Dear Deodorant Manufacturers,

Merriam- Webster defines deodorant as:

a preparation that destroys or masks unpleasant odors

Dear Deodorants Manufacturers,

I would like to draw your attention to the definition of deodorant shown above. To be fair an alternate definition I found included antiperspirants, so you can include that as well, or not, your choice. The definition for deodorant simply states that a deodorant is a substance that should destroy “unpleasant odors” or at the very least mask them. I challenge you to locate any part of the definition that includes “will make you smell like something different than a normal human person.” Go ahead… I’ll wait.

Didn’t find anything that says a deodorant will make you smell like something other than a regular human? I didn’t think so. So we can agree that the above definition is for all intents and purposes correct? Good. I thought so.

Now that we agree on a definition, let me explain why I am writing to you. Your product doesn’t work, it does NOT “mask unpleasant odors” ; on the contrary, it appears as though it only creates a new and potentially worse unpleasant odor. I use deodorant because it is a socially acceptable convention in modern times in western culture that I don’t go around smelling like a woman in need of a bath or a gynecological exam. I use deodorant because I like to consider myself as unoffensive to be around and possibly even “attractive” or pleasant to be around depending on the circumstances. So you can imagine my consternation at being unable to locate a deodorant that actually does the job it is supposed to do- as per our already agreed upon definition. Rather, I can only find deodorants that simply change my personal odor, which if I do say so isn’t that bad until like day 3 sans shower, and turns it into an odd combination of my personal stank combined with the whatever flavor your facility has concocted and tested and determined is a good fit for a normal person’s armpit.

I’m sure I am not alone in my frustrating quest for a product to place in the pit of my arm that doesn’t leave me smelling like a bowl of fruit or a passel of flowers with just a slight twinge of sweat- FYI not a good combo. Apparently, however the concept appears to be a difficult one for companies to wrap their closed minds around because you all keep producing the same types of odors with the same lackluster results.

Bottom line is, if you are going to develop and manufacture a product, it should do the job that is defined in the very definition of the product shouldn’t it? I mean who would buy a car that didn’t drive? or a boat that didn’t float? Why do you keep expecting me to buy a deodorant that doesn’t actually remove or conceal unpleasant odors? Why do you keep insisting that I should want to smell like all these “other” scents? All I really want is to just smell not stinky. Is that too much to ask? All I’m really looking for is the opportunity to smell less like a woman on a week long survival hike through Death Valley and more like the boring, average, I survived a day with two toddlers, girl that I am.

Secret brand even suggests that I use my deodorant to “express myself”, I too can be “fresh and fabulous” and with scents named “va va vanilla”  and “ooh la la lavender” who’s to say they are wrong? Degree has some hilarious versions themselves. Not to be outdone by Secret they offer “Sexy Intrigue” I’m pretty sure this one smells exactly like a vagina, but they don’t come right out and say that, I’m totally paraphrasing. Listen up folks, i don’t want my deodorant to get me a date or tell my life story, I just want it to stop the stink.

The whole thing reminds me of the scene in Monsters Inc. Where Mike asks Sully if he has any “Odorant” like wet dog or smelly garbage. Its funny because the monsters WANT to smell like something other than themselves. Its funny because it is the opposite of what a human would want, which is to just NOT smell. See? That is the schtick, and if the schtick is going to work, and make an audience laugh, it is because we all agree that deodorant should make you NOT smell and odorant should make you smell.

So I put to you, dear manufacturers of deodorants, to either make a product that doesn’t smell or rename your product “ODORANT” in order to be more accurate and save us all the trouble of trying to sort out which craptastic odor we want to smell like today. The following is a list of real deodorant scents that I would prefer not to wear and/or have anyone think that this is my natural scent:

