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Posted by Tim Bryce on September 8, 2011

It’s probably not much of a secret that one of the biggest differences between men and women is in the area of grooming and personal hygiene. Women tend to be more fastidious than men in this regard. The male of the species is lucky if he remembers to shave or run a comb through his hair. Whereas men spend no more than 5-10 minutes in the bathroom to get ready in the morning, women can be in there for days. Maybe this has something to do with military training. Nevertheless, women tend to have an eye for imperfections and go to great lengths to correct them. Men couldn’t care less and refer to their imperfections as “character.”

Whereas men only require a couple of things in the bathroom, such as a toothbrush, razor, comb, shave creme, and bar soap, women tend to surround themselves with an extensive myriad of cotton balls, swabs, tissues, cremes, powders, and gels, not to mention an array of mirrors, brushes, combs, etc. I don’t care if a man is 6’5″ and his wife is only 5’2″, she will require four times more space to work in the bathroom than her husband. It is HER domain, men are only guests.

After women have taken care of themselves, their eye is constantly wandering to monitor their offspring and husband. If the slightest thing is out of place, they are quick to “Pick, Pop, Peel, and Pull” (aka “4P”), meaning pick ears, pop skin blemishes (scabs are a favorite), peel dead skin, and pull out unwanted hairs (such as from their husband’s ears). Women cannot help themselves in this regard. To illustrate, on more than one occasion while driving I have spotted motorists where the wife had her finger buried deep in the man’s ear. At cocktail parties, I’ve seen women beckon their husbands to bend down to their level, not to whisper anything of importance, but to pull an unsightly hair from his ear which she spotted out of the corner of her eye.

I also know women who love to peel dead skin resulting from sun burns. I think their mouths begin to water at the very thought of it. The objective is not to flake it off, but pull whole sheets off, kind of like a snake shedding its skin. I tend to believe some women deliberately let their children and husband burn in the sun so they can enjoy peeling the skin later on. Sounds a little twisted doesn’t it?

Interestingly, women are inclined to 4P only members of their family, not outsiders, probably because they consider family members to be an extension of themselves and therefore is fair game. What I find amusing about all of this is that although she may feel free to attack others, she is appalled if others attempt to return the favor. Maybe it’s because she has already worked herself over in the bathroom and cannot believe anything else could possibly be wrong.

Perhaps the reason women spend an inordinate amount of time on their nails, is not just for appearances but to also keep their tools sharp. Craftsmen are like that you know.

Now before you complain to me this column is somewhat sexist in nature, I am willing to concede there are men out there who are particularly meticulous in terms of their appearance, be it their clothes, nails, hair, and skin. This is what we refer to as “freaks of nature.”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

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Copyright © 2011 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


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