When Alex moved in with his girlfriend (now wife) in 2016, his domesticated buddies warned him to keep the toilet seat down. But they neglected to tell him how many fucking bobby pins he’d find in the the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and pretty much every other room in their apartment. “There’d be one or two left behind in my old place, but when we moved in together, it was like she had been secretly hoarding them for years,” Alex tells me.
Before taking up the issue with his partner, he consulted the internet and was comforted to find many men struggling with the same thing:
A group of them went so far as to derail an entire Reddit thread about how much toilet paper their girlfriends use to broach the more egregious and elusive bobby pin problem. “As a consolation prize, you will now have more bobby pins on every free surface than you will ever need,” smileedude wrote.
“The bobby pin thing is insane. There is a giant pile of them in the laundry room just from what I’ve pulled out of the washer,” mournthewolf agreed. “They are in piles on her nightstand, on my nightstand, in the living room, in the kitchen. I step on them, the dog chews on them. They are everywhere. How can a person own so many bobby pins? How does she keep getting more of them? Does she just use them once and buys more? Do they reproduce on their own?”
“I’ve never actually witnessed my wife purchase any,” Roecasz added. “They just suddenly burst into existence, scatter themselves everywhere in the house and multiply with vigor.”
One redditor even left out a “take-a-pin-leave-a-pin” tray:
The more accurate explanation for why there’s such a high volume of bobby pins has to do with the hair accessory’s history. Cosmetics manufacturer Luis Marcus invented the bobby pin in the 1920s to pin back the popular Flapper haircut known as “the bob.” When hairpins were rationed during World War II, many women were forced to use toothpicks in their hair instead. But once steel rations were loosened in 1943, women went hard on bobby pins once more, and husbands and boyfriends have been drowning in them pretty much ever since.
That said, for all the bobby pin complaining, numerous other, more industrious dudes have taken it upon themselves to MacGyver the pins to suit their own needs. If you, too, are a man with a Bobby Pin Problem, here are some of the best options for repurposing them to fit your needs…
Bobby pins may have been invented for the hair on our heads, but they’ve been successfully adapted for the sticky hairs of cannabis buds many times as well, per a post on the r/Trees subreddit. From using them to clean out bowls, unclog one-hitters and pack down joints, bobby pins are the stoner equivalent of a Swiss Army knife.
One redditor found that if you smoke enough weed, you may end up turning your bobby pins into tiny sculptures. “I personally like to bend them into animals using needle-nose pliers and then put them on my girlfriend’s nightstand,” anillop wrote. “Funny, she doesn’t leave them around as much anymore.”
Cleaning Out Ears and Teeth
While it’s by no means medically advisable (to that end, plenty of articles correctly warn against it), many people admit to cleaning their ears with bobby pins. Again, I can’t stress this enough: Although it might feel good, experts caution that ears are self-cleaning and poking at them can cause damage, especially if it’s with a metal hairpin.
If you must use bobby pins for hygienic purposes, repurposing them as toothpicks is just as disgusting, but less consequential.
Thanks to the countless resources on how to pick a lock with a bobby pin, you should never need a locksmith again. (Now, if you can only figure out how to hot-wire a car with all your girlfriend’s excess hair, you might be able to get into some real trouble.)
For his part, Alex has found a decidedly wholesome use for his now-wife’s excess bobby pins: using them as chip clips. As such, he’s far less annoyed when he finds them these days. If anything, he’s made a game out of it. “I put a magnetic strip on the side of the fridge, so when I find them, I put them there,” he explains. “That way she knows where to find them.”
Better yet, he now always has an excuse to open up a new bag of chips.