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Hair plucking and Gandhi
by Charles W. Dowdy



My wife sometimes says I look like Pierce Brosnan, that actor who plays 007 in the Bond movies. Of course, she usually says this after she's had a glass or two of wine, giving me the impression she's building me up or perhaps adjusting her expectations for some reason.

I also have a good friend who everyone said looked like Richard Gere. He ran a little toward the vain side and his chest popped out every time someone told him that. Despite how good the comparison made my friend feel, I found it hard to see the similarity unless Gere is five foot three and swarthy.

Still, there's nothing wrong with trying to make someone feel good about themselves. Of course, it is usually the physical attributes we compliment. You rarely hear someone say, "Honey, when the waiter brought the wrong entrees to our table there was a calm about you that reminded me of Gandhi."

No, it is a world of the physical out there. And the effects of that world have been telling. Take men now and the new term used to describe some of us: metrosexual.

This is a guy who studies himself in the mirror way beyond the "fly zipped up and booger check" most men employ. He also does a lot of premeditated plucking of facial hairs. And the metrosexual always wears matching clothes and shiny, new shoes.

Are there metrosexuals in your life? Do you know enough about them to know? Are you saying to yourself, "I shoot Bambi deader than dead every year, I ain't no metro nothing!" Ah, my friend, this title can extend to our manly men, too. I've seen hunters that always wear shirts and pants of matching camouflage, like their prey is going to pick out badly matched sets of tree bark. And I know a sports freak who wears a jock strap twenty four seven but also color coordinates his team visors with his clothing.

I'm not sure my brother-in-law on my wife's side is a full blown metrosexual, but he does press his own shirts. I am offended by this. Not because it is his wife's job to press his shirts, but because he cares enough to press the shirts himself. (One time I caught him pressing a shirt to play golf!)

My policy on shirts, or pants, is that if they are clean, I am free to wear them. If they are somewhat wrinkled and my wife objects, then she can press them as I am a man and cannot be trusted with something as complicated as an iron. If, by some stroke of bad luck, the pants stayed in the dryer for a week before being hung crooked on a coat hanger and they are as wrinkled as Katherine Hepburn, then I simply throw them on the floor, start the cleaning process over and hope for better luck next time.

I say this because I believe there is no place for metrosexuality in a healthy marriage. As a married man, I am off the market. I am also facing a potential mutilation with a dull instrument if I ever try out free agency. So why would my wife want me to look good in public, when I'm in full view of the harlots and temptresses she sometimes describes? Isn't it more important that I look good naked in the privacy of our own bedroom, or in our living room, or out in our backyard where we have a surprising number of aggressive fire ants that you never seem to see in the daytime?

Besides, metrosexuality sets such a high standard for a father. As a father with young children I know the teenage years are coming and will be on us before I can say "complicated orthodonture." I also know that at this point in their lives my every thought, word and motion will be a source of potential embarrassment for my children. At least I can rest easy. Based on my plans of non-metrosexuality, the bar will be pretty low. As long as my pants don't expose my crack on the top end or my ankles on the bottom, or as long as my ears remain hair free, or as long as I don't try to talk to them on "their level," then I'm pretty much off to the races.

Why screw that up with having to look good, too?

So maybe metrosexuality works for some people. Me, I'm looking into nude sunbathing.

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Charles Dowdy is the father of four and the husband of one. He's a freelance columnist for several Mississippi newspapers. Editors may contact him at cwdowdyjr@yahoo.com.

Charles Dowdy's web site is not to be missed! He has to be one of the funniest, most irreverent writers in the South . . . or anywhere. Go see!

For more stories by Charles Dowdy, visit these USADS pages:

Goodby, Debt; Hello, Ricecakes
The Waiting Room War Zone
Small Towns and The 3 Second Intersection Rule
President Bush, Sponge Bob, and a Banana
The Twins Journal
Teeball Dad
Whatcha Doin'?
Amending the Neighborhood Constitution
Pregnant Dad
Double Trouble: Cross-eyed Twins
An open letter to my wolf
The Chattanooga North Pole
This column really stinks
Cub Scouts and a bad Tenderfoot

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