A Hetero Girl’s Nightmare…Kinda

I’m gonna take some flak for this post because, frankly, it’s a sexist perspective. I know that. I’m all for you trying to change my mind. Well, here goes…

A couple of weeks ago, my husband had innocently scrawled “soap bars” on my grocery list, so I headed to Walmart thinking I’d have a thirty second stop in the health and beauty aisles (cue the hillbilly music).

Lord, Thunder and Jesus. Have you seen the choices for men lately?

Okay, before you misunderstand, I am all about choices and variety. We’re Americans, we expect options. One size does not fit all. And that’s a good thing. But here’s where that train goes off the track for me.

I like men simple.

By that I don’t mean unintelligent. Au contraire! A man’s brain is the sexiest “part” he has. What I mean by simple is uncomplicated. Unconcerned about little details like….

Soap fragrances. Dude.

Did you know that besides standard soap bars men now have liquid soap in about two dozen different fragrances? And that’s just at Walmart.

But wait, I thought, let’s go with this. So I started sniffing a few of Old Spice’s offerings: Playmaker, Denali, and Swagger (I damn near swiped that bottle just for the name!). Next came Axe’s more sexualized choices: Excite, Anarchy, Phoenix, Dark Temptation, Snake Peel, Tai Massage…Rise…(Snicker. Snort. Yes, my mind is in the gutter, yours is, too, don’t judge.)

Five minutes and four strange looks from Walmart employees later, my nose hairs are freaking fried. I can just imagine what they’re saying about me in the security camera room. All y’all keep an eye on the head case in aisle 14 sniffing soap bottles. She’s got a big ass purse. Can you tell if her eyes are bloodshot? Oh, look, she’s taking pictures. Make another pass to see if she smells like hooch.

This is stupid, I tell myself, ready to just grab that damn box of Zest bars and be done with it.

But then my eyes fall on One. Last. Bottle. A gorgeous red and gray – RIBBED – bottle. It must be fate because it’s called…..

Wait for it….

MAGNETIC.

Yes! The clear winner! It smells awesome, and the kicker? It’s “attraction enhancing” and “pheromone infused.”

Really?

Oh, yeah! I put that baby in the cart with a smirk, started to roll away, and then slowed just before I turned the corner. My shoulders dropped and the cart wheels stopped squeaking as I thought…

Do I really want my man wearing something that ATTRACTS other women?

No. No, no, no. Just no.

I rolled backwards. Put it back on the shelf.

But then I thought, well, even if they are attracted, they still can’t have him. He’s mine. Mine, all mine (cue evil laugh). Who says a girl can’t do a little chest thumpin’ now and then?

Still a little confused, but willing to think about it for the duration of my shopping, I threw it in the cart a little too forcefully (ok, I really chucked it) and the cover flurped open spraying pheromone-infused BLOOD RED goo all over the milk jug, yogurt, and birthday cards.

Great. Now I have to buy it. Could it be I’m over-thinking this shit?

After wiping off as much of the red attraction-enhancing slime as possible, I looked down at the innocent boxes of plain soap.

And grabbed one of those too.

THIS is what happens when you give men too many choices for inconsequential consumer products. Their women – who do all the household shopping—go bat shit crazy. (If your man shops for himself, count yourself lucky!)

The best part of this whole sad tale is that even after hearing how much loving attention I poured into his simple request, my husband just looked at the fancy bottle, rolled his eyes, and reached for the box of humble soap bars.

After his shower, he smelled like heaven.

So yes, call me sexist, but I like my man simple.

What do you think of all these consumer choices nowadays? Is it only right that men get as many options as women?

Comments

  1. My husband hates choices. Passionately. I’ll have to ask him how he’d view men who do. I suspect the choices are targeted mainly at the women who do the shopping.

  2. In complete agreement. And what kind of man sniffs all those bottles? They don’t. Their wives/girlfriends do. All that marketing is for us!
    I gave up buying my husband his own shampoo because he never looks at the bottles and uses mine anyway. And his hair isn’t even “colored treated”. I’ve even caught him using my deodorant in a pinch. I guess I should be glad he’s clean.

  3. Ew. Just ew. My teenage daughters make lots of jokes about how disgusting Axe is. And it is. That stuff smells like…just ugh.

    Ivory soap. Period.

    • Just wait, Huntley. Ivory soap had some liquid choices too, albeit, none with sexed-up names….yet. The MAGNETIC one was from Dial….another company I thought would keep their straightforward branding. :)

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Huntley, Let’s hope your poor girls don’t ever have to sit in a car with my 16 year old son. I truly believe he thinks Axe is to be used as a replacement for a shower! Some days he smells so treacherous I make him go back up stairs and start all over! Im not here to be his friend…Im here to be his parent. And THATs my story and Im stickin’ to it!

  4. jerridrennen says:

    Snicker is right. My husband picks up his own soap. Nothing fancy. Simple bars for a simple man.

    • Love it! Like Ana suggested, you’ll have to ask him what he thinks of all the liquid choices. But then, if he’s like my man, maybe he never even noticed. I really wish I could be a straight-liner when I go to the store. Instead, I zig-zag like crazy. Drives DH crazy on the rare trips when he accompanies me. :)

  5. Cleaning diet Squirt off computer….I haven’t laughed that hard over a post…Ever!

    My man buys for himself and always comes home with the exact same thing: Zest, Old Spice (original) deodorant, and that’s it, folks. I haven’t checked his shower for shampoo, but I have the sneaky feeling he uses the Zest. A man of simple tastes. After this post, I appreciate him all the more.

    L. j.

  6. I can see these options being more about the women making the choices than the men. If your man smelled like beer, burritos, and the end result of burritos (have you met my ex?), hell yes you’d pick him up something to make him smell sexy, so you’re enticed into thinking about how hot he is, and not how much you wish he’d discover salads.

    Loved the post! Thanks for the giggle! :-)

    • Hi Carla! Welcome to Chick Swagger! You’re right, I most *definitely* don’t want to smell the end result of burritos and the like (ha!), and yes, the soap marketing goons are probably laughing at women like me. But as Larissa said on my Facebook page, I’d rather have my man pondering *my* scent instead of his own. :)

      Thanks so much for joining us today!

    • Josie Matthews says:

      I’m so with ya there Carla! If your ex smells like I think he does I’d be stockin up on a little Swagger, After Hours AND Snake Peel. Sometimes I think my man might be a little too plain, like redneck, sweat, tractor grease plain. Thats when I like to swipe a little patchouli oil on him. I love patchouli,,,it smells different on everybody. Oils are always a good choice…they are much milder and sensual………………….

  7. I hate to use the “A” word, but I think part of the choices is an AGE thing. My 13 year-old grandson uses Axes Anarchy liquid soap, shampoo, and lotion. I mean, what else would a tough football player and wrestler use? (proud grandma chest thumping here) We live in a college town and our Walmart is crammed with college students. I see young hunky males buying the stuff. Not that I’m one to look, mind you….

    • Proud Gramma chest thumping (and ogling) applauded and encouraged! Yes, the wonderful LAYERING of scent…isn’t human nature fascinating? Great as always to see you Vonnie! :)

    • Lotion? Where does a 13 year old need to put lotion?

      I haven’t been within smelling distance of a teen-aged boy since I was a teen-aged girl, and not much, then, other than the school bus. In my day, nobody smelled like anything except right after Christmas and birthdays when we all smelled like whatever was featured by the Avon lady.

      I haven’t been into my husband’s bathroom in years, but his shopping list is easy: Old spice deodorant, edge gel for sensitive skin, “something to wash my hair with,” and “shower gel.”

      As appealing as bar soap is in many ways, it also lays down a film of wax or something on the shower or bathtub. Shower gel doesn’t do this. But gee! it doesn’t need to be red.

      Another inspiring post, Misty. I’m loving the comments, too.

      • Haha! The Avon smell after Christmas, that’s hilarious. My closest encounter with Avon was their Skin So Soft that was supposed to repel mosquitoes. Not sure if it actually worked, but my family bought bottles and bottles! :) Thanks for visiting, LR! :)

  8. Too funny, Misty. I wonder how many men go through the same thing you did and just wonder, “where the hell is the plain old bar of soap?” ;-)

    • Hi Gwen! I love those practical joke shows…wouldn’t it be hilarious to have someone somehow behind the racks and when someone reaches to grab a bottle you could tug back on it. “No! Not this one! Try Swagger!” Ha, ha – I’m such a geek.

  9. I think Vonnie has it write. My husband and I use dove, unscented and scented, but my son uses body wash. Have you ever sat down and seen the commercials on ESPN. Axe commercials are splattered all over the screen. The other day my husband chuckled at a commercial on ESPN. When I asked him what it was for, he said body wash. He rewound the dvr and played it for me. Yup, it was an Axe commercial. So long I thought it was a mini documentary. Cars crashing, people running, curvaceous women, hot men, and a whole lot of sniffing going on. I’m sure many viewers thought, Hell, I gotta get me some of that!

  10. Josie Matthews says:

    Awwweee, But I love the smell of Jovan Musk on a man! It reminds me of my first boyfriend in high school!
    Misty -my-walmart-sould-mate- I love a good trip to WalMart, but I cannot send hubby, He comes home with anything and everything marked NEW! With 2 teen boys and a hubby who’s bored out of his gourd in the winter, the selections in our house of everything from NEW! Salsa Horseradish Ranch Corn Chips to NEW! Charmin Tissue with Chamomile Lotion are mind-boggling. Now, nothing against advertising (ha!) but who the hell needs Chamomile lotion on their butt? Just let me wipe in peace! Clean, natural. And dont get me goin’ on my husband’s hours spent in the pharmacy aisle. He LOVES medications, cold medicine, corn medicine, energy vitamins, hemmorhoidal preventative…you name it…’JUST IN CASE’ He buys it! Ive never even been on an antibiotic in my life so dont be giving me no hemmorhoidal preventative…No thanks, Im good. Did I forget to mention the ‘NEW! Tummy Reducing Cream he bought me? Yeah…..

  11. LOL…certainly doing some swagger today, Misty! My man is an executive who holds board meetings for high-ranking individuals and does indulge in Tiffany or Chanel as a cologne but it is the sport and manly kind. As for soaps…Irish Spring or similar scents found in Dial (mountain fresh?). Deodorants? Very uncomplicated…just needs the anti-perspiration ingredient and he’s happy.

    You are too funny.

    • Hi Sweetie! The MAGNETIC goo I brought home was from none other than Dial. I’ll give you Mountain Fresh. LOL. Your exec hubbie sounds like a classy guy…keep him away from the soap aisle! :)

  12. Jo-Ann Carson says:

    Awesome story. I nodded my head and laughed all the way through.
    I like my men simple too.
    Keep writing

  13. Amanda Pedersen says:

    This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a while, thanks for sharing Misty! I can totally see myself in the same situation and my reaction would have been exactly the same.

  14. I’m with Vonnie too on this. It’s an age thing. My husband has one brand he will use. Period. My teenage son loves Axe and tries out different scents every time he runs out. I’m so glad he can drive now because every time I took him to a dance I needed a hazardous material wash station to rid my body, eyes, and throat of the toxic fumes.

    • Haha! “hazardous material wash station” – that’s awesome! As weird as it sounds, I look forward to watching my son go through this phase! I figure I have around 6 or 7 years to prepare myself. LOL :)

  15. Sarah Okins says:

    Hahaha….I think most men could care less when it comes to that but then there is always that rare exception who are *always* looking for something to attract the ladies. At that point, I must say, DUDE…if you are needing soap to light a fire in a girls heart you must be lacking in some aspect of your personality and you are going about it the wrong way. :) I do agree with you, that a man’s mind his one of the strongest attractions. I need someone to keep up with my tangled web of thoughts and at the same time challenge me into a higher level of thinking.

    Again, I must say to the both of you, I love your blog and even when I am traveling and don’t have time to respond, I will for sure make the time to read it. I have not missed one yet! You keep it thought provoking and full of moxie! Way to go!!!! And Misty, I am so glad I met you. I have gained so much insight from your intellect and genuine kindness. You have been an inspiration and offered a support to my own personal growth. You are truly a gem! Keep the swagger coming ladies!!! :)

    • My Sarah! Were you on the road again this week? I’m jealous of your suitcase!!! :) You are so full of life, you are a total joy to be around. Thanks for all the encouragement, chica. Te quiero! :)

      • Sarah Okins says:

        Yes, last week I was in Long Beach, CA and this coming Tuesday I will be head to NYC. After that Vegas, Chicago and San Diego. A very busy time but it only comes once a year and financially hard to pass up, not to mention I love being a part of it and seeing the friends that I have made from all across the country. :D Je t’aime!

        • That’s awesome. Traveling is such an education! And it makes you appreciate home all the more. :) Miss ya!

        • Sarah Okins says:

          Miss ya too! But I will be in Fargo the last part of March and we should get together. I think I actually have to drive up there the night before, I fly out of there to San Diego. Then when I return, I am there for the weekend to teach classes. :)

  16. LOL, Misty. You’ve given me reason 99 not to go to Walmart. I love my little small-town grocery store. Enough choices–but not an overwhelming number–so I can get almost everything I need. All without trudging a hundred miles up and down aisles past stuff I don’t want. Here’s a shout-out to Call’s Market in Cornish, Maine.

    • Whoop! Go small town businesses! I hear ya, totally. I grew up in a small town and my parents tried to shop locally as much as possible. Now I don’t live in a small town, but my husband always encourages me to do business at the small “local” businesses as much as possible. Great reminder, Judi. Thanks! :)

  17. Hahahahaha!!!!!
    We were on vacation in a rugged mountain town with my recently divorced uncle and he sprayed that axe shit all over himself! He sure stood out amoungst all those cowboys. (Cue the strange looks as my uncle struts by and assaults innocent bystanders.) Maybe all that marketing is for teenage boys and men in mid life crisis.
    Thanks for the good laugh Misty!

  18. Misty……Not to be sexist or anything, but I would have just grabbed the Zest. Seems to me the trouble here is not too many choices for men, but too many choices for women shopping for men! I still love you of course, and by the way I run into the same type issues when I am running to walmart and my wife puts “Shampoo” on the list! Have you seen THAT aisle lately?!

    • Yes, Steve, believe me, I feel your pain about the women’s shampoo aisle. And we use something called CONDITIONER too! The difference is, I *expect* a mind-boggling array of choices for women and so I steal myself for the process. I wasn’t expecting nearly the same type of experience for the men’s soap. :) Believe me, though, I was schooled. I will be grabbing the box of bar soap from now on! ….Nice to see you, again! :)

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