Personal grooming can be a glorious thing. Let's face it: Liberal use of product is often the only slim line separating us from the apes.
Thanks to a marketing machine that only relatively recently discovered that they had the power to make dudes feel as insecure about their appearance
as they've been making women feel for generations, attention to waxing, moisturizing, etc., is no longer strictly the territory of the Estrogen Brigade.
Guys today can run the personal grooming gamut from the "Unwashed Bike Messenger" (e.g. the only attention he pays to personal cleanliness is to the ironic mustache he obsessively grooms) to the "American Psycho
," every inch of whom is so meticulously shaved, pruned, tanned, toned and combed that he puts you to shame.
Clearly, who you're more interested in dating
is a matter of personal choice; one woman might dig the funk, while another demands a man who's as dedicated to his mani-pedi regimen as she is. But what's a gal to do when she's on a date and her companion begins grooming himself at the table? Whether it's whipping out the nail clippers and going to town or producing a comb he then begins running through his locks. We've even heard of a dude who plucked out his stray nose hairs and thoughtfully placed them on a cocktail napkin ..."The Modern Gentleman: a Guide to Essential Manners, Savvy and Vice
," by Phineas Mollod and Jason Tesauro, advises men thus: "Once the 30s have sprung, contemplate modern issues in hygiene and habits concerning exfoliation, cavities, regularity, and squamous cell carcinoma. A gentleman's outward presentation starts with management at the bathroom sink."
If he chooses a different location, you have a few choices. You can either try to laugh it off by cracking a joke, or make a mental note that (unless you want to find hair in your casseroles for the rest of your life) it might be time to kiss this one goodbye. If you're several dates into the relationship and you really like him, you can also have "the talk," where you gently explain that this behavior bothers you and you'd consider it a personal favor if he knock it off, stat. Absolute worst-case scenario (and if you're sure you never want to see him again), refer him to the sweet sounds of Bravo TV's "Countess LuAnn" and her etiquette-related dance song.
And remember, personal grooming at the table is a no-no not just for guys, but for women as well. Considering re-applying your lip gloss, post-dessert? Think again, and excuse yourself to the ladies room to take a powder. Remember: How you comport yourself helps dictate how others act around and toward you, too. As the etiquette gurus at the Emily Post Institute like to put it, "In general, personal grooming should be done in private for the simple reason that it can be annoying and it's tacky."