The Medicine Cabinet as a Proxy for Love


One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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25 Responses

  1. Mike Dwyer says:

    My volume of stuff is far, far greater than my wife’s. Hunting is an equipment-intensive hobby. The only thing we ever argue about is the number of strikingly similar articles of clothing she has.

    “Really? You needed another black & white striped top?”

    “This one has wide stripes. The other one has thin stripes. Totally different.”


    • Miss Mary in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      She’s right about the clothes, as I’m sure you’re right about why you need another gun or fishing pole or whatever. How many hunting “gadgets” does one really need? The same number of shoes that I need.Report

  2. I’m going to assume that you recognize the vast swaths of male privilege it takes to complain about the amount of toiletries a North American woman has, right?

    It’s also quite possible that you have, at some time, contributed to some of the causes as to why someone like Zazzy might own such things in such a quantity.

    Regardless, congrats on growing up. I just hope you haven’t grown up too much.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

      I considered discussing the pressures that contribute to the abundance of stuff… both socially and from me. But I didn’t want to get lost in the weeds of that conversation (since I similarly feel some of those pressures… e.g., I only wear cologne because she wants me to and only shave because society says I can’t look like an unfrozen cave man all the time). But, yes, you are right.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        And to my credit, I tell her to wear less makeup. She looks better without it. But society demands otherwise. I cannot overwhelm that pressure.Report

      • greginak in reply to Kazzy says:

        urrr society puts a lot of pressure on women, that is true. But on the other hand my wife hasn’t worn make up in years. I’m not actually sure if i’ve ever seen her in make up ever. But she doesn’t have any. She, of course, still manages to fill her bathroom drawers with all sorts of stuff though.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

        My wife also doesn’t wear make-up except in very narrow circumstances like job interviews and the like. I don’t think she actually wore it for the one for the job she has now, though. She did wear it at her high school reunion, but that was only because she could find it after an hour or so of looking.

        Even so, while society doesn’t demand it, it does pressure it and I would say more important it conditions it. So that it feels “wrong” for a lot of women not to wear it, regardless of what her husband thinks.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        She frames it as a demand so I take her on her word. I agree that she could function fully in society without it (and did when she used to do bedside nursing). But she feels it is a requirement.Report

      • Miss Mary in reply to Kazzy says:

        If makeup makes a woman feel more confident or less self conscious, then good for her for wearing it. Just like you might wear swim trunks instead of a speedo at the pool. Or maybe you leave your shirt on at the pool, or always wear pants instead of shorts? Yes, ultimately you’re doing it because of societal pressures, but it’s about what makes you most comfortable when you’re moving through the world.Report

  3. greginak says:

    You are really just dancing around the key bathroom oriented proxy for love and meaning in the universe: The Toilet Seat, Up vs Down.Report

    • Glyph in reply to greginak says:

      You know, I’m a man (ba-dum, ba-dum), but I prefer leaving it down.

      It’s not just a courtesy, it means that in the middle of the night, exhausted and bleary-eyed and not feeling like opening my eyes enough to stand and aim, *I* can just sit down without fear of a rude, cold awakening.Report

      • greginak in reply to Glyph says:

        I know the bleary crusty eyed stumble towards the bathroom well. I actually prefer the seat up so i don’t have to try to manage the mechanics of lifting it up or the chance of forgetting it is down. The Wife and i have come to an excellent, although very middle class privileged, solution to this sticky( eww) problem. Separate bathrooms.Report

    • Jim Heffman in reply to greginak says:

      I spent years cultivating a habit of leaving the lid down, because I knew that someday a woman would stay overnight in my place, and when she did, she’d find it endearing that I left the lid down.

      Then one night I heard “dammit!” from the bathroom. “What?” “You left the lid down!” WHA BUH FUH GUH “…uh, I thought that’s the way you’re supposed to…?” “No, it’s the SEAT, no the LID!”


    • Patrick in reply to greginak says:

      The lid goes down, all other arguments are invalid.Report

  4. Kim says:

    I don’t wear makeup. Having freckles, it just looks bad on me — makes me look unnatural.
    Some people need to wear makeup — they look naturally a bit freakish. Tip: if people ask “what the hell happened to you?” (as in “what kind of a fight did you get into”?) — you might consider a bit of makeup.Report

  5. Dan Miller says:

    As someone who just moved in with a woman who is far, far cleaner than me, I will endeavor to keep this post close to mind. Thanks, Kazzy.Report

  6. Peter says:

    Of course at least 90% of women today make intensive use of their razors 🙂Report

  7. Vikram Bath says:

    Being both academics, Mrs. Bath and I have labeled this phenomenon “maximizing joint benefit”. This takes priority over fairness. In fact, we would argue that fairness is there for people you aren’t really that close to. If she gets more out of something than I do, she gets all of it and vice versa.

    Maybe it all evens out at the end, but I think we would both be happy even if it didn’t.

    So, I would ask you, Kazzy, how would you feel about this if she took up more space in the bathroom and was the salt maven as well? Are you just applying your sense of fairness across a broader geography or are you unconcerned with it?Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Vikram Bath says:

      Let’s not even use a hypothetical. Let’s use a real scenario: Beyond the salt hoarding, I have carefully arranged the kitchen according to my personal preferences. I’ve taken her feelings into account with things relating to aesthetics and baby gear, but otherwise, I have shouted her down whenever she tried to weigh in on where the gadgets go. “WHEN’S THE LAST TIME YOU COOKED ANYTHING?!?!” Well, shouting down is probably too strong a word. But I insisted that I should run point on kitchen organization because I do 95%+ of the cooking. So I was already on record elsewhere with a notion that not everything should be a perfect 50/50 split but rather we should look at individual situations and decide accordingly. At least when it suited my interests. What stood out about this recent situation was not only that I was able to apply this logic to a situation where it “benefitted” her, but that I was able to recognize it on my own. I’m a big boy now!Report

      • Boegiboe in reply to Kazzy says:

        This kitchen arrangement is exactly what Jason insists on, and I joyfully support whatever state of affairs keeps him happy about doing all the cooking. In our bathroom, there are two sinks, presumably a his and a hers. The hers is twice as big, and Jason has that side so he can do his ironing there. But my much smaller sink area (vanity? is that what it’s called) is always cluttered with all the stuff I need which does not fit into my medicine cabinet. I’m pretty much fine with this, though. Like you say, it’s all about equilibrium.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:


        Why’d you guys buy a house that clearly hates your lifestyle choices?

        For a brief while, we actually used separate bathrooms since we have a guest bath on the same floor and only a few feet farther than the master. But this simply proved impractical. Neither of us actually need a ton of time in the bathroom in the AM (if we’re both up by 6 we can take turns in the bathroom and still be out the door by 6:45), so we are fortunate in this regard. I grew up in a house with five other people and one and a half baths, so I learned to be quick when I had to. Plus, we’ve lived together for over 5 years and are well past the point of caring about one person using the toilet while the other brushes his/her teeth.Report

      • Miss Mary in reply to Kazzy says:

        I can’t stand the idea of using the restroom in front of my romantic partner. I don’t care how long we’ve been together, it’s a total and permanent mood killer.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Kazzy says:

        #1 is acceptable, though it’s not the preferred solution.

        #2, never. Unless we are so sick that we are unable to care for ourselves. Some things were just meant to be solitary endeavors. Please don’t try to talk to me through the door either. That means you are too close to the door.Report