x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dealing with hair in the bathroom

A husband's stray hairs can come as a surprise.

His-and-her sinks have never made any sense to me. Double sinks meant doubling the amount of surface I would eventually have to clean, and why would I ever want to do that? What other purpose could they possibly have? Providing somewhere to brush your teeth at the exact same moment as your spouse, because you're in too much of a hurry to wait 60 seconds?

In our first few months of marriage, I loved the goofy intimacy I happened across when Mr T and I would brush our teeth together: a perk to a night- time ritual that I hadn't expected. We'd try to speak with a mouth full of toothpaste, in an unintelligible foamy garble, and splatter bits of toothpaste all over the mirror as we unsuccessfully tried to hold back our giggles.

That's what marriage is all about, isn't it? Goofy intimacy over a shared sink?

But then a few months of marriage passed, and I was in the bathroom one day, leaning over the sink to get as close to the mirror as possible while applying my eyeliner, when I happened to look down and notice the hair.

And immediately after that, I suddenly remembered reading somewhere that the actress Catherine Zeta-Jones's recipe for a perfect marriage is separate bathrooms for husband and wife.

I think she said that because her husband, Michael Douglas, must be a hair-shedder of high proportions, not unlike my Mr T.

I had no idea men had the ability to shed so much hair. I always had my own bathroom in my teenage years and early adulthood, so I never gave a second thought to the grooming habits of my father or brothers. I thought stray hairs were always a girl's fault; we're the ones with the longer, thicker hair - usually - so it's more probable that a hair of ours, or 10, would go where it's not welcome.

Not true.

Despite his best efforts to clean up after himself in the bathroom, my husband, whom I'd never thought of as hairy before, can't help the fact that his hair seems determined to break free from confinement and make it out to the big, wide world, also known as every corner of our apartment.

"What I don't understand is, you don't look hairy," I shouted over the roar of the vacuum cleaner.

At the Guns 'N' Roses concert last weekend, in the middle of the screaming, the jumping and the rock and roll, I had the strangest thought. Looking at the long hair of Axl Rose and his fellow band members, and watching my husband sing along to some of his favourite songs, I was grateful that he only wanted to imitate their music on his guitar, and not recreate their entire image.

"Imagine if your hair was still as long as it was when you were in high school. Then we'd really have a problem," I told him.

We shared that sentiment for a while, then later that night enjoyed our usual toothpaste ritual in a sink that, for the moment at least, we shared.