Feminine Mystique

In Montreal, where signs in English are apparently either illegal or too tiny to be read with the naked eye, I was intrigued by a sign on a store saying “Friperie”. I was all excited, thinking it was a whole store devoted to silly, girly, sparkly things – you know, frippery – but it turned out that it’s just French for second hand stuff. Everything sounds nicer in French.

Thinking about girl stuff made me wonder yet again if I missed some essential girl classes, or if there’s yet another thing I can blame on my poor old Mom. There are certain things which it appears all girls, or at least most of them, know that I don’t:

1. And this is always number one, since it’s a daily occurrence: how to keep your bra straps up. Mine are always slipping off one shoulder or the other. I try to imagine that slipping it back up is endearingly cute, maybe even sexy, but I’m pretty sure it just looks like I don’t know how to dress myself properly.

2. How to shave your legs in the shower. I’m always blinded by the water, the shower curtain is sticking to me all cold and clammy, the part of me actually under the shower is warm, but part of me is always sticking out and freezing. Then there’s the bending over to do the shaving without the water rinsing the soap off before you’re done and without being blinded by the water. Plus if I’m wearing my glasses, they get steamed up, and who wants to put in contact lenses just to take a shower?

3. What exactly is “freshening up”? I think we can all agree that “powdering your nose” means going to the bathroom, but that can’t be the same thing as freshening up, can it? Does freshening up mean applying more make-up, fixing your hair, or something far more intimate? The fact of the matter is that I have never heard a man be asked if he wants to freshen up, so I figure it must be some girl thing.

Am I the only one who doesn’t know this stuff?