Thursday, June 17, 2010

Identity Crisis

I’m a big fan of Secret, but they're trying to destroy my psyche. I’m not talking about that new-age/self-help/the-world-is-full-of-rainbows-and-unicorns book, but Secret – the stuff you put under your arms* to hopefully make you stink less.
*I absolutely loathe the word “armpit”. Arm Pit. It sounds like a dirty place that sludge would ooze out of. Which, fine, maybe you ooze sludge. Conveniently enough, I glisten and don’t ooze. Mostly. And one of my favorite blogs has a re-occurring phrase of “gushing arm pits” that makes me feel like I’ve just been showered in some else’s under-arm sludge, which makes me want to bathe in lemon scented bleach, because straight bleach stinks. And this is really too long for an italicized note, but I’m not going back and tweaking that now.
So, deodorant. For me, that's Secret. Been using it (Secret) for more than half of my life. I especially like the Soft Solid. The roll-on makes me feel like I’ve added Sludge under my arms instead of preventing whatever Glistening might naturally occur, which kind of defeats the purpose of buying those products in the first place. The dry solids are not really worth having an opinion one way or another. And Aerosol makes me want to scream, but that’s a different rant.
Also, on my deodorant specifications list, is that it should be unscented. If I wanted to smell like baby powder – the smell of which makes me want to lose my breakfast – I would damn well put baby powder under my arms. If I wanted to smell like an odd combination of roses and violets, I’d buy some perfume from the Age 80+ counter at Macy’s. And what the hell is “Spring Fresh” even supposed to mean? Thunderstorms? Because around here, Spring=Tornado Season, not a vaguely-slightly-floral, highly-unnatural scent that one wants to spread on unseen parts of their body.
Thus, for 16 years, it’s been Me + Unscented Soft Solid Secret. We have lived in harmony.
Until this past March, when I inexplicably stopped finding unscented Secret of any variety other than Roll On. A couple of years ago it disappeared from my CVS shelves, and I almost sobbed in the Walgreens deodorant aisle when I found it there. Walmart is always hit or miss. But it’s always been somewhere. But about 3 months ago, someone hit a secret switch that made all of my Unscented Soft Solid Secret disappear from the state. And I panicked – I needed something to freshen my Glistening soon. And unscented had apparently been banned from even being a scent anymore, because – and trust me, I shopped around – there was nothing scent-free to be found on the shelves. So, being a frugal person, I started buying random deodorants when the sales and coupons aligned, which they do quite frequently. The problem?
Apparently, everyone wants to spread “Spring Fresh” or “Green Euphoria”** under their arms, so now I have to smell like something besides, you know – ME - and picking out a new scent for yourself is a LOT of pressure. I now see why Jennifer Lopez has a gazillion “signature scents” in her perfume line.
**What the HELL is “Green Euphoria”? The only things I’ve seen that are naturally body-related and green are: A) vomit and B) snot. Neither of which would I slather in my Glistening Places.
So. I went through a trial and error phase for a couple of months. I’d try a new deodorant scent for a couple of weeks. And every time I moved my arms at work (I move around a lot of books and binders on to and off of shelves), I would notice my deodorant. Which is not something I want to do, especially since I couldn’t find a scent that I liked. So, even though I smelled like products that are supposed to make you smell better, I was always fairly confident that my Glistening smelled better than their Glisten-Preventing-Substances. In any case, I didn’t smell like me anymore, and I couldn’t figure out who I was supposed to smell like. And you know how you smell a shirt to see if you can wear it again (Oh come ON, yes you do)? Well, I didn’t know anymore. I couldn’t figure out what it smelled like, and so suddenly I was doing more laundry (meaning, of course, that The Professor was doing more laundry, but it counts - we’re married – one mind, heart, soul and all of that) all because I couldn’t tell who I was anymore. And it's hard to live with yourself when you don't even know what your shirts are supposed to smell like, so I'd just have another glass of wine.
I’m happy to report that I have discovered the right meds had a breakthrough and am on week 3 of one scent, and I don’t hate it. It’s simply called “Fresh”, which means that it’s an uncomplicated scent that no one else is going to buy because “FRESH” is not quite descriptive enough of what kind of “Fresh”. Is it “Spring Fresh” or “Powder Fresh” or “Mountain Fresh”? Why would anyone buy something as uncomplex as “Fresh”? And in about 3 years it, too, will disappear, which means I should start the stockpile this weekend. Ironically enough, I had a huge stockpile of it last year that I had gotten practically free at CVS …and I sold them for a buck a piece in a yard sale making like 1 million percent profit, but leaving me in a lurch when my Secret disappeared. But at least I'm coming back to the knowledge of Who I Smell Like.
And speaking of deodorant stockpiles (surely a topic that should come up once in everyone’s lifetime)…let’s move on to The Professor. He has also been a big fan of one particular brand and scent since time began. And guess what? About a month after my Crisis hit, his did too. Same. Exact. Story. Although it was a different brand, because - Surprise! - The Professor does not use Secret. And he uses a scented one, which is ok with me because he’s been using that scent since before I met him – so that’s HIS smell, not Speed Stick’s.
To shorten the story, he had to try something new as well. And then I’d walk in the door after not knowing who the hell *I* smelled like all day, and he’d hug me and kiss me, and I’d be like “Hey, who are you, you smell funny” and then I’d just want to cry. Not that he bathes in it or anything, but it was just part of Who He Is - part of his scent was Speed Stick Musk, but suddenty it wasn't, and I couldn't handle it. Because really, A)You should know who you are, and b) you shouldn’t be disturbed by your husband’s “Sports Fresh” scent. Oh yes. The menfolk, they get the Freshness, too. And “Sports Fresh” sounds suspiciously like SWEAT to me.
The Professor got a much happier ending. He discovered that our local Walmart carries his preferred varietal. Which means we have about 10 sticks of it in the cabinet, because he’s buys one every time he passes Walmart, but I’m not laughing. No…I’m jealous. At least he’s found a way to fight back against the identity crisis. Which, to be honest, I did too, I just upped my wine budget and moved on.*
*Because in the end, all roads lead to Wine. Not Rome. Not Hell. Wine. But today, my lovelies, I discovered the perfect solution on the wonderfulness that we call The Internetz. Behold: An Unscented Deodorant Patch! I do believe it will solve all of my problems. I’ll have to attach an explanation card to every piece of clothing I send to Goodwill for the rest of my life, but that might just be worth it. At least I’ll always know who I am. There’s only so much wine I can drink to help with that, and I’m not on the Really Good Meds.

1 comment:

foxat said...

OMG! This had me laughing out loud :) I completely get you here!