Most of my life, I have stood firmly — even violently — against lotion. Not on lotion as an idea: “I don’t believe in lotion.” But rather, I resisted any opportunity for it to make contact with my person. This applied to moisturizer, sunscreen, and even oils or other topical applications that left a residual texture, fragrance, or generally clammy feeling.
I never minded being around it. In fact, I rather enjoyed watching my wife lotion up after a bath, though I’d want her to keep her distance for a while after. I wouldn’t want her to touch me, lest the lotion get on me. You see, if I could feel, smell, or otherwise sense it on me, particularly my hands, we’d have a problem.
I would, after prodding, use something on my wife when I massaged her back, but I’d immediately follow that with washing my hands, arms, and potentially the rest of my body in the shower if I felt I had gotten it elsewhere.
Eventually, I decided to make some changes in my life. I started exercising, eating right, stretching, and generally paying attention to my health. I decided my wife deserved a better husband for longer, and the poor steward I’d been of my body was selling her (and my children, grandchildren, myself, and even God) short.
Somehow, this eventually began to include taking better care of my skin. Today, I moisturize regularly and am not deathly afraid of sunscreen, though I never enjoy its application or the few minutes immediately following. My minor OCD-esque (not clinical, to be sure, but certainly I feel a bothersome creeping sensation) despise for it remains, but I’ve determined that my short-term misery is worth my wife enjoying my body more.
That said, if she ever says, “Honey, I miss your ashy elbows,” it’s all over. I have yet to enjoy it.