Waste Not Want Not

 Photo Credit:  Tom's of Maine

Photo Credit: Tom's of Maine

I started using my daughter's deodorant. More accurately - the deodorant we bought for her that she won't wear because she doesn't like the smell. It's from Tom's of Maine and billed as "natural Wicked Cool deodorant for girls!" and the scent is "summer fun." It seemed like the perfect choice for Zeca who worries about the chemicals in most deodorants and she's a tween so we assumed that "wicked cool" deodorant would appeal to her. Perhaps it does but "summer fun" does not. 

The Wicked Cool deodorant sat unused in the bathroom closet for weeks until I ran out of deodorant a few days ago. I could have used Luisa's until I went to the store but my mother's voice popped into my head, "Waste not, want not." I nodded to myself and remembered the Wicked Cool deodorant.

I'm not sure what I imagined "summer fun" might smell like - maybe something light and fresh or maybe coconut - but "summer fun" smells like an artificially flavored popsicle from the ice cream truck that stains your mouth blue for days. It's as off-putting as an aggressively cheerful friend on a dreary day who says, "O.M.G. I KNOW WE'LL SEE A RAINBOW TODAY!" while humming the Muzak version of Break My Stride

It is awful and I immediately understood why Zeca hated it but I put it on anyway because deodorant is deodorant and I was channeling my mother's spartan nature.

The first day, I felt an overwhelming pride in Doing My Part, like I was a pioneer woman sacrificing myself to conserve winter rations. Smelling like I had fake fruit growing in my armpits was proof of my commitment! (To what, I'm not sure.)

The second day, my enthusiasm slipped and I began to channel my mother's martyrdom more than her wisdom. My thoughts ranged from "Somebody has to wear this godforsaken deodorant and I'm not going to be able to convince Miguel or Luisa to do it" to "Why me? Don't I already eat the grilled cheese crusts from the kids' sandwiches? Is there no end to what I must do for this family?"  By the end of the day, however, I had rallied - I would not let a wicked cool deodorant for girls turn me into a martyr!

Today - day three - I took off my shirt to shower and caught a whiff of myself. I did not smell like popsicles or fake fruit. I did not smell like anything anyone could remotely associate with summer fun. I smelled like a 25 year old hippie who'd been harvesting onions by hand in the hot sun for days.

As I scrubbed myself clean, I wondered what my mother would think. She was notoriously tough and always thought I was a little too much of a princess. Would she tell me to "suck it up?"

No, she wouldn't. She'd say, "Je-sus Christ girl, you stink." 

So, I am saying farewell to the wicked cool deodorant. Waste not, want not is good in theory but has its limits. In other words, sometimes sacrifice just stinks.