My father had very dry skin, which I inherited. Because I am younger and more prone to be cautious, I apply copious amounts of moisturiser. My father didn’t for the longest time. In fact, he only started because the skin started to itch and flake with the extreme dryness. He also developed a patch of eczema on his back, right at the spot where his shoulder blades and neck met.
My mum viewed this patch with a lot of concern, and she applied ointment to it every day. The rash ebbed and flowed, and we assumed it was because of his dry skin.
Then, one fine day, I realised it was caused because his shirts all had a label just there. The labels were invariably made of some atrocious polyester or nylon blend, and he had developed an allergic reaction. The shirts themselves were always 100% cotton or linen, because we forbade him to buy any material that didn’t suit his skin.
So, being the dutiful daughter I am [My parents would hoot at this because they are very cheeky.], I sat down with a pile of his shirts, 100s of them, and removed each label with a seam ripper. It was tedious, laborious work, but it worked. The rash cleared up.
I triumphantly pointed that out to him one day, and the penny finally dropped for him.
Me: “I got rid of all your shirt labels! That’s why your rash has gone.”
Dad: “What?! Why did you remove the labels? How will the laundry guy know that my shirts are branded, if he can’t read the labels?”
I stood in dumbstruck astonishment for a few seconds, while he grinned cheekily at me, before flouncing off to yell at my mother for marrying him in the first place.