  • Baby powder or anything with powder in the title- I am not a baby and if I wanted to smell like a baby’s rump I’d go rub one on my pit before I would buy a shotty imitation. I’m not kidding, no one WANTS to smell like a baby, unless you are a baby. And they don’t need deodorant
  • Fruit salad- this one goes by lots of names in the deodorant kingdom, but sufficed to say it is all the same, they all make you smell like a day old fruit salad that someone forgot was on the picnic table and sat out for 24 hrs. One is even called “truth or Pear”. I’ll take truth, because it has to smell better than ripe freaking pear. I want to smell good, not like an industrial house cleanser
  • Musk- Look, if it came out of a ferret’s rear end I don’t want to smell like it. Or quite possibly I already do and this is why I am using your product, you know, to avoid this smell not to encourage it
  • Fresh Linen also sometimes called cotton fresh, or pretty much anything that has some descriptor of clothes or sheets in the title- Hm… what is this one anyway? Is this just the same scent Tide uses but in a stick form? Is it the smell of the cotton plant before processing? Why does anyone want to smell like clothes? I’m so confused. It does however, get the gold standard of usually being the least offensive of all the possible scents. So you go fresh linen!
  • Energy- FYI, this is not a smell, energy does not have a smell, don’t make me post the definition of energy; and this weird fruit/flower/musk combo you “think” energy smells like is not it, it just isn’t. Energy might smell like BO, I could buy into that, you burn energy and you sweat and sweat smells like BO, but I’m here to tell you, I bought the deodorant to get rid of the BO, not to accentuate it
  • Flowers- I don’t know a single solitary woman who really wants to smell like a bunch of flowers. Really? Maybe someone’s grandmother or one of the chicks from Little House on the Prairie, but I guarantee you the only reason a woman buys a floral scent is the others scents scare or confuse her. This scent also becomes tricky for women wearing perfume. Floral deodorant goes with no perfume ever in the history of either product. Do us all a favor and just stop making them, if not for the confused women who use it, then for the rest of us who have to smell the weird concoction of her perfume, deodorant, body spray, lotion, douche combo. Which I promise is never good
  • Food- I don’t want to smell like a cookie or a holiday. Vanilla? Cinnamon? Are you joking? The last thing I need to smell all day is something that reminds me I really want to be eating cookies and cupcakes. Shame on you. Just because something smells good in the real world doesn’t mean anyone wants to smell it in their moist dank armpit
  • Indescribable scents you have to smell to believe but you have to buy to smell, so good luck with that- This includes such gems as “Summer Strength” I didn’t know it was strong and I am curious what strength smells like, especially the strength of a season which lets be honest, doesn’t have the ability to have strength… so… hm…What I can tell you is my husband is strong but if he were to go about on a Summer’s day showing me his strength, the odor he would generate is not something I would want and I certainly wouldn’t want to pay for it

So, to sum up, I would like you to create a deodorant that actually does what it is supposed to do without introducing a new even more offensive scent into the mix of odorology I already have going on. I would also like you to stop insulting me with your advertising and “semantics” that imply my whole life will get better if I use your product, or that your product has the ability to change my whole outlook. (that’s right I’m looking at you “Soothing/Calming” Secret brand)

You are deodorant. I don’t need, nor do I want, you to solve my life problems or anxiety related issues. I just want you to help me smell less like a frog’s bottom. Is that too much to ask?

Sincerely Yours,

Girl who sweats, but doesn’t want anyone to know that I do. Lord forbid people find out my body works the way it was intended to.

P.S. I just found out one of the Secret versions sponsors Oprah’s Life Class!!! OMG OMG! I am so buying that one! I don’t care if it smells like the inside of a musty old Bible or Oprah’s dog’s anal glands, that is the scent for me. If Oprah allows it to give her money, then you can just stop looking elsewhere, it is clearly the deodorant winner.

P.P.S. For those who missed sarcasm class, no it isn’t. Do not buy a deodorant based on which TV show it gives money too. Please. No Seriously, please.

Peace

I feel like I have turned a corner or flipped some internal switch this week. Maybe it is a result of certain things being checked off the to do list, or other things slowly being resolved, but perhaps it is at least in part due to this blog and all my dedicated effort to change my life and live intentionally. Whatever the cause, whatever the reason, I feel like I can feel “it” working, like effervescent bubbles . My mind has calmed down, my worries have lightened, and my twitchy, manic, crazy eye has lessened. I haven’t lost my cool with my boys, kids or dogs. I’ve made new projects and felt inspired. In short, I just feel good.

Feeling good has given me perspective on my journey and where I am in life. A perspective I wasn’t capable of two months ago. Life is not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. And if I am at all honest with myself, I’m not sure what perfect would be anyway. It is funny that no matter how far you get in life, what you achieve, what you obtain, or who stands with you, it never feels like you are done or that everything is perfect. Even people with loads of money still feel lost or are searching for a better way to live (i.e. Oprah). But I think what is important to remember is what you do have, what you managed to bring into the world and the lives of those around you, what you created that has been part of all your goals or dreams. You know the simple ones you had as a kid or a wide eyed high school graduate when you thought anything was possible.

When I was younger my dreams were not all that big and my goals were fairly simple. I wanted to fall in love with an amazing man I could share my life with and have children with. Someone who wanted to be a father and husband, and would be funny and silly. I didn’t have a father growing up and my mother seemed adrift without a partner. I always felt she would be happier if she wasn’t so alone. So to a little girl without a man in her life, a man seemed like a pretty big dream or goal.

I also wanted to have two little boys. I grew up with two sisters, so I was pretty sure I didn’t want that drama around and I wasn’t a girly girl anyway. Boys seemed like more fun and easier. I pictured myself with two little boys playing outside in bare feet all muddy surrounded by a bunch of dogs.

And the last thing this little girl Wendy dreamed about was having horses. I wanted to own horses on my property so I could ride them everyday. I had dreams about their big heads sticking in my kitchen window for apples and riding them during sunsets and on freshly fallen snow when the only sound to be heard are their hooves crunching through the crusty blanket. I could envision their warm breath visible in the cold air, my cheeks pink from the frost. I wanted horses. I wanted them in my yard.

When I was young I didn’t think I wanted loads of money, sure I knew money was important but I didn’t have dreams of being ridiculously rich, just not having to worry about money would be enough. As a family we struggled with money growing up and all I cared about was that I didn’t have to struggle, not that I had lots of extra, ah the innocence of youth. :) When I was young I also didn’t dream about big houses, cars, boats, or other expensive toys. I didn’t think about exotic vacations or giant closets full of shoes. I just wanted to be happy surrounded by living things that made me feel good. Husband, kids, dogs, and horses.

Its funny how as a child I had a much better perspective about life than I ever did as an adult. My shift this week probably came after the realization that I had attained all my little girl goals- okay minus the I want to own my own lion secret dream.

I do have an amazing husband; and while lots of people don’t “get” us, or they think he is a bit odd, he truly is my partner in life and the most amazing husband and daddy I could ever ask for for me and my boys. He is silly and fair, honest and good. I could spend all day looking at his face. I get butterflies when I think about him, and I miss him when he goes away. He is, in a word, awesome. We don’t fight, we don’t carry baggage of our past, and we are the only couple I know who really seem to get each other. If I could wish for one thing for people I love, it would be to find a partner in life that they feel as good about as I feel about my husband.

jay 2

Children. I have two little boys, just like I envisioned. Two amazing little men that I can’t stop staring at in wonder that I made them and they are mine. Despite my little one’s recent medical issues and his rocky road of life, I wouldn’t change a thing about my boys. They bring so much to my life. It has been 3 weeks of no doctor visits for the little toe head; the reprieve has been such a  relief to my heart and mind, not to mention my pocket book. Just looking at his little face and knowing he is on the mend is worth more to me than any boat or motorcycle ever could be. They are often bare footed and often covered in mud, and I wouldn’t have them any other way.

Dogs. Man do we have dogs. If they weren’t all neutered boy dogs I’d swear they were out there multiplying. We have 5 big beautiful boys who love my children, listen most of the time, and keep my critter population under control. They patrol the yard, help build sand castles, alert us to snakes, and make me feel safe. They give kisses and loves when we need them, and smiles and laughter almost as if on cue. I can’t imagine a life not full of all my furry friends. So even though a dear friend remarked that coming to my house is like visiting the Bumpasses with all their redneck dogs, I don’t care. I wouldn’t be me without canines, and our lives wouldn’t have half as much happiness and love. Doubt me? Just a few weeks ago, I caught my oldest son wrapped around our oldest dog, a doberman, telling him he loved him and that “he was a good old puppy dog.” I love that my children will always know the love and humor of dogs.

xaven running

Horses. Okay we don’t have horses. But we do have over 5 acres of crossed fenced property just waiting for a barn and horses to show up. I will have them, oh yes I will. When the boys are a little older, and a little wiser, it will happen. We live in a horse community where more of our neighbors have them then don’t. Where I can see at least 5 horses just by looking out my front door. The properties are arranged with horse riding easements between lots and there is plenty of prairie and room to roam all around us.

IMG_1730

So something in me shifted and moved and I was finally able to see all the dreams I had had actually come true. While I was busy making other plans and worrying about the future, my now was actually the very picture of what I had always said I wanted. The only thing missing from it was me. In all my worrying and anxiety about money, medical, family, health, the FUTURE, I had taken myself out of the life I worked so hard to get. I couldn’t enjoy my now or what I already had because I hadn’t figured out the then of tomorrow. But every day this week, seriously everyday, I have felt so calm, so here, so now. I have really felt at ease and peaceful.

I’m not saying the journey is over, or that I am done. I suspect I will continue to move around in this new skin of comfort and I will ebb and flow between contentment and rip tides. I am sure there is another shoe out there just waiting to drop on me, I am sure there are still people who will create unnecessary drama for me, I am sure my “bad luck” hasn’t come to end. But I am equally sure that I have everything I need to create happiness and success. I have all I need to feel peaceful and Zen like. I have all the tools in my tool box to create the life I intentionally want. Sure maybe the main tool is just the ability to add more tools to my arsenal, but I’ll take it and run.

So call it gratitude for what I have, realization that I have met my core goals of life, or just a sense of accomplishment after 9 weeks of “searching for Zen” in every corner of the world/internet/music/movies/books/and people. I feel today, as I have all week, whole, complete, present, and at peace. And I’m here to tell you, in case you are still searching yourself, that it is possible, it is out there, it can happen, and it feels pretty damn good.

Favorite Now moment of the week: You can set up a swimming pool in September, and if you do, little boys will play in it. Sometimes with all their clothes on. :) card What I’m listening toPlease me Like You Want to by Ben Harper with Jack Johnson, this man has a beautiful soulful voice and lips you just want to kiss… or maybe that is just me…

What I’m reading: Izzy and Lenore By Jon Katz. I find it so ironic that a man whose name is Kats, writes so many books about dogs. I love dogs, and apparently so does Jon.

Inspirations from the Ether: Super cool climbing idea for the boys, but I think I’ll make mine a pirate ship :) Potential pictures to come later?

Bonus Video: Thinking of my childhood and  believing anything could happen

 

8 Things I’ve Done to Feel Better

It is easy to overlook the little things we do on a daily basis, or the unusual stuff we do less often, as unimportant or trivial. But often it is the sense of accomplishment from doing lots of little important things that can make you feel awesome and amazing. You don’t have to do something grand or make a giant gesture, all you really have to do is keep track of the really cool little things you do so you can look back and say, “Wow! I actually kind of rock!” So here is a short list of the things I managed to get done in the last few weeks. Its all small stuff, but once I wrote it down, I was pretty amazed at how much I’ve actually gotten done. And I felt a weird sense of pride and happiness.

  1. Trimmed dog nails. May not sound like an accomplishment but with 5 dogs, 4 paws each, 4 nails per paw, and some dew claws, that’s over 80 nails trimmed. Not too shabby.
  2. Cleaned my kitchen trash can. If you haven’t done this to your own, you really should. It doesn’t take very long and it makes you feel good just knowing your trash has a clean place to go to when it dies. Seriously, I kept going back to marvel at it.
  3. Cleaned my bedroom closet. Wow, that would be the before and after pictures that probably frightened you at the beginning of this article. Our house is small, our closets are smaller. So it was a mess and a job to get that done, but now I can actually find things. I got rid of a lot of clothes including maternity wear and my “fat” clothes. Because I am proud to say I finally fit in my pre-pregnancy clothes. Whew! And before my son’s 2nd birthday even! Woo hoo! Go me!
  4. Changed my shower curtains. Call me wasteful, but sometimes you just have to throw shower liners away. There is no amount of cleaning product that is going to help that petri dish. So after 2 years, I decided the liner had more than paid its dues and I bought a new one. $5 later and I feel fresh as a daisy taking a shower.
  5. Changed hepa filters. We have hepa filters in every bedroom and I am notoriously bad about not changing them and convincing myself that the change schedule suggested by the manufacturer is just a scheme to make you spend more money. But since I finally had a little money in my pocket, and my youngest son has lung issues, it felt good to change the filters and feel like I’d really improved his quality of sleep life.
  6. Steam Cleaned my carpets. We aren’t the dirtiest people in the world, but with 5 dogs and 2 toddlers, plus living in a giant sand box, we generate lots of dirt inside the house. My children also regularly eat off the floor so I like to clean the carpet as much as possible. Nothing feels better than clean carpets.
  7. Went for my yearly physical. Not the girl doctor, just the regular doctor. I think it is really important to monitor your health, especially when you have children and they are dependent on you living for a significant period of time. She is a great doctor who practices Eastern Medicine as well as Western and I love that she wrote me a script for a vacation and more sleep. Hilarious.
  8. Purged Toys. Purging toys is hard for me because what one child has outgrown another might still be playing with. And of course, once you pull out a never played with toy and stick it in a box, then it is automatically more interesting and the most important toy in the room. It took a week with a box sitting in my living room but I was finally able to get through all the toys and get the box out to the garage. We will store it for awhile and I am hopeful we will sell our baby and toy stuff in the Spring. Simplify and make money. Win win.

I bet you can make a list  of things you have already done. And if you can’t, then make a list of things you’d like to do. Don’t pick big stuff, like reorganize the garage. Sure you will feel great, and it needs to be done, but the goal of this is to find the accomplishment and happiness in the little things. Think cleaning out your wallet, finding the bottom of your laundry basket, or organizing a shelf.  Heck, running a duster over a shelf makes me happy.

card