Tallying the Newlywed Game

There are lots of stereotypes when people find out you are a woman in a relationship with another woman. Commonly heard: “Oh, that’s so nice! I bet your wardrobe doubles.” “Man, is getting dressed up to go out way more fun?” These questions and statements, however, are factually incorrect.

My girlfriend and I are entirely different people as most individuals are in relationships. We fight over who used up all the butter or who has to take out the trash. We can’t wear each others clothes because we are two completely different body types. One slight difference is that we also hold grudges if we think the other used the last of the tampons, which is….every month.

The other morning while showering I glanced around the tub and couldn’t find face wash. ‘I have face wash’, I thought, ‘So where is it? This tub is only like 5 sq. ft.’

I couldn’t see it because as I did a scouting glance to all four corners I counted the bottles. Four bottles were shampoo. Three bottles were conditioner. Nestled up on our hanger was my face wash crushed behind yet another new bottle of face wash. ‘What is happening?’

I called to my girlfriend to come to the bathroom and asked her about the excessive amounts of similar products. Without stopping a beat she went into detail about each individual conditioner, wash, and shampoo. Some were for the days immediately after coloring her hair (a $150 expense), some were to tone it a few weeks later, and the new face wash felt better on her skin. “But don’t use any,” she finished up saying, “They are for people with colored hair.” I stood almost dumbfounded because I knew that each one costs approximately $22.

Four bottles of shampoo +

three bottles of conditioner +

one bottle of face wash =

roughly $176.

All contained within 5 sq. ft.

“Health and beauty” (and sometimes “clothing”) products cover a variety of items found in stores from lotions and bath items to hair necessities and nutritional powders. At times, I dare say, I have an Amazon Prime addiction. It’s so easy to be writing at the computer and think “Oh, I need a new sports bra!” or “I need more X for my workouts.” I click to order and boom! within 24-36 hours it’s at my house. That is where my “health and beauty” can lean down the slippery slope.

While my girlfriends’ version of health is more on the grooming side mine is centered around food, nutrition, and working out. (I’m a self-defense instructor so I justify a lot of expenses to myself.) She buys manicures, dresses, and wine. I buy running shoes, protein powders, and...wine.

My girlfriend and I do not see eye to eye on a lot of financial decisions either. She is the “let’s go on a date” to my “let’s have a date at home so in 5 years we can have the passive income we want”. It’s certainly at the polar ends of the financial spectrum.

As I stand dripping with shampoo I shouldn’t have used she asks me, “Another package just came. You need to stop ordering stuff. What is it this time?” I proceeded to gleefully explain that, “THIS time I ordered a protein powder with BCAAs and no sugar so it’s a pre-made post workout treat.” It costs $45. It’s more expensive but now instead of the Frankenstein mess I concocted out of all the other supplements in out kitchen I can keep up with one large tub. She looks unamused, but that is when it happens.

It is the untold, born in silence, fully understood truce between couples. When one can see the argument they are making thrown back in their face by the other not out of spite, but because as two individuals we have different sets of needs.

She spends almost $200 every month on hair “necessities” and finding her way to health and beauty. I find my own way to health and beauty and although every month may not be the same financially it all equals out in the end.


Originally written for Billfold.