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Analyze This, Part 4: The Shower


Now that I’ve decided what to wear, I head to the shower, where I hang my sleepwear over a PVC bar affixed to the door after being purchased from Walmart in 2006, and retrieve the oversized bath towel that I bought at Big Lots in 2010. Slippers off, to be guarded by the cat. The bath mat, purchased at Walmart in 2006 when we first moved here, is very much in need of replacement, and when that occasion comes, I’ll also splurge on one of those little rugs you put at the base of the toilet for cold-floor mornings. I will try to avoid buying one of those fuzzy things that you put over the lid of the toilet – I’ve always found those to be beyond frivolous.

The shower curtain is a “hookless” type from Walmart, also purchased in 2006. Over the shower pipe is a mesh organizer from Dollar General (don’t remember the price, but they were so cheap in the fall of 2011, I bought two, one for each of our two bathrooms). In the organizer are: a wide-tooth pink plastic comb I bought so long ago I remember nothing about it; a Bic Soleil razor (more about this in awhile); matching purple bottles of Back to Basics shampoo and conditioner. These were bought at Ollie’s and are nearly empty. I don’t like them that much; I bought them because they were cheap. I keep them around for spares and chances are they contain some other old stuff that I poured in to consolidate. Infusium 23 shampoo, most likely: I had a big bottle, also mostly empty, stashed in the other bathroom.

I think this is classic consumer behavior and certainly hope someone is making note of it.

Continuing our inventory of the organizer, I’ve got a tube of Avon Footworks watermelon-scented foot scrub that I got at a yard sale, and a bar of SoftSoap Juicy Pomegranate and Mango Infusion soap. Interesting how SoftSoap is now selling soap in bar form. They should call it SoftSoap HardSoap or something.

More classic consumer behavior (disclaimer: I was a marketing major) in the form of coming up with “better names” for products. What are some of yours?

Anybody remember where the expression “soft-soap” comes from? It means to deceive or flatter, to say what you think someone wants to hear, so that they will go along with what you want. The whole “liquid-soap” trend started in the 1970s, and the manufacturers really bombarded us with TV ads: SoftSoap, SoftScrub, etc. My mother, for some reason, found the whole concept off-putting and refused to check out any of the products. Evidently, the marketers were not telling her what she wanted to hear.

There’s a tube of Neutrogena Triple Repair conditioner in the organizer. I’ve gotten very serious about conditioner in the last 2-3 years, ever since I started coloring my hair. My hair is extremely thin and fine; too much gray makes it look nearly non-existent. So every few months I splurge on a box of Revlon Colorsilk. The color varies – I went through a super-dark phase but have lately dialed it back to Dark Brown, which seems to work best. Anytime L’Oreal Preference or Excellence is on sale, I will indulge, but Revlon is my “old standby.” The best part of coloring is the packet or tube of conditioner you get with it. I have yet to find anything in a bottle that comes anywhere near the quality, but the search continues. The Neutrogena is acceptable.

The hair color, by the way, is what's splattered all over the bathroom: streaks on the walls, little brown dots on the floor, and ugly smears on the mesh organizer, which I bleach in the washing machine when I can't stand looking at it any more. One of these days WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAINT, at which time we will head to HOME DEPOT. My husband is very loyal to Home Depot. He thinks Lowe's is evil, just because it isn't Home Depot. His sentiments toward Coke vs. Pepsi are very similar; someone ought to do a study on Carl's consumer preferences. 

On the edge of the tub are shampoo and body wash. “Body wash” is one of those expressions that I find objectionable, but haven’t been able to figure out why. Maybe it sounds too much like “car wash.” Reminds me of all the rust on my rocker panels. [full disclosure: I stole that bon mot from Stephen King]

The shampoo is a 32-ounce pump bottle of  Salon Selectives Deep Cleansing (Level 7 – that’s deep!) Volumizing shampoo.  Salon Selectives used to be marketed by Helene Curtis, but now it comes from some company called CLT Ontario and is made in Canada.  I love not having to pick up a bottle, wrestle the cap off and get more shampoo on my hand than on my head. So yay, pump. When I run out of this I may buy some other brand, but will keep the pump and try to retro-fit it onto whatever the new bottle is. This is more classic consumer behavior, y’all.

Back to the body wash: It was a Christmas gift from someone in my neighborhood association. It came with a bottle of similarly scented lotion, which sits on my desk at work, and a scrubbie. I’ve got scrubbies all over the place and periodically change out an old unraveled one for a new one. I’ve noticed that some writers refer to these nylon puffballs-on-a-string as “loofahs,” but a loofah is actually, according to the dictionary, “made from a dried tropical fruit” which has been shredded and formed into something a little less abrasive than sandpaper. Using the term “loofah” for a synthetic product is dishonest. The educated consumer has spoken.

It’s early, so I can luxuriate a bit longer in the shower, wasting the planet's precious finite resources in typical first-world fashion. I’ll be back before the hot water runs out. The hot air is limitless.

Analyze This, Inquiring Minds want to know - part 1
Analyze This, Mirror, Mirror- part 5


A fascinating peek into your bathroom. My bathroom cabinets are filled with bottles and tubes of items, tried and found lacking. This bothers me enormously, as I am someone who will squeeze every last smidge from the toothpaste tube and turn lotion bottles upside down to get out every last drop. Someday, somebody will be forced to use those discarded toiletries.
The Urban Blabbermouth said…
It is enlightening how we can profile ourselves by the products we use.

Your best work ever. I have read it and enjoyed it at least three times. Thank you.
Vol-E said…
THANK YOU! More to come; it's been a busy couple of weeks!

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