The kids have been home for four days, the county having graciously decided to take Monday, the day after Halloween, as a teacher in-service day, so we could deal with the candy aftermath ourselves. I’ve carved out as much time as I could for some creative writing, fending off the more or less constant interruptions of doorbell, telephone and small-voiced entreaties with the response that unless it’s a broken leg, it would have to wait.
I haven’t broken my Fragrance Fidelity vows yet. Join me back here on Monday when we survey the carnage and report on our week of wearing the same scent. In the meantime by way of apology, here are links to two interesting stories from the Sunday New York Times. The first is all about the bold new trend of American people – horrors! – not washing their hair or bodies every day, declining to anoint themselves in scented BBW product or (double horrors!) skipping deodorant! It’s an interesting (if somewhat glib) discussion of our national obsession with cleanliness and body odor, as well as some scientific arguments for why less bathing might be good for us.
This article resonated with me. Since the Big Cheese is away and can’t do a darned thing about it, here’s an informational gem: he’s a jock, a regular dude, and to the best of my knowledge he has never used an underarm product. I think he views them as a girly thing; what’s next, shaving his armpits? Wearing a bra? I can honestly say that based on my 20+ years of experience, the man’s armpits are non-lethal. Sometimes he sweats; he showers after a workout. But he simply doesn’t stink. Ever. I think it’s a body chemistry thing, because … well, I do smell sweaty, sometimes, and not in a glorious, new Femme way. It’s why I wear deodorant daily.
He and I are both fond of the restorative, Winston Churchill-esque bath (sans cigar) in the wintertime when we are feeling the blues, but we don’t bathe to excess. I’m not a sweaty person generally, and my hair and skin are on the dry side. When my hair was bright red, my stylist would ask my secret for making the color last so long. I’d answer that I didn’t wash it, and she’d laugh, but I wasn’t really joking. I wash my hair twice a week, maybe. More often than not it just gets a rinse with spring water, and that’s pretty much it. And unlike some of you, I don’t want or use scented body product. I have no moral objection or chemical fear; rather, it interferes with the perfumage.
If that article doesn’t do anything for you, here’s another I enjoyed on the recurring debate about older women with long (sometimes very long) and, often, undyed hair.
Long gray hair on older women seems to provoke a gut-level, vituperative disgust in some people that surprises me. Actually, I’m so old-school in that area that like Miss Manners I consider long hair (worn up, of course) to be the norm, not the shocking exception that short hair is (remember, only loose women bob their hair). I’m wearing short hair now, for a number of reasons, but I don’t see who I’d be hurting if I grew it long again. Fashion dictates like this are strange.
image: New York Times, 10/31/10