Yes, I’m Writing About Deodorant
I just bought new deodorant. I’ve used Secret’s Spring Breeze for years, ever since I was a teenager, really. And the only reason I got started on it then is because my mom wore Secret’s Powder Fresh. Or whatever it’s called– the deodorant that smells like baby powder. She likes smelling like baby powder; she put it in her shoes and covered herself with it sometimes when she got out of the shower.
I knew as a teenager that I didn’t want to smell like baby powder. And Secret was, and still is, the cheapest brand. My only other choice, then, was Spring Breeze. I liked it because its scent wasn’t really associated with any other scent; it didn’t smell like flowers or rain or lemon or any other scent that smelly stuff smells like. It smelled like yellow, which was the color of Secret’s logo on the front of the package.
Until this spring. I bought another stick of Spring Breeze and it smelled like flowers. Like Old Lady Flowers. Like Lysol Spray that covers up the poop smell in the bathroom. I don’t know if the smell manufacturers– the guys with their chemicals in their glass tubes and their test panel of people who try the stuff and give it names– I don’t know if these guys changed the scent and decided to market it as Spring Breeze, catching all its loyal customers off-guard, or my personal sweat glands changed their chemical balance slightly so it reacts with the deodorant differently. No, I don’t know what it is (cue musical theatre people with that chorus, shuffling around the stage energetically).
So I waited until I used up the entire stick. Smelling like old lady flowers the entire time. In the summer, that only lasted a month or two, considering the consumption of this stuff goes up with the heat. And when standing in front of the deodorant section again, I chose the cheap-o brand again. No, I don’t want to smell sparkly or spritzy. I know. I’ll try unscented. That should give me another neutral smell, right?
Nope. The Unscented brand smells like fruit. And as much as it amuses me to see Just’In scrutinize my lips as he hangs over me, ready to kiss, because he thinks I have dreaded chapstick on, the really amusing thing about this deodorant is the sticker on the lid. It’s split into two colors, top and bottom. The top is blue with white lettering, so naturally, it’s the first thing you read. It says “Invisible Protection Guaranteed”. And then, in the white half, it has, in very small print, a one-eight-hundred number.
I can just imagine the calls that the person on the other end of this number gets. The number is so small that it will only be found by someone who’s scrutinizing the package because they want someone to complain to. They’re probably lonely and, unconsciously, want another voice to talk to.
“This deodorant isn’t invisible; I can still see it!”
“I’m sorry, ma’am. Can you describe the packaging for me, just to make sure we’re thinking about the same thing?”
“It’s got a clear lid that’s supposed to be invisible, and the deodorant is white! I’m not supposed to be able to see it!”
The salesman would just be happy she’s not complaining about the “Protection” part. Can you see her trying to use the cap as a helmet or to lock her house against burglars?