January 28, 2022

Yesterday I went where no man should ever have to go!  The things I saw should never be seen by a straight guy from the Midwest.   I am only sharing it now as self prescribed therapy in hopes that these words will bring me healing.

I falter when I tell you….I entered and was held captive for almost an hour in a place called “Bath & Body Works” honestly I thought it was some kind of a plumbing supply store.  I followed a friend into the store like a lamb going to slaughter.  We were greeted by a cheery fluffy lady in her 30s handing out shopping bags with the zeal of a kindergarten Christmas party.  She was quite pretty anyway but her enthusiasm made her magnetic.  The bags were strong black knit and looked like they came from a bondage movie. 

Half way in I realized that of the 50 plus patrons inside only 3 of us stood up to pee.  The other two must have been there before because even though there was no mandate, they were wearing masks.   I immediately felt compelled to also hide my identity and started searching for a medical covering.  What if there was a fire and a TV news truck showed up and caught me on video leaving the store?

I began to panic as I could literally feel testosterone draining from my body.  I steadied myself against a counter as I searched for a corner without a mirror to stand in.  After a brief moment of near-faint light headedness, I pulled myself together.  “You can do this” I told myself  “I can hide my feelings long enough to get through this like a man.”

I decided to make it an espionage project and recon the surroundings.  I tightened my butt cheeks, tried to swing my hips a bit with shorter steps to fit in.  There were approximately 2 million bottles of hand soap.  All the same shape & size but every one had a different name.  Things like “Beautiful Day” “Sunshine & Lemons” “Figi White Sands”  “Bubbly Rose” & “Champagne Toast”.

There was a bottle for every fruit and flower and combination there of on the planet.  Like “Mango Watermelon” “Amazon Peach” and “Strawberry Orchid”.   This made me think that I should put in a suggestion for the home office to add at least a small men’s section where they could have titles like “Hound dog afternoon” “Pot Roast and Gravy”. “Big Screen Adventures” and “Hammer & Nails”.   Maybe something that smelled like a new truck or the scent of burning rubber on the asphalt.

They also had candles. Tons and tons of candles.  You would have thought that Thomas Edison had never invented the light bulb.   Everyone the same size and shape only the scent changed.   I watched one gleeful shopper open 50 candles in less than 5 minutes and stick her nose luxuriously into to every one like it was a corsage on prom night.  I thought I have to test that out but after 3 they all smelled alike to me. 

I have to admit it was pleasant to see the patrons having so much fun.  They were all smiles and energized.  My friend asked me if I wanted to get something.  I answered with a puzzled look and dilated eyes.  She responded with, you know for a gift.  I thought to myself, If I buy a gift for someone it is going to at least need a battery. 

I believe it was a good thing I was there.  It helps me better understand that I will never understand women.  The goal should be to find out what a woman wants and/or