On Manopause, September 2017


There is a ritual in our house which, in fairness, is more my thing than anyone else’s. Whenever we squeeze the last drops of shower gel from the bottle, we hurl it over the shower wall, over the toilet and attempt to land it in the waste paper basket on the other side of the bathroom. Invariably we miss. Not really sure why I’m still persisting with the whole ‘we’ thing as it is very much a solo pursuit.   

It was as another empty bottle went sprawling across the tiles that I began to reflect on the sorry state of my shower caddy. I never really knew what a shower caddy was before I got married, much less ever saw the need for one. I certainly never imagined that I would one day have my own and that it would be so devoid of accompaniment.

My shower caddy, which in years gone by had been the corner of the shower floor and before that the soap dish, does not have a particularly onerous responsibility to carry. There is shower gel, because apparently soap dries your skin. Who knew? There is shampoo and nowadays there’s a separate conditioner. 2 in 1 products are apparently also the devil’s work.

From time to time I find castaways. Scrubs, serums and moisturisers that haven’t been able to cut it over at shower caddy number one. A more confident man would content himself for hours by hurling said imposters to their fate. I’ve found though that we may actually be dealing with an overflow situation and I may have given the indication that I was listening when it was explained.

Like many parts of the home, the shower is not really my domain. There are rules which I’m yet to fully comprehend, let alone follow. I play no real part in replenishing the shower supplies, choosing their suitability for purpose, or picking which items I should be using for my basic daily routine.

I’m often amazed by the concoctions which pass as shower gels. I’m certain I’ve heard of most of them in trendy juice and smoothie bars. It’s not unusual for me to wash myself in Tahitian coconut and mango shower gel or tropical mint burst.   

They often smell completely unlike what you would imagine. I think there are male and female alternatives. Sometimes when replenishment hasn’t occurred quite as quickly as we may have hoped, I’ve had to procure some gel from shower caddy HQ, which has left me smelling less ‘freshness of Scandinavia’ and more ‘fields of English Roses’.

Smelling like that you can’t just talk about footy in the work vans.

One Response

  1. Ray mills

    Hi John. This gave me a good chuckle especially the bit about the names on some of the bottles. I thought I might share with you a particular shower product I’m very fond off that makes me laugh ever time I see it. To start with, John did you know or are you aware that just having a shower is not longer sufficient for the modern metrosexual man. No apparently there are and array of “After shower” products that my wife has. Apparently the shower on its own is not good enough. I know I’m confused. Anyhow the after shower product that makes me laugh is a moisturiser for your hands which promises on the bottle the provide you with ‘Intense hand relief’


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