Adjusting your hair seems to be acceptable, for example when people come inside after being outside and they flatten it down, doing it with the compulsion of an 18 year old cheerleader or Kevin Rudd become awkward for everyone. Pulling out a bottle of Evian water and shampoo to wash your hair in the kitchen sink over morning tea is a definite no-no!
Other public displays of grooming (PDG) that vary in their acceptability include maintaining ones nails. Scratching off a little dirt from on top or underneath of finger nails sure, if you are subtle about it. It is not acceptable to start scrapping out a build-up of grime and gunk from every nail. Neither is as full manicure. It is never alright to be doing any PDG involving toe nails.
Never chew your nails. Never chew your nails and then leave the off cuts on the desk. Never. This includes toe nails!
Picking your nose, it is the eternal question immortalised in Seinfeld was it a pick or a scratch. In the privacy of you your own home go elbow deep, but in public the cuticle is the depth marker. If the cuticle is still exposed to the open air then it is a scratch. Of course fake nails can distort this rule, in which can the tip of the actual finger may now be the indicator.
Also, the three-strikes you’re out rule should apply. If there have been three attempts to remove the nasal irritation and it persists then it is time to stop the PDG, find a private space and go your hardest.
When it goes to make up, it is simple. Touching up existing lipstick/gloss is acceptable PDG. Foundation, blush, eye make up – any other make up really, it is time to head to a bathroom.
Ears, rubbing/wiping back of the ear fine, the fleshy part of the front of the ear, sure. However there should never ever be PDG inside the ear canal. Unlike the nose there is no acceptable depth of penetration. Using a key or a pen lid, despite evidence to the contrary does not make the ear PDG better.
Underwear, always needs to be adjusted. It rides up, twists and slips. We get it. Here are some basic but important rules to which everyone should abide. Tip of the finger under the edge of the elastic only. No digging. No cupping. No breaking stride to effect the manoeuvre. Again the three strikes you’re out rule needs to be strictly enforced.
Having commenced with a discussion about hair, this piece will be bookended by more PDG rules relating hair. This time related to plucking.
Nose hair. No.
Ear hair. No
Neck hair. No.
Butt hair. NO – I can’t believe this needs to be stated. In fact extend this rule to any part of the body that would be described to a child as the “private parts”.
Freakishly long hair growing from an eyebrow, mole, or limb. Yes, because that is funny for everyone.