them tried to remove their shoes and put their bare feet on my face. Their fucking bare feet on my face! Who they thought that would help, I certainly don’t know, but I went all Wu Tang on them like I was back on the streets. OK, I was never actually on the streets and there are grade School kids tougher than me, but at that moment – I imagined myself a gang member or as the epitome of strength and courage: Chuck Norris.
At this point in the game when two crazy bitches get all up in your grill like that – the “don’t hit a girl” rules fail to apply. I was all Chris Brown throwing punches left and right at those girls. Luckily for them I have as much coordination as a newborn kitten and I punch like a five-year old girl, so I was mostly hitting myself. I was screaming for help to old lady Ann that lived next door but to no avail. I was bobbing and weaving like Muhammad Ali and was finally able to get away and run up the stairs to freedom (and another shower.) Yep – they knocked me to that basement floor and there was no way that I wasn’t going to need a shower.
I grew up in a house with a crazy kamikaze sister who would turn into the flying Whoozini and attack out of nowhere and now here I was married to another ninja attacker and her crazy wombat sidekick. Needless to say, it’s been years since that happened, but I still never turn my back on either sister at family functions for fear of a repeat performance. Sometimes life just isn’t fair!