Carolyn Hax: Overgroomed, she wants to let her hair down

By Carolyn Hax
Thursday, November 4, 2010; C09

Adapted from a recent online discussion:

Dear Carolyn:

I'm in a relationship that's entering its sixth month. I've been very vigilante in my grooming habits, curbing bodily functions, etc. (I'm a girl.) I think I've inadvertently made him think I never get a zit, I don't poop and my legs are always shaved. In the last couple of weeks there have been some occasions where I haven't worn makeup and he's commented on it. He doesn't say it with judgment, he just makes the observation. It's starting to get on my nerves.

Short of just ceasing to wear makeup at all and farting constantly, how do I get myself out of this? I'm not a slob or anything, it's just that sometimes I just don't feel like shaving and $65 bikini waxes add up. I really really like this guy, but I don't know how much longer I can keep up with all of this grooming and ignoring the fact that we perform bodily functions (dude, I can hear you through the bathroom door). I think bodily functions are hilarious and delight in them! Do I talk to him about this, or just gradually "let myself go"?

Breaking with precedent

Your "before" is some guys' dream girl, your "after" is some others', and having both flatulence and finesse inhabit the same girl would make some others swoon. Just an observation.

And does "vigilante in my grooming habits" mean you roam the streets shaving other people's stubble?

Anyway. Your question is almost self-answering -- the guy comments when you don't wear makeup! He's propping open the bathroom door for you, conversationally speaking.

So, next time, reply honestly: You've been on your best cosmetic behavior, and you've possibly misled him. Don't skip the part about taking delight in farts. It'll either be the best date of his life, or the most necessary of yours.

Dear Carolyn:

You wrote recently: "The friendship may be done, even if he cares about you; some people just aren't good at carrying people over from one phase of their lives to another."

What does this even mean? "If I were the old me, you'd still have a place in my life, but I have a new person in my life and my quota is full, so you've been lifted out?"


If you're good at staying in touch, I can see how it would sound strange.

But there are some people for whom it takes everything they've got to manage their day-to-day relationships -- spouse, colleagues, neighbors, people with whom interacting isn't optional. When they're done, there isn't much social energy left. For them, a call every month, three months, etc., constitutes caring and keeping in touch.

Unfortunately, socially energetic people might not buy that someone can care about them and then go months without calling. They'll argue that people "make time" for their priorities -- and they do. But some people need less alone time, and therefore have more time for others.

Let's say two friends, Extrovert and Introvert, are both 10th on each other's friend list. Extro stays in weekly contact with her Top 20. Intro stays in weekly contact with her Top 2 or 3. Extro and Intro value each other equally, but Intro rarely calls.

That's what I'm saying in that quote.

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