For a while now, I’ve been searching for a really good deodorant–not an anti-perspirent/deodorant–just a plain deodorant. I’ve tried stuff from the health food stores and they are ok but not great. Some of them have worked better than others but the last one I tried was awful; I don’t know how they are able to market it as a deodorant, it was more like an odorant that made me smell like I’d swam around in sewage all day. Fuchi, qué pesta! I couldn’t even stand being around myself so I’m sorry for those who had to be around me during that time.
I decided, yesterday while we were school-supply shopping, I would find a deodorant that actually worked. After we loaded up the cart with the necessary educational tools we’d need for the year, we headed on over to the personal care area of the store and I told the children it was my turn. I found the women’s deodorant aisle and faced the choices head on, determined to find a plain deodorant in the wall of antiperspirant/deodorants. They glared back at me tauntingly as if they were saying, “You’ll never find one because we are better and more beautiful than the lowly simple deodorant stick from the past. We can make you smell like a beautiful lavender fairy or a spring cherry blossom or a goddess of pomegranates and passion fruit. And you’ll never feel another bead of sweat again.”
But I didn’t listen, I knew if I just looked I would be able to find one, somewhere in there. Yet, as I scanned the shelves, squinting at the microscopic fine print on each stick my frustration grew and my heart sank as I realized my desired little deodorant stick was not to be found. For a few moments my heart surged when my eyes fell onto one that said only “deodorant” but that excitement was short lived when I realized it was a Tom’s of Main product—sorry Tom but your products stink; literally.
My daughter asked why I didn’t like any of the ones I saw, after all wouldn’t it be nice not to perspire and smell like peaches and cream all day long? So I paused to brief her on the reasons why it might not be a good idea to put something on my skin that would force my body to stop the normal biological function of releasing waste and toxins through my sweat and called on her to consider the consequences such actions could have on the health of my body in the long run; all the while realizing how completely counter-cultural my logic was. Thankfully she still thinks mom is always right and everyone else is wrong….for now. Under my breath I added that the reason I can’t find only a deodorant stick anymore is because these companies don’t really care about my health they just want me to buy their products. That lesson was for another day though.
So I reluctantly gave up and stuck my tongue out at the supercilious antiperspirant/deodorant sticks and left them to powder their noses and strut their stuff for the next unassuming
victim consumer. Then, we walked by the next aisle; the men’s deodorant and shaving aisle (yes they have a whole aisle for themselves)– “Light bulb!” . Hmmm, the gears in my brain sparked as they moved quickly and a little out of their tracks. “I buy my husband a deodorant, a Speed Stick.” I mused. “What if I found an unscented one that I could use?” I quickly scanned the shelves but my hope was short-lived for it looked like the men’s deodorants had suffered the same fate as their female companions and had been overthrown and shoved out by the newer ‘sexier’ beefed up antiperspirant/deodorant sticks. Luckily, there was still one lone surviving deodorant—the Speed Stick. He stood there quietly, gentle and humble. I buy the “fresh scent” one for my husband so I grabbed the blue “ocean surf” one instead since there were no unscented ones. I took a quick whiff and was immediately transported to the ocean—the waves gently rolled over my feet sinking deeper and deeper into the sand and the sound of seagulls searching for their next meal called to me, inviting me to come and fly away with them into the sunset. But then, my husband also showed up wondering why I was using his deodorant.
Realizing their conquest was in jeopardy, the antiperspirant/deodorants seized this interruption in my thoughts to remind me why they were better. “Look at us. Now look at your Speed Stick. Now look back at us. Sadly, that Speed Stick isn’t us. Now put down that old fogey Speed Stick and get us for your husband and go back next door and pick out one of those lovely silky smooth antiperspirant/deodorant ladies for yourself and together you and your husband can relive all your beach honeymoon memories forever.”
Unaffected by their pretentious charm, I asked the kids to smell the “ocean surf” Speed Stick. They all said “Yeah, get that one!” At this point, I realized how incredibly insane this all was and quite literally laughed out loud, glancing upward at the security cameras wondering if someone up there was enjoying this. (I’m sure God, who sees all, was laughing for sure.) So without further deliberation, I threw the men’s deodorant stick into the cart and high-tailed it out of there before I came to my senses.
So after dinner I decided to test it out and see if my husband would notice the new smell and what his reaction would be. Unfortunately he caught me in the act of applying it which amused him since I was applying deodorant so late in the day. This only caused me to laugh since he didn’t know yet just what type of deodorant I was applying. I nonchalantly asked him to smell me but my face gave it away and he guessed immediately why I asked. (Why does he have to know me so well?) This sent us both into a good laughing spell which was then only further encouraged when he pointed out the back label describing the “ocean surf” as a nice “masculine smell”. We finally managed to calm down, much to the disappointment of our confused children who had joined in on the laughter even though they had no idea why we were laughing.
Still convinced I might actually be able to get away with this, I asked the innocent ones their opinion. My daughter said it smelled like a sparkling lake and my 4 year old son said it smelled good and he wanted to sniff my armpits again but I think this was just his way of getting more snuggle time in with his mama.
Later on that evening my husband wrapped his arms around me as I cleaned the dishes and gently whispered into my ear, “You smell very masculine tonight, darling.” A quick towel-snap sent him away, laughing as he went.
I had a hard time sleeping last night with many strange and confusing dreams. It was after I came back from a hard workout this morning that I realized this would never work. Not only did I smell like a man still, I smelled like a sweaty man whose “ocean surf” had turned into a river of toxic dump. I guess, for now, I’ll just go back to my simple natural deodorant stick for now and give up my dreams of smelling like a cool spring breeze or a prancing lilac princess all day. Now I know why perfume and body misters were invented. But that’s a headache of a story for another day.