Monday, February 10, 2014

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My Wife Has Gone Granola

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Part I

About three days ago Mel came home from shopping, dragged in a few shopping bags, and then tugged from one of them a bottle of carrot-scented shampoo. She smiled at me and said, “They didn’t have my usual coconut shampoo, so I am going to try this new carrot shampoo. It was a little more than the coconut shampoo, but not nearly as expensive as the mint leaf shampoo. I hope it works!”

I looked at the bottle. It read, “Yes To Carrots/ Nourishing Carrot Shampoo.” I read the title a few times, and thought about all the times I’d said no to carrots, mostly in my youth, and occasionally as an adult. But usually it was that I didn’t want carrots on the side or mixed in with something. Never had I said, “No,” to carrots in my hair. On the bottle, not surprisingly, were photos of carrots. But not a cartoon carrot, or even a whole carrot, but actually a curly peel from a carrot. This confused me until I realized it was supposed to look like a curly ringlet.

 It touted that it was made from 100% real carrots, and I recall wondering if there was such a thing as a fake carrot, and if those fake carrots were used to make shampoo. I also wondered what other vegetables could be used in shampoo, and then I noticed that “Yes To Carrots/ Nourishing Carrot Shampoo,” also contained cucumbers. Then I wondered if my wife would smell like a salad? Or perhaps a glass of V8. Both of which didn’t sound all that appealing.

I was confused by all of this.

“I don’t understand,” I said. “Are we supposed to eat this? Because I don’t really like carrots. Or cucumbers. Do they have beef shampoo? Can we make you smell like a steak? Because that would be sexy.”

Mel rolled her eyes. “No. I do not want to smell like a steak. I am going to smell like a carrot. And you are going to love it!”

She emphasized the “love it” part by slowing the end of the sentence and lingering on the world “love.”
When shopping for shampoo, I don’t think about how well it moisturizes, what it will do for my scalp, if it will help me fight aging, how many chemicals are in it and how they may impact my health, or whether or not it will harm the environment. In fact, I never used conditioner until I was in my early 20’s (I’m now 31), and I’ve only been recycling for two years.

I usually look at two things when shopping for shampoo, or any body cleanser for that matter: price and smell. I want it to be cheap, and I want it to NOT smell like poo. While it might seem strange that shampoo could smell like poo, anyone that regularly buys low-priced bottom-shelf shampoo knows that sometimes the manufacturers say it smells like lilac, but it actually smells wretched. I also like to make sure that the shampoo is marketed towards men, because, frankly, I enjoy smelling more like musk rather than fruit. I usually try to not spend more than $2 for a bottle of shampoo. If the shampoo is less than a buck and has an acceptable smell, that is a very good buy.

Mel, on the other hand, has always been on the high end. I wanted to ask her how much she spent for this crap, but after being married for almost ten years, I discovered that it’s best for me not to ask how much she spent on the carrot shampoo. It would only piss me off. I also assumed that this was all part of her new desire to save the planet.

“Do I have to use the carrot shampoo?” I asked.

“You really should,” she said. “It’s better for the environment. And it doesn’t have so many chemicals, which will help you to live longer. That’s why I got it. Regular shampoo is bad for rivers and streams and can give you cancer. But this stuff is all natural.”

The first time she came home with all natural shampoo, I accidently put it in the pantry while unpacking the groceries. The brand was, “Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian.” The bottle read, “Coconut Milk” and contained the phrase, “Drink it up.”

I assumed it was some additive that was supposed to make a cake taste more like coconut. Mel laughed at me when she discovered her shampoo in the pantry, calling me silly.
Silly, I thought. I’m the silly one? I’m not putting a cake additive in my hair.

Two love birds in an Oregon rain storm
Mel finished telling me how much I was going to love the carrot shampoo. I was still examining the bottle, only we’d moved from the kitchen and into the living room. Mel took the carrot shampoo from my hand and walked down the hall to the bathroom. As she walked away, I looked at her hair. It was a little greasier than it had been a year ago. It was a little longer, and a little less manageable. And she had a hint of dandruff on her sleeves. Apparently showering with fruits and vegetables wasn’t working nearly as well as she’d hoped, but I didn’t have the heart to tell her that.

I will admit that the whole organic shampoo thing was confusing to me, and at times a little irritating. But I must say Mel had a new confidence ever since she started caring more about the environment that I found sexy. There was something earthy about it, something a little 1970s hippie.


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Clint Edwards was blessed with a charming and spitfire wife, a video game obsessed little boy, and a snarky little girl in a Cinderella play dress. When Clint was 9-years-old his father left. With no example of fatherhood, he had to learn how to be a father and husband through trial and error. His essays on parenting and marriage have been featured in Huffington Post Parents, Huffington Post Weddings, and The Good Men Project. He lives in Oregon. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.