NOTE BENE: Though I call myself uglyScott, I cannot refer to my wife (and here I use “my” to establish relationship rather than possession) as uglyWife. In the old days, her blog name was Ja miluju oskliveho Skota, but that’s longish and I lack the patience to put in the diacritical marks to make it correct. From this point forward, I will refer to her as L or uL.
So, here’s the rub, the skinny, the real deal. Yesterday, L brought an almost empty bottle of deodorant on the counter and asked where I had found it last. After some thought, I remembered that I had discovered it at the dollar store, at a price well above a dollar. If you live in the store-poor ruins of the small town Midwestern America, you know how difficult it is to find what you need at a local store. God forbid if you want something exotic like a file folder or a pair of socks. Seriously, God forbids it.
Shabby re-painted dressers, cookies, cigarettes, beer, and car insurance are plentiful. Note that Amazon hasn’t gotten in the business of supplying any of these things. They are too easy to buy in the parts of America in which weekend trips to traffic glutted box stores and weekday Prime box porch fetching are the primary means of acquiring goods. Everything else though is very difficult. If each of four stores carries three types of deodorant, for example, and your (relational) spouse requires type six, the search becomes a real-life logic puzzler in the SAT Prep Handbook.
I took the subtle hint to find a replacement bottle of deodorant and began my hero’s quest through the mean aisles of my hometown stores where only the elderly and deranged try to find something during the day. The Dollar Store let me down. I knew it couldn’t be as easy as finding the product at the same place I had gone before. After negotiating the narrow aisles, packed with boxes to be unboxed and other breadcrumbs of sadness, and after trying to get inside the head of whomever organizes dollar stores, I found the deodorant. And the right brand. But the little wire holder for her particular flavor was empty. I know I don’t have to elaborate on the feeling that I had when I saw nothing there, looked around it, read the label on the wire holder over and over, glanced at boxes on the floor, and the product I needed still didn’t appear.
Making note of the similar types they did stock, I reported to L at lunch. “They do have the same bottle, but with a picture of something yellow on it and another with a picture of something green on it. It is probably the scent.”
“But did it say invisible?”
I continued my search in the afternoon. I was able to find it at only the third store I checked, for a fantastically high price. It was at one of those drug stores that only gives “discounts,” meaning normal prices to those who carry their secret card. All of the rest of us have to suffer with the no-card tax and struggle to find new ways to say no when they ask if you have one in such a manner that stops them from asking you to sign up for one but doesn’t sound too rude. There are much better reasons to be sentenced to an eternity in hell than submitting to requests to get more and more member cards.
As I held the bottle in my hand, feeling a bit like I had slayed a gorgon or something, I noted that the bottle clearly stated that a quick spray would protect the user from bad odors (or protect others from the user’s bad odors) for 48 hours. One spray, two days. They should use that.
I quickly texted L and told her that 1) I had succeeded in finding her deodorant and 2) that she was misusing the product. If only she would use it every other day, my trips to the store would be cut in half. Given that manufacturers usually prescribe more uses than are necessary, she could probably get by with twice a week.
She didn’t think my savvy advice was worth taking seriously. No, was her only response. She’s a firebrand, that one. Going against the published advice. Over-consuming. Living on the edge of over-protection. Marching to the beat of a different armpit. Cursed to walk the planet with so little natural scent, she will confuse the cat every time she enters the room.
But I tried. I’m a noble soul.