My Deoderant Scares Me

I have one of those stupid and obnoxiously unpredictable body chemistries that will suddenly decide it no longer likes my favorite products.  I’ve used Secret antiperspirant for years.  It liked me.  I liked it.  We were happy.  Until….

I was at work and thought one of my colleagues hadn’t showered…ever…in their lives.  As improbable as that seemed; it was the only logical choice.  Surely it could not be me.  

How does one discreetly check their pits for foul play?   You can’t really raise your arms and fake a stretch.  What if the source is you and you basically just opened the mustard gas canister by doing a fake out big girl stretch.  Pretending to stretch the kink out of your neck only works if you have a giraffe neck that can get your nose down by your armpit.  What to do?   I opted to fake incontinence and made a mad bathroom dash to root out the answer once and for all.  Long story short?   It was me.  I started to doubt myself.  

When was the last time I showered?  This morning?  Yes.  Wait…maybe I just dreamed that I showered and I’m really the smelly kid.  I wish wine for breakfast was socially acceptable on days like these but instead of buying liquor for lunch I drove in a panicked state to the local CVS and walked in like my arms were nailed to my side.  I usually have a long stride complete with accompanying arm levering.  Not this time, kid.  Nuh-uh.   I walked like my knees were glued together and my arms were broken.  I figured the pained smile on my face would be enough to distract everyone away from my ridiculous presence.  I picked up a “motion activated” deodorant that was supposed to be “powder fresh”.  It smelled rather delicate and lovely in its container.  I fancied myself a powder fresh kind of gal.  Clean. Crisp.  Everyone loves babies.  They smell delicious.  Comforting baby powder.  Right?  Right?   Wrong.  It’s fucking awful.  

Apparently the baby powder was rancid and dipped in road kill.  I didn’t see the road kill part on the label.  I should have read the fine print.  It’s like that time I bought a size medium jacket and the arms only came down to my elbow, and I could only fit one arm in at a time. I returned it stating it was probably a child’s medium. 

So it’s motion activated.  I assume this means the more active I am the stronger the smell gets.  Does it escalate?  What if I’m making copies at the office.  Is it only mildly pungent?   What if I’m at a wedding doing the chicken dance?  My in-laws are Polish- it’s bound to happen.  

So I googled how to remove deodorant.  Alcohol.  Because that would feel so great on freshly shaved armpits.  

I give up.

I went back to the same CVS with much more attitude this time and got shower fresh.  If it smells like a funeral home it will be an improvement.  Mr. Charming who really enjoys screaming my name to the entire store while I’m checking out there notes loudly to me that I had just purchased a similar product not even 4 hours before.  I smiled and murmured, “Yes, I know.  I decided on something different.”

Scooter was not sated with something discreet and subdued.  Awwww hell naw.  We need to break this shit down.  “But ma’am!  If you were unsatisfied then you should have brought the unfinished item back for a refund.”  I noted his words not catching up with his mouth like a badly dubbed Kung Fu movie and he finished his very loud announcement with a whispered version of “for a full refund.”  Fanfreakingtastic.  

I tartly asked if I could just please buy my personal hygiene item and go run my truck off a cliff in a fit of despair and embarrassment;  like the rest of the people he checks out.  I’d hate to see what he does with tampons or KY.  He waived his hand in the air as if conjuring the deodorant fairy who would clearly educate me on proper application.  “Madam”, he exclaimed, “I believe in customer service.”   

I stood there – aghast.  I just want my deodorant.  That’s all.  No more, no less.  I want my deodorant but this is now being drowned out by the larger desire to knock him unconscious with his price gun.  

I laid my hands on the counter, “Ring up this purchase so I can leave please.  This is the last time I will say please.  I expect that I will be out of this door within the next 30 seconds.” 

At this point there is a line AND grumbling in the line.  However there are a few that are awaiting a fight.   Their heads are slowly bobbing back and forth taking in the rising tension between me a Scooter.  A few, I can tell, are gleeful.  They probably haven’t seen a fight since Black Friday and want more blood.  Bastards. 

He calls a compatriot to assist with the line which I would like to point out, he has caused.  Shoplifting would have been quicker and easier for cripes sake.   As he’s hanging up he decides to once more appeal to my senses about my refusal to bring in the old deodorant.   I refuse to give in even though it is now being announced publicly over the intercom since he has not properly hung up.  

He opens his mouth again and I raised my voice loudly stating that my mother has fallen and I have to leave.   He asked how I knew.  I declared I was psychic.  He looked dubious.  Screw him.  

“Ten seconds to ring me up or I’m leaving whether I’ve paid for this or not.”

“Madam!” He fans himself.  “Are you telling me you’ll steal that?”  

Now a manager shows up and raises an eyebrow. “Ma’am?  Is there a problem?”

I hate authority.  They hate me.  It’s a fair arrangement.  It’s even.  I want to stick my tongue out at him.   

“No.  Yes.  I don’t have any problem other than not being able to make my purchase.”

“This?”, he inquires….holding up my deodorant. 

“Sweet precious hell.  Yes!   Yes!   I would like to buy that AND LEAVE!”

Manager turns to converse with Scooter.  

I turned to the woman behind to was hiding her hand behind her mouth.  She moved it long enough to silently mouth the words, “I hate him” to me.  I nodded and then turned on my heel and left.  

Some days I’m up for the fight.  Most days actually.  And then other days, I would really really like to get a pass for throwing myself on the floor and throwing the mother of all temper tantrums.  This time I opted for retreat.  Sometimes you can smell pretty just by shopping at another place.  


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