Sunday, 28 March 2010

Murder, death, Kiehls

The American comes home earlier this week and tells me he spent an entire subway ride staring at a girl's arse. Before I clip him over the head, he explains it's not because it was peachy and desirable, but because she was wearing the wrong style of jeans for her figure.

My husband is now a raging metrosexual and it's all my fault.

When we met back in 2006 he used Axe underarm deodorant, the American equivalent of Lynx-(under International Law chav body sprays require single syllable names with an 'x' in them). He wore nylon sportswear, some days head to toe, until I pointed out this wasn't the most suitable fabric for someone of such manly build living in the heat of L.A. So I got him some linen shirts. He had never used moisturiser, or eye cream, so I got him some of those too.  I was just in time, there were fine lines appearing.

Three years later and he's dropped 40 pounds, insists on using the entire Kiehls Facial Fuel range and won't step out without 'product' in his hair. He has rejected all but natural fabrics and he even plans his wardrobes ahead of time.

"What are these?" I enquire picking up a pink trainer from a pile of new purchases.
"They're my new spring sneakers honnneeee"
"You don't need trainers."
"No, I do, cos they are spring sneakers."
"What is wrong with your winter ones, or the summer ones you have in storage?"
"I needed some in lighter colours to take me into Spring!"

Need. The man says 'need'.  The fashion obsessive's classic get out of jail card. I didn't want it. I needed it. The pupil learns fast.  And the talk of seasons,  not just summer and winter, but Spring and Autumn too. This is how far down the rabbit hole we've gone.

Living in the West Village has likely aided his transformation from hairy Alpha male to groomed gay. Saturdays on Greenwich Avenue are like an Armani catwalk. If I owned any, I could polish my silverware in the glow from the local men's skin.

When I complain that he has taken things too far he says "You made me honneee." like he's some kind of reverse Frankenstein creation who has manlicures.

I guess none of this matters, as long as he doesn't start looking better than me?

But then the passport photos happen:

I am in a scruffy camera shop on W14th street staring open mouthed at the third attempt at my portrait. That cannot be me. The camera must be on a setting that makes everyone look like a 250 pound moustached convict who's just had a stroke.

The American looks good. Like, really good. Great even. If I was to be mean, I'd say at worst he looked like an applicant for the new series of Jersey Shore, but I would still say he was chanelling Mike 'The Situation' which is the one all the girls all fancy. At best though, and to give him dues, he looks...really good looking... kind of... smoldering even... like an actor.

"Honnneee, look at me! Look how good I look!"
''Fuck off" I snap at him
"Seriously, I'm hot."
"Let me see yours honneee?"
There is hysterical laughter as he snaps it away from me "You don't look that bad."
"I look like a 250 pound escaped mental patient."
"Aww, well I love you baby."
"Piss off. How the fuck do you look that good in yours?"
"I did a look."
"A look!"
"What kind of look? Like Blue Steel or something?" I mock.
"Smirking drugs bust actually." he says, without a trace of irony.
"Jesus Christ."
"I can show you how to do it if you like?"

Stop. Right. There. Show me? SHOW ME? I invented the pout. The pose is mine. I was an amateur teen model for god's sake! In Cardiff! If I had been able to lay off the cakes I could have gone far. Me and Campbell and Crawford would have been besties.

I pay the bemused photo man $18 for photos that will never be used and stomp off in search of a British style photo booth that let's you do multiple attempts for a fiver. 

Show me how to look good?

When the pupil thinks they can teach the master things have gone too far.


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