Tuesday, 2 December 2008
On a routine Christmas shop around last week, I came across the shop Lush, which is like a hip version of The Body Shop. After being confronted by an assistant in purple leggings I suddenly realized it was too late to make an escape. I took care of what I actually went in for, which was a present that will remain nameless in case the recipient reads this (ah never mind they only sell one kind of thing in there anyway, it was girly bathroom stuff). What was a sense of amusement at first soon descended into a minor conflict when I first observed that one section of the shop looked like an assortment of goods made in a playgroup. She laughed, but inside she must have wanted to ram the chalky soaps down my throat. As she talked me through every product and it's aspects I was slowly worn down, my desire to make fun of each item soon became 'oh that's nice'. I was being brainwashed and there wasn't a tap in sight. Luckily I was not on my own, Rob was with me every step of the way, equally confused, but even quicker to cave in to the idea that these things would be useful for ourselves.
We eventually crumbled; after I'd got my gift sorted we came across what looked like a bar of soap with unpopped corn inside. Except it wasn't soap it was a massage bar, its oily texture is at first worked into the hands then rubbed onto aching muscles for soothing and fragrant relief.
'It's a bit gay though isn't it?' I whinged.
'I think it's endearing.' She lied.
'Don't get me wrong I'm a modern man, but it just seems a little too metrosexual for me.'
'If you buy two you get a free tin with it.'
'Free tin? Sure!' Said Rob.
So we plodded to the counter, with our bars and our free tin, which we had not decided custody for and after running the items through the till we also had a bath bomb thrown in (another item I'd ridiculed and found myself purchasing).
Fast forward a week and I'm running a bath for myself, I began the day by falling out of the shower vomiting and needed a horizontal alternative to get clean. A perfect excuse to use my bath bomb I thought. I sacrificed bubbles on the suspense of seeing what my Chocolate Santa Ballistic would do. As it plopped in the water began to fizz and it started to work it's way around the bath like a snail with an outboard motor on its back until it dissolved I was surprised at the end result. Had I not known what I had put in the bath I could have left the room and come back to assume a cat had pissed in there. It smelled a bit better than that of course but after an underwhelming five minute dunk I was bored and ready to get out.
What did I learn? Well the sales people at Lush are very convincing and despite my disappointment with the 'bomb' I've used my massage bar several times on my troublesome calf strain. But as a man who views shaving balm as a posh toiletry, I've ventured beyond what I thought was acceptable and have become hygienically confused. How I come out of this state remains to be seen but for now my shopping must be confined to the safety of tools and rawl plugs to preserve my masculinity for the time being.