First of all, everyone used bar soap in the shower. You had Dial or Irish Spring, both of which stripped off every molecule of oil and left your skin feeling like the hull of a thousand-year-old Viking war ship. If you had hard water, you experienced dry AND shrunken skin. Kind of like a whole-body skin lift, where a plastic surgeon had pulled all the extra flesh up to the top of your head, put it in a ponytail, and whacked it off. Maybe you couldn't lower your arms for a few hours, but at least you smelled clean.
Now, we have shower gels that make you smell like anything from fruit cocktail to a brand new basketball to a greenhouse. It's confusing. I mean, I like having choices, but I don't have time to stand in the "cleansing products" aisle at StuffMart, trying to decide if I want to smell like whatever produce is currently in season. (Which, for your information, is avocados. "Mmm, honey, I love it when you smell like guacamole. Do we have any Tostitos?")
Colognes and perfumes are even worse. When I was a kid, there were unwritten rules about cologne, and you didn't deviate. Grandmas wore Jean Nate. Moms wore some benign Avon fragrance, and teenage girls wore Sweet Honesty, which was a blend of lilacs and baby powder. Not exactly the stuff to drive teen boys wild, which is precisely why our moms bought it for us. If you were a guy, you wore Old Spice. Period.
Today, you go to buy someone some cologne, you'd better take along a sleeping bag and a camp stove, because you're gonna be there a while. And I totally don't understand how the manufacturers choose the names of these scents. It makes me wonder if the marketing department is a bunch of chimps using sign language. Is it just me, or do these names conjure up some weird associations?
- Chrome - motor oil and transmission fluid
- Drakkar - camel spit
- Insolence - makes me want to put the wearer in time out
- Reaction - sparks and singed eyebrows
- L.A.M.B. - for women named Heidi
- Usher - movie theater popcorn
- Be Delicious - applesauce
- Cool Water - What the ? Water isn't supposed to smell like anything, and if it does, it's usually unpleasant, like dead, bloated mackerel or chemical waste.
- Opium - At $60 an ounce, I'll have to look for the $10/ounce knock-off, Pot.
- Man - "Man?!" My husband already smells like a man. That's why I'm buying him cologne! Sheesh.
And I'm not even going to mention what I think of when I see Britney Spears' name on a bottle of perfume. This is, after all, a family-friendly blog.
Well, I have to go pack my bags. Not only do I need to pick up some cologne, but we're also out of laundry detergent (Island Fresh or Clean Cotton?) and dishwashing soap (Pear Medley or Gardenia Blossom?). I'm going to be gone a while. If you happen to be near StuffMart, please bring me a cooler of beverages. And some Tostitos.