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Like most men, I am always amazed at the amount and diversity of cosmetics used by women. Guys can get by with a bar of soap, shampoo and deodorant, but women apparently need much more. Lipstick, eyeliner, face creams, hair spray, body wash and exfoliators populate our bathroom shelves. My "half" of our bathroom space is more like 20 percent.

I have my own razor, which I forbid the wife to use. She has her own. Other than that exception, I tend to believe everything else in a couple's shower is community property, so I use whatever soap or shampoo is available at the time. This has, over the years, produced interesting results. Morning grogginess in the shower can be dangerous. Mango kiwi salt scrub is not a suitable shaving lotion I have found.

Our skin types are different. I produce enough oil through my pores to run a fleet of vehicles, but her skin is dry. I've offered her the bounty of my sebaceous overflow, but she says it doesn't work that way. Instead, she relies on many concoctions to care for her dehydrated skin.

We have differing hair types, as well. Her hair needs not just cleaning, but conditioning as well. I just want to degrease mine, so I don't slide off the pillow. Still, I don't complain (much), I just go ahead and use whatever she's put on the shower shelf. She usually purchases the economic extra-large tub size with the pump dispenser, so it lasts a while.

I recently decided to man up and obtain my very own shampoo -- something basic, with no conditioning additives, perfumes, or such. I went to Wally's Store for dog food, and then sauntered over to the Health & Beauty section to grab a bottle. Now, I admit it's been some time since I've ventured into this store area, but I was overwhelmed with the choices! Hair products consumed two entire aisles: bottles with differing levels of conditioners, or scented with coconut oil, mango, Dutch vanilla extract or avocado. There was Moroccan oil hydrating shampoo and tea tree oil shampoo. Biotin, collagen, citrus rush, frizz control, grapefruit mint and coconut milk shampoos bottled in vibrant colors with unpronounceable names leaped out at me! Why does the world require so many kinds of shampoo? It's a testament to the power of marketing. Obviously, someone is in dire need of these items.

Due to the covid outbreak, I get nervous, spending more time than necessary in a store. Masked shoppers, evidently as clueless as me, were jostling carts in the narrow aisles, increasing my discomfort levels. I finally spied a bottle with familiar-looking contents, grabbed it, checked out and headed home.

I went upstairs to change clothes and put the bottle on the shower shelf. I relaxed from my shopping ordeal by doing yard work, followed by a hot shower. Eyes shut from the stream of water in my face, I grabbed my new hair cleaner bottle and squeezed a fair amount into my hands and then my hair. Instead of gliding with expected sudsy ease, my fingers seemed to drag and stick to my hair! Alarmed, I picked up the bottle and read the label. What I had grabbed in my haste was not shampoo but some kind of styling glue for spiked hair! Cursing, I grabbed a bar of soap and spent 15 minutes getting the sticky mess off my head. The soap combined with the gel to form a congealed mixture. Still mumbling to myself, I used my wife's shampoo to get the soap out. Luckily, the conditioner restored my hair to near normalcy.

I was about to toss my mistake into the trash but decided to hide it among my wife's assortment of hair products. That didn't work, apparently she is more aware of her inventory than I am of mine. She knew she didn't purchase it, and I couldn't blame this incident on the cat, so I weakly proclaimed that I got it for her. She stared at me with that "you're-an-idiot" look, then noticed my hair, gelled spikes and all. She grinned, chucked the bottle in the trash, and reminded me that this was not her first rodeo. When I repeated my harrowing story to her, she said that I should go to stores with more limited inventories of products unfamiliar to me. "Stick to the hardware stores, Babe. I'll handle the household products," she said.

It is true. A man must know his limitations.

-- Devin Houston is the president/CEO of Houston Enzymes. Send comments or questions to [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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