Last week I challenged my other half (he who shall be named Man for the remainder of this post) to take up the Vaseline Man of Extra Strength Challenge. Now Man (who I actually refer to as Boy as a term of endearment few understand) is never one to back down from a challenge, nor anything involving a show of strength. He is frequently found inside a gym, on a soccer field, at a cricket pitch and, on occasion, in his own room lifting weights around midnight. He seemed up to the task…
Armed with two bottles of Vaseline Men Extra Strength Body Lotion and a strict set of instructions as to how to use these new products, Man set about his week. It went a little something like this…
11am Man wakes up (luckily for Man he has a flexible job so this was not in fact the day he was fired for being very, very late). Man hits the gym (the first of what will be 10 sessions this week. Man is nothing if not committed). Post-workout, man sweats it out in the sauna, showers and gingerly investigates the mysterious bottles of body lotion Woman has bestowed upon him. Man circumnavigates said objects before reading the instructions (unlike most men): ‘Apply on body skin every day’. Man thinks he understands and proceeds to squeeze some of the masculine-scented lotion onto his parched winter limbs and rubs it in. To Man’s surprise, the non-greasy body lotion absorbs very quickly and Man is able to dress and duck out of the gym in a matter of minutes. Man is marginally impressed. Sidenote: it take A LOT to impress Man.
10am Man stirs.
12pm Man gets out of bed. Man showers and notices his skin feels more comfortable after drying himself. Could this be the strange new potion Woman has left him with? Man investigates further: ‘Strong enough to restore very dry skin in 5 days.’ Man sees this as a challenge and accepts it. As he applies his new body lotion he notices the scent reminds him of a combination of something beach-like and something also similar to a forest. He suspects Woman would have many more adjectives to describe it (such as fresh-aquatic, herbaceous or her favourite f-word: fougère) but English lessons aside, Man likes what he smells. Man walks out the house wondering if others will notice his subtle new scent.
5pm Man has had a tough day. No one noticed his new scent but Man wonders if perhaps it was the overload of fragrance he had sprayed on post-lotion (when Man finds a fragrance he likes, Man likes to really, realllly enjoy it). Man thinks an afternoon on the pitch with the boys will lift his spirits and laces up his shoes. After scoring two goals, making one assist, being kicked in the shins and debating the impact off the new off-side rules on the world at large, Man feels powerful again.
9am Man wakes up early this morning (Woman has already been at work for two hours). Man heads to the gym once more (we’re on session five now). He packs with him his new body lotion, which he has taken a fair liking to over the last few days. Man appreciates the sturdy frame, and solid lid which gives him peace of mind that the contents haven’t leaked out and ruined his boxing gloves or earphones. He is also quite partial to the smaller 200ml for its compact and lightweight nature. Man is quite happy to lift 30kg at the gym but, unlike Woman, Man does not like to carry 5kg worth of goods in his Man bag and so this smaller size appeals to him. Man spends his gym session hitting an object that does not hit back with his hands protected by cushioned gloves (Woman does not get it). After his workout, man is eager to apply his new lotion onto his roughed-up hands, wrists and legs to soothe them. He later brags to Woman about how nice his skin is starting to feel (Woman is not surprised).
11am Man wakes up sore and stiff from his workouts the day before. He also feels a touch of the Man flu coming on but chooses to ignore it as he knows he gets no sympathy from Woman. Man decides this is the perfect excuse to enjoy a chill day and work on his tan. He heads outside to catch some sun (complete with the SPF and sunglasses he found in Woman’s cupboard). While he is lying there (attracting the cancerous cells Woman warns him about daily) Man notices the fine flakes and dry patches on his arms and shins seem to have disappeared. Man takes it upon himself to investigate further after taking a dip in the pool (a move Man later regrets, as while the sun may be out, it is indeed still winter).
1pm Man starts to inspect this Vaseline Men Extra Strength Body Lotion: ‘with micro-droplets of Vaseline jelly,’ and notices these remind him of the droplets of water he has accidentally splashed on the bottle while reading. Man knows about the healing powers of Vaseline because Woman has often given it to him to soothe chapped lips and blisters from soccer practice. Man is starting to understand why this body lotion is working so well for him. He also contemplates that Woman (who applies her body lotion religiously every day and has skin as soft as butter) might be onto something (this notion is short-lived and man is soon distracted by his developing tan once more).
10am Man wakes up and is excited to see what the final day of the Vaseline Man of Extra Strength Challenge will bring. He also wonders if he will get a treat from Woman for completing the challenge so diligently (he hopes for a Magnum or King Cone, but will settle for a Dairy Milk).
2pm After his 9th workout of the week, Man is approached by another Man at the gym while taking this picture (which Woman instructed him to style just so) and asked about these mysterious blue items. Man explains they make skin soft, which Woman likes, and proudly says they have micro-droplets of Vaseline (which man learned about yesterday while working on his tan). Man is tempted to give this stranger one of the bottles to try, but decides he likes them too much and does not want to share, and instead tells this stranger he should look for them in the shops. Man is clearly feeling protective of his new products and has decided he really likes them. He makes a mental note to thank Woman later that night.
9pm Woman has come home to find Man very studiously working on his review for his new products. Woman rewards Man with a King Cone and a kiss. Man is happy. Man proceeds to tell woman about his week and will not leave her alone until she feels his skin and confirms what he knows to be true: his skin is softer, more hydrated and Man feels more confident now that the dry patches and flakes are gone. He is also excited at the prospect that his new softer skin might get him more alone time with Woman. Woman is delighted that Man has discovered the joys of body lotion through this challenge and wonders if the same would work if she set him a similar challenge to hang up his towel (in order to improve his deadlift of course) or to put his clothes inside the washing basket, rather than next to it (to better his hand-eye co-ordination perhaps)…
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