Long before the critics and Twitters were on fire with discussion about amazing performances by Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as the entertainer’s much younger partner, Scott Thorson, America’s favorite boy-next-door actor was worried about his wife getting a good view of his bum.
Damon said getting his backside spray-tanned in front of wife Luciana Borroso was a little too close for comfort.
“We’ve been through three childbirths… There are no secrets,” he said, according to Us mag. “But I really wish [my wife] didn’t see that.”
And I get it.
Since the Not Boyfriend moved to our city last fall, I’ve squirmed a bit myself at all he might see/has since seen. While my way-white skin won’t be spray-tanned like Damon’s bare behind was during filming, my own mani-pedi’ed/waxed/buffed/coiffed/meticulously put-together Not Girlfriend self does not look the same behind the curtain. Or at home on a Sunday night. Or in the middle of a deadline when the kid is sick. Or two days before my appointment to get my roots done.
I don’t need to be perfect for the Not Boyfriend, nor does he expect me to look that way ever. And he’s certainly learned plenty of secrets about me now that he lives a few minutes away rather than a 4-1/2-hour flight (not counting delays, cancellations and haggling with Bay Area cabbies). He now knows for sure that my preferred method of organization is a complex piling system, he’s aware that I’m not adorable when I’m hungry and he’s confirmed on several tense occasions that I am not up for talking politics until the third cup of coffee.
And as much as I love getting to know each other in this more intimate way, as excited as I am about unfolding new chapters in our relationship, some secrets are absolutely fine to keep shhh-ed, at least most of the time. Like anything related to anyone’s mutant granny chin hairs, the details of why certain men like a second bathroom (preferably in the basement), what exactly dairy does these days to some people’s tummies, how many pairs of Spandex are really under there, and how many skincare products are in active rotation. And if I did go under the spray-tan gun, I admit that I might like my love to think I’d developed a spontaneous and gorgeous glow.
That’s OK to want of a formerly long-distance lover, right? Just as it is to hope for the guy camped out on the couch down the hall?
I like to feel good about my bod and the way I look, and my experience and plenty of both hidden and framed photos reveals that it shows when I do. I also would like my darling to smile when he sees me walk in the room — for my wit and also my wiggle — and not think about how much de-graying, plucking and sucking in it took me to get there.
One of my lady-friends says this mystery is what keeps couples hot for each other longer than those who get really comfortable in the bathroom, spray-tan booth, fitting room, magnifying mirror or wherever with each other.
“He knows everything about me,” she told me confidently one night over cocktails. “Except how extensively I’ve grayed and how many chemicals it takes to peel off my real-age face. Oh, and how much I weigh.”
And to be fair, she told me another drink later, she is perfectly happy being in the dark about what he does to keep the crazy old-man hairs in his ears trimmed down or why there are Costco-sized tubs of Gold Bond powder in his closet.
“We’re good,” she assures me about 72 times.
Maybe that’s what Matt Damon was getting at, too. You can share a life, a family, much happiness, many years, and all of the secrets. Except for the ones about an Oompa-loompa-hued booty. That one, you can keep to yourself.
What grooming details and hygiene habits do you keep to yourself? Does this help or hurt your relationship?
Read more of Jessica’s adventures as a single mom in the city at Sassafrass.
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