Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Economics of Girls' Showers

I ran.

Therefore I stank.

But before I could return to the Captain's Cave I got a call from a female friend of mine who invited me over for dinner.

And seeing I'm an economist and I outsource all my cooking, there is nothing better than homemade food prepared by anybody else but me, and so I gladly accepted her invitation.

However, as I mentioned before, I stank.

So upon arriving at her place I asked her if I could take a shower and fortunately, I had brought an extra change of clothes along with some deodorant.

Now, as a guy there are only two things I want when I take a shower. Two SIMPLE, BASIC GOD-GIVEN THINGS!

1. Soap.

and

2. Shampoo.

However, it seems a Herculean, Indiana Jones-esque crusade to find these two items for I was not in my humble shower, but that of a girl's.

Go into any guys' shower stall and you will find only two things. JUST TWO SIMPLE THINGS!

Soap and shampoo.

In mine there is the knock off brand of Head and Shoulders (which I save a tidy $2 per bottle on over the brand name) and a half melted bar of Irish Spring.

That's it! That's all I need. That's all ANYBODY needs. Maybe a wash cloth. I'll even go so far as to permit a loova. But as for hygienic products all any human, the richest of the rich, and the poorest of the poor, all they need is

Soap and shampoo.

But go into a girl's shower and there are a billion body care lotion thingies that are anything BUT
Soap and shampoo.

You then spend the next three hours, racing the water heater before it runs out of hot water to find those two rare and coveted items;

SOAP AND SHAMPOO.

But oohhh, no! You can't find the soap or shampoo.

No, your thwarted by knock offs. Posers. Things that aren't quite

SOAP AND SHAMPOO.

So I started cataloging all the different things in this girl's shower stall that were NOT

SOAP AND SHAMPOO.

Item 1 - Moisturizing Face Wash (will not the water moisturize your face????)
Item 2 - Body Lotion (I don't want any!)
Item 3 - Body Wash (WHAT WAS THE LOTION FOR THEN???)
Item 4 - Dumb Blond Infusion (Is it wise to infuse things with running water?)
Item 5 - Lavender Bead Infused Body Wash (Why do I want beads? And what was wrong with the regular body wash???)
Item 6 - Cocoa Butter Skin Moisturizer (see item 1!)
Item 7 - "Enfuz" Treatment for Dry to Normal Hair (why are they always trying to infuse things in the shower?!?!!?)
Item 8 - Citrus Skin Treatment (What was wrong with the cocoa butter???)

Now I could go on for there were literally, LITERALLY a dozen more products. And that was the stuff just in the shower stall! You go to the bathroom counter and there is countless other products that I could never use.

I inevitably did find the shampoo (Strawberry Enhanced Shampoo no less) but could never find the soap! But my question to all of you ladies out there, especially those studying economics, COULD YOU PLEASE TELL ME WTF IS GOING ON WITH ALL THIS LOTIONY STUFF IN YOUR SHOWERS??? WHAT IS THE ECONOMIC RATIONALE FOR HAVING ALL THIS STUFF?????

I patiently await your answer! You could probably win the Nobel prize in economics if you could explain this phenomenon!

9 comments:

Ryan Fuller said...

"You could probably win the Nobel prize in economics if you could explain this phenomenon!"

Subjective value explains it pretty handily, but I understand that idea's already been claimed.

Body wash is kind of like soap, isn't it? Just more expensive? I really wouldn't know, since my shower only has three things: soap, shampoo, and some generic conditioner because I've got longer hair. (I'm sporting the Jesus 'do)

Shelly Robertson said...

The same thing occurs in my bathroom especially on my half of the vanity. (Mark's half is basically empty) The economic reason for all of those different products can primarily be boiled down to one reason. Trying to catch and or keep a guy. A girl who has high standards for the type of guy she wants, this guy has high standards for the type of girl that he wants. This necessitates buying multiple products to do multiple things so that one can look as attractive as possible. Soap and Shampoo does not cut it.


Moisturing Face Wash - Washes your face in a manner that keeps it from getting to dried out during the process, especially useful if you have dry skin.

Body Lotion - For making your skin smooth even in places where one does not normally see it.

Body Wash - Actually to be used before the body lotion. This is the girl version of soap.

Dumb Bond Infusion - Shampoo specifically targeted at keeping hair from getting fried and keeping hair color healthy

Lavender Bead Infusion Body Wash - More soap except the lavender is aromatherapy specifically aimed at reducing stress and headaches. A bit medicinal.

Cocoa Skin Butter Moisturizer - Heavy Duty stuff for especially dry skin.

"Enfuz" - This one is a little trickier because I can't see the bottle. Sounds like conditioner for the hair.

Citrus Skin Treatment - This could be for clearing up acne, blackheads, large pores, excessiveness dryness. I can't see the bottle.

Anyhow rest assured all of these products are necessary and there was plenty of soap and shampoo to be had. Next time recommend that you like to use a pumice stone for your feet along with Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Cream.

Anonymous said...

Captain Capitalism, your ignorance is showing. "Body Wash" == SOAP. You pour it on the loofah, and wash.

Now why wouldn't they just call it SOAP? Therein lies the wonders of market segmentation and marketing, whereupon the producer gets to charge more money for essentially the same product.

For further edification, spend 30 minutes wandering around your local Bath and Body Works. Don't forget to pick up the cute yellow duckie. :-)
--
Jonathan (married, 3 daughters, does not do the shopping)

jroosh said...

she sounds high maintenance...can she cook?

Alex said...

The body wash is liquid soap. They don't want to call it liquid soap, because girls don't want to clean themselves with the same stuff you clean dishes with. But it's what you were looking for there.

Gabriel said...

They do it to look beautiful for you, you insensitive brute! *batting eyelashes*

Now, seriously, you CAN feel the difference between a woman who uses *products* and one that doesn't. Touch, smell, etc.

Captain Capitalism said...

Ryan - Yes, I too had the Jesus do. used up a lot of shampoo.

To the Girls who Tendered Theory of "It's For the Men" - Doesn't all of it wash off in the shower anyway????

Gabriel - I can't feel the difference! They bathe themselves in more lotiony stuff AFTER the shower. Women are always putting on lotion!

Kenza said...

SOME women do have only 3 things: shampoo, conditioner, and body wash (because, yes, it is soap but different). OK, well, the lotion isn't in the shower but still. All of these things are required for me to be clean, for my hair not to be in a big tangled knot, and in the interest of my skin not being so dry as to compare to desert environments.
The economic rationale therefore is simply standing on a basic premise of hygeine and (reasonably) presentable appearence. I do know that I am not typical in this respect and therefore my statement has little statistical validity. As to why some women have literally dozens of different products: you ask for an economic rationale? You might as well try to ask some women why they like shopping (i.e. as in "window" shopping) and ask them to frame their answer in manner that could actually explain it to someone who did not feel the same way (trust me, I have tried and failed to understand on multiple occasions). I think it is just one of those things that those of us who don't do it will never understand and those who do will always just know why (at least for themselves anyway).
At least now maybe I've inserted an extra element of uncertainty by falling onto the atypical side of opinion for my gender?
On a side note, I bet you *could* tell the difference with use/non-use of various products by a woman if she did some sort of demonstration for you. Trying to keep on the PC side of things I mean like 'feel the skin on this arm without lotion' and 'now feel this other one with lotion' - but I suppose it could also be more interesting than that if you so desired. In other words, a subtle suggestion to you to observe the properties of softer female skin if you were to encounter the opportunity (for your own enlightenment, of course).

Kenza

= )

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.