I like to think I look decent for my age. Well, let’s be honest, I only say this because other people say I don’t look forty-nine whereas I think I look like a bag of wet garbage. Some may thank I am vain because I worry about this but again, not true, I merely try very hard to look decent and not like a hobo. Some days I fail. Some days I look okay. Some days I don’t want to leave the house, but I do because I have a job and responsibilities.
Like most people who are overly concerned with how they look on the outside, it’s not narcissism but inversely it is insecurity that makes them seem so. That said, I have great hair and am pleased that I wear a size 33 pants and have only a smattering of grey hair, just enough to prevent people from thinking I dye it.
So in recap before I proceed, I’m insecure, slightly neurotic and as we know not all that social but concerned that I need look good (and smell good) every single time I leave the house. I am also for the record exceedingly cheap. Well, frugal, it sounds better.
This Christmas past my wife blessed me with two small pots of very expensive hair product from American Crew ™. One was a paste, one a pomade (there is a difference you heathens). I was pleased as punch as I am always a fan of having backup toiletries especially free ones.
She laughs when I rob my hotel room of unused bottles of shampoo etc. before I leave each day as I know when they turn down they will refill them (I use them at the gym). She laughs when I snag extra peanut butter containers from the continental breakfast set up (protein for after the gym!).
She laughs that I am persnickety about my hair.
She knows however that as much as I am frugal I do fully respect quality, hence the posher than I usually buy product. Sadly, I left one in a hotel in TO and I used all of another. I then ran out of all backup leftover mostly empty pots of pomade. I woke up one morning looking otherwise decent (I guess) but with hair wet and unkempt. I had a mild panic. My insecurity level was eight and rising. I dropped into problem solver mode and found a solution that made her stylist sneer and cringe when I related it to he a week later.
(I’ll tell you about my revelation after the flashback)
Christmas 2013. I was staying in a hotel in Toronto. After work I rushed to check in, shower, change and meet my colleagues at a pre-chosen location for our unofficial Xmas gathering. Most of them would have just gone from the office to the restaurant/pub, but being me and the child of my fashionable, former disco queen and king parents, I refuse to go out for the evening when I am abroad in clothing I have worn all day. I lay out my jeans (ironed), shoes, shirt (ironed, of course) and underwear. I jumped in the shower, washed, temperature not too high as it will redden my face and make it obvious I showered, shampooed, dried and donned the terrycloth gown the hotel provided. Drank a lot of water (good for the skin and prevents you from guzzling too much beer too soon), brushed teeth and ran out to throw on clothes and shoes. Examined myself in the mirror, hid valuables so turn down squad wouldn’t rob me and realized “hair!”. Ran to bathroom and immediately realized I had no product.
Insecurity level 9.
I looked around me and saw the following:
- Body lotion (mildly scented, not too girly)
- Shoe wax
- Scent free antiseptic hand gel
Using my McGuyver abilities and knowledge of chemistry I used the alcohol to break down the wax somewhat and the body lotion to soften the resulting goo and make it less harsh. I produced Magical Emergency Hair Product and proceeded to try it on myself (all the best experimentation involves SELF experimentation). Success. Though note it required three shampooings to get out the next morning.
Flash back to this month. Panic. Insecurity level 8 and rising. I thought about my previous dilemma and looked around, seeing nothing useful except for one bottle. My savior. I grabbed it and carefully rubbed a fair amount between my hands then in my hair. I styled it as per normal and was shocked to find it made for a more than acceptable emergency hair product. In fact, strike the word emergency. I have been using it for two weeks now. I wouldn’t call it a fulsome replacement, it is not re-moldable should you choose to mess with your hair midday, but it is a fine solution to hair issues and cheap. I mean frugal.
Aveeno body lotion.
I kid you not. You will thank me, neurotic, insecure, fashionable, loyal teller of tales.
Now to find a cheap alternative to the expensive sock fetish I have developed of late…