Yup. It took me 10 minutes to pick a deodorant today.
My wife and two boys have been sick all week. A simple comment of “We are out bread” was the perfect opening to create the illusion of a competent and caring husband/father while at the same time escaping from the weeklong banter about Minecraft and hourly updates on gastrointestinal conditions.
After “accidentally” getting lost in Meijer I find myself by the deodorant aisle.
“Hey, I think I’m almost out of deodorant with no backup. I should grab my usual why I’m here. Wait a second, I’ve got some time. Let’s give this a little thought. After all, I’ve been using the same thing for a while now.”
“There’s a lot of stuff here. I’m a bit overwhelmed, but I’ve been in a bit of a rut and this will be a nice little change. Now, that’s just a plain sad thought. I better take a break and put that on Facebook.”
“OK, I need a system here. Obviously, I’m going to eliminate anything blue. I’m not smearing blue slime on myself. That’s a no-brainer. What says, ‘Bald, scrawny, 41-year-old guy?’ I can’t believe I’ve spent this much time looking at deodorant. Do I really have this little going on in my life that deodorant is causing some sort of existential crisis? I should actually get that bread and go home. Naw, they’re fine, I need to figure this out.”
“I wonder if anyone replied to my Facebook post yet?
“Buckle down, Erik. Do you want to smell like an Alaskan National Park, musk, an ocean breeze, or continue to “exude confidence?” I’ve got no hair for an ocean breeze to blow through. Gone. Musk? Muskrat…Muskdeer…Muskox… Those animals suck. I don’t wanna smell like some bottom-of-the-food chain herbivore. Gone. Now we are getting somewhere.
“OK, the big moment. Do I change up or do I somehow continue to “exude confidence” through my armpits as the label promises?” Then my answer comes to me in the form of a flashback.
It’s eight months ago. My wife is leaving for a scrapbooking weekend, girls-weekend, work-weekend, whatever-I’m-solo-with-the-boys-weekend. As she leaves she gives me a quick hug and says, “Good luck with the boys! Your new deodorant smells kinda nice” before peeling out in the minivan.
After nearly 15 years of marriage, that statement is straight-up filthy, erotic pillow-talk. I’m talking 50-Shades-of-Erik. There is no way that I’m risking extinguishing that kind of bi-annual, marital fire by changing brands.
I drop the same deodorant as always into my cart
It took me ten minutes to buy deodorant. It took me twenty minutes to go back to Meijer for bread.