Scratch and Sniff Resolution


The first time Jason and I ever went to the DrugStore together, I lost him for almost half an hour. Frustrated and in a panic, I finally found him on the Deodorant aisle. He looked up at me with a huge grin, a thin layer of white coating his nose, and asked me if I preferred “ocean breeze” or “shower fresh” (having smelled every stick in the store, he had narrowed it down to those two.) Apparently he missed the “I have just spent the last thirty minutes looking for you and if you ask me to sniff that thing you will be deodorized in places you never intended” vibe that I was sending.

After nine years of marriage, I have become acquainted with Jason’s obsession with hygiene products. The boy owns a ridiculous number of soaps, powders, gels, sprays, and plain old smelly things. And yet, he still gets lost on the hygiene aisles every time we go shopping together. We cannot leave until he has filled his nose with every product in order to determine which most lives up to its claim of clean, masculine, and sure to leave a trail of women behind you.

Apparently it is a genetic defect. At age three, TJ began to sneak into the medicine cabinet and bathe himself in Jason’s cologne. He would emerge smiling and acting like nothing was wrong. “What?,” he would giggle, “I like it.” For Christmas this year we bought him Batman Cologne, a gift that doubled as a life lesson. His Aunt Laura gave him a long lecture on wanting to wear just enough so that girls will be drawn in close to reap the benefits. Again, thank you Aunt Laura (note sarcasm).

So now, Father and Son troll together; discussing toothpaste flavors, debating spray vs. solid, and analyzing the difference between goo and glu. And, I, resign to the “voice of reason” role . . .” lets finish the six deoderants in the drawer BEFORE we try Musings of Musk . . . “I’m sure it is more coconutty, but we bought Tropical Bliss lotion last week, maybe next month” . . . “you don’t have any hair, there is no way you need to try the new tingly shampoo.”

To me, all the fancy stuff is just that . . . fancy STUFF. I long for the days of the 50 piece bag of pink daisy razors. Now my mind spins trying to decide between four blades and five. Not to mention the built in lotions, the one with bikini trimmer, and the ever daunting vibrating razor. Can I just say that the day the hairs on my leg need a massage before being cut is the day that I have waited entirely too long to shave. The last pack of razors I bought included a free sample of a new razor that boasted a lavendar scented handle. The reasoning: somehow the smell of lavendar was supposed to relax me and make shaving more enjoyable. If such a thing is possible perhaps we should lavender scent our steering wheels, keyboards, and cell phones. A little lavender could go a long way in making life more
pleasureable (again, note sarcasm).

Though the scented steering wheel may never replace the tree on the mirror, I did find a tooth brush with scratch and sniff handle. Somewhere between the singing tooth polisher and “breakthrough” paste that tries to make rabid-like foaming sound appealing; was a pink, soft (as opposed to semi-soft, medium, hard, and sand paper), OralB that releases bubblegum auromas when scratched. I cannot help but wonder at what point tickling my toothbrush became a standard of oral care along with brushing, rinsing, and flossing.

At what point did I suddenly have to decide if I want my hair smooth and straight, deeply conditioned, or a little kinky just to buy shampoo? What if I want a little of each? When did the day come that lotion is no longer about soft skin, but shades of tan, levels of firmness, and cellulite? When did cocoa butter go out of style? At what point did I leave the hygiene aisles drenched, when all I wanted was just enough to draw people close?

When God sent manna in the wilderness, He made a promise that there would be more than enough for everyone, everyday. He also warned that the people should only take enough for each day, for any excess would rot. It was a perfect provision, along with a test. To only gather what they needed for each day, required the Israelites to trust God that there would be more tomorrow. It was just enough to draw them close.

So here is my New Year’s Resolution: I will not buy, neither will I be the scratch and sniff toothbrush.

That is, I resolve to not strive for excess but to be content with just enough to draw me close. I resolve to live in each day, to not bathe in excess in an attempt to make all things more pleasurable, but to find pleasure in being drawn close by all things. I resolve to choose faith over fancy.

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