From the Blog

How I Am Certain I Wasn’t Meant To Be Born Into A Man’s Body

As I have mentioned, I get irritated by grocery consumerism, and specifically all the sparkly, faux technological, silly toothbrush choices. However, I am equally and oppositely fascinated with lotions, moisturizers, cleansers and the whole myriad of foo foo, self indulgent girlie stuff. I love all the little jars and all the expensive potions. All the smelly stuff, and the extra sensitive stuff, and the deep moisturizing stuff. Boy, does the girlie product aisle ever reach its target market when I shuffle through.

It doesn’t mean I actually *buy* anything. Most of it is stupid expensive, and like most women, I have a graveyard of unused products in my drawers and under my sink. And why? Once I buy it, I don’t like any of it. See? I was meant to be a woman. I make no sense.

I occasionally buy something because I have some self-perceived ailment, like my forehead is flaky, or I’m getting a wrinkle under one eye. And I know that I have impossibly sensitive skin, so I get moisturizers that are gentle or natural, or made with delicate humming bird poop. In the store, I examine the girlie product choices at length, the ingredients, the impossible promises. And the cost. None of this stuff is cheap. Yes, I want to be all moisturized and glowy, but I don’t want to pay $25 for a teeny tiny jar.

So I buy one of these lotions or moisturizers or something, bring it home, and hold out such high hopes that this, THIS product will be the one that makes my non-comedogenic dreams come true. And I try it, whatever it may be, a cleanser, a moisturizer, a lotion, a hand lotion, a foot lotion, a lip balm, a hair product, a goddamned under eye cream.

And, almost invariably, meh. 99% of the time, I am disappointed. Stupid girlie shit never does what it says it’s going to do. It doesn’t make the wrinkles go away, or it doesn’t take the redness out, or it goddamn DOES cause me to break out, when it clearly said it WOULDN’T. Do you ever get zits under your eye? Me neither, unless I use some stupid shit that says it won’t cause zits.

So you’d think I’d learn. And I do! I do learn! Until the next time I am in that girlie products aisle. I have never found any one product that actually works, and did what it said it was going to do, and that I actually like. Because if I found something I liked and I could rely on, perhaps I wouldn’t go in that gimmicky girlie aisle.

Related: I have the same problem with pillows. Like, sleeping pillows. The kind you put your unconscious head on and drool all over. I find myself in trouble at stores that sell pillows. I can whip through Ikea at astounding speeds until I get to the pillow section. So many pillows. Soft ones, hard ones, big ones, little ones. Ultimately, I have the same issue with pillows as the moisturizers and cleansers. I haven’t found a pillow that was just right. And since I’m a girl, I need no fewer than three pillows to sleep correctly. And I never seem to enjoy the pillows I currently own. Too soft. Too hard. Too big. Too little.

It’s a near compulsive urge to slow down and fondle the pillows.

Okay. I think the internet knows me well enough.


  1. Agreed on all the above. Especially the delicate humming bird poop, should be a serum.

  2. It’s something ingrained in the double-X chromesomes, isn’t it? Although I do have to admit, with the rise of the male cosmetics industry, and my family’s insistence of, no matter your gender, always looking your best (and to check that you’re looking your best in any reflective surface that presents itself), my cousin Joseph’s bathroom has more jars and bottles of potions than my own.

    With regards to the pillows, I’ve been thinking a lot about my impending move, and the fact I’m going to need some kind of sitting space. I got rid of my couch when I moved to Portland in 2005 and have since then been relying on whomever owns the house to provide sitting spaces. With my sudden obsession with needlepoint, I’m thinking of foregoing the trip to IKEA for a sofa and instead creating a nest of pillows and blankets to lounge upon in the living room.

    I’m sure I can stack them three or four feet high.

  3. @Mary Sue – Re: living room pillow stack 3 or 4 feet high – please don’t give Heather any ideas! ;-)

  4. I actually saw a “pile of pillows as a couch” on a design site. They used a blow up kiddie pool to contain them all. Not a bad idea! Kind of awesome, actually! Pillows AND blow up furniture!

  5. You ARE my sister!
    So, have you found any skincare that works?
    I was going to venture to Kiss My Face next…have you tried it?

    re: pillows…have you tried the one that’s memory foam on one side and fluffy on the other side? It’s a good one, but not cheap.

  6. Sheets!
    I have stacks of sheets but use 1 set. The other ones are to scratchy, to pill ridden…you get my point!
    Pillows! I have multitudes of unusable ones. When you first buy them they are too damn fluffy to sleep on. I use them as back pillows for watching tv. Before long they have broken down enough to finely sleep on them. Then the pillow graveyard!

    Weird? You’re damn right!

  7. Boy, is this your lucky day. I just bought a pair of Mediflow pillows on the very high recommendation of my physiotherapist. They’re not cheap, but one side is a pocket that you fill with water and you can put as much or as little as you want to make the pillow firmer or softer. It moulds itself around your head and is very comfortable. It sounds weird with the water and all, but feels just like a real pillow – except a lot heavier. I’m loving it so far. As for the skin care products; less is more. One of the best things for your skin is plain old olive oil. Women in Mediterranean countries have been using it for centuries as a moisturizer for their skin and hair. Rub a tiny drop in your hands and smooth over hair and skin. Again, sounds weird, but works

  8. that’s why you have your very own personal face person, silly. you are a tough cookie though, because of your sensitivity. Kiss My Face is a good line. And normally, I would say Olive Oil is a great moisturizer, but not for you. Too heavy. A thinner oil might work, like grapeseed or coconut. I need to get down to the store and check stuff out, check ingrediatns and see what would work for you. off the top of my head, Eucerin has a redness relief line. I think the moisturizers would be good for you. Not because you are red, but because the liine is for rosacea sufferers, so there are zero irritants in it. As far as breaking out when you try a new product… that is going to happen to a certain degree with anything you use. Your skin has to get used to the new product. The breakout normally lasts for 2-3 days. When you try a new product, you need to use it consistently for two weeks before. you have reliably judge whether it is working for you. It can take that long for your skin to adjust and the benefits to show. ok. late for work now.

  9. @Dave — You’re right. Three or four feet isn’t anything at all. STACK THEM TO THE CEILING!

  10. See? Internet? I’m sensitive! I’m goddamned SENSITIVE over here!

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