Father's Day is around the corner, so here at Man Scape Central we thought we'd have a look at some things you might like to treat yourself, or a father, to.
Pampering is a concept that mums have embraced with a vengeance - so I am wondering if the dads can get pampered too.
For choice I'd have a bottle of Laphroiag and breakfast in bed but, I'm told, there are other avenues available for relaxation that don't include mountains of food and buckets of strong drink. I'm sceptical, but willing to give most things a try. For a few days last week, I did.
Father's Day gift guide
TUESDAY: Get a Haircut
It's really a simple thing, but a new hairstyle can lift the spirits like little else. I popped over to OscarOscar in Chadstone where I not only got a great cut, but a neck massage, and a mini facial too. The best bits? The shampooing beforehand, with head massage. And the rinse after the cut to get rid of those pesky hairs that otherwise keep falling out. Rating: ★★★
WEDNESDAY: Hit the Gym
For the first time in months. Gentle cardio exercise, a few weights, a swim, the steam room and the spa. Relaxed? You betcha. Rating: ★★★★
THURSDAY: King for a day
Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Pain piled on pain, agony on top of agony. This was meant to be fun. I was meant to be a king, for today at least. But instead I was having my nose hairs pulled out by the roots.
Angie at Mens Body Works in Richmond (Melbourne not Sydney) had offered me a morning of treatment which, she said, would make me feel like royalty but at that moment, with two warm and waxy mini-paddlepops stuck up my hooter I felt considerably less than regal.
It had been a day of pain really. Suzanne, the masseuse, had shown me round, indicated the disposable undies (lacy!) and pointed me in the direction of the steam room. Fifteen minutes later, feeling relaxed, I was face down on the table and the most agonising massage ever began. Knotted shoulders, tense calves, tired thighs and tubby tummy all got pushed, pulled and pummelled. I squealed, I squawked, but afterwards I felt like I was walking on air. It was wonderful. Unfortunately the pain wasn't over. Not by a long chalk.
Facial - Ow, that stings! Eyebrow waxing - eek! Fluffy ear hair waxing - aghhh! Eyebrow waxing and then plucking - stop stop stop. Suzanne took pity on me at that point and got out the Hopi ear candles which she stuck in my ear to drag out the wax. Thankfully no pain there.
FRIDAY: Put your feet up
Pampering week ends with a couple of post-work cans. Of ''esc'' relaxant beverage. It helps one to chill and unwind, I'm told, and the label promises escape to a ''zen state of mind''. It tastes like fancy Passiona to me. I combine my fizzy drink binge with a foot rub. Foot spas are okay but can be noisy, wet and messy, and I've probably given one as a Mother's Day gift to every female in my family. The Scholl Shiatsu Foot Massager is better - no soapy suds, no kettles and no damp towels, it slips under the couch for easy access and gives a wicked little heated massage while I watch TV. So it's a shame I can't hear what's going on for all the underfoot whirring. Still, I'm pretty relaxed as I head to bed.
SATURDAY: Hang out with the Kids
Soccer lessons in the morning - both sons kicking a ball around in the sunshine, while I look on and sip coffee. Sausages on the barbecue for lunch. And then a model railway exhibition in the afternoon. The children didn't like the toy trains that much, but I was in dad heaven. Rating: ★★★★★
So what was the verdict? Relative boy-girl pain always becomes a contest that women win, and Father's Day is a reminder of why. Nevertheless, nose hair waxing? Ladies, it hurts. But did I feel like a king? Yes I did. I walked out feeling fantastic. Stiff and achy limbs were pain-free, my untamed monobrow was lifted, separated and neatly shaped, my face felt smooth as a baby's tum and, best of all, I could breath. But can it beat a sausage sizzle and a day with the kids? Never.
What's your idea of a Father's Day treat? Are the dad's of Australia ready to be pampered?
-Richard Hughes was a guest of Mens Body Works in Richmond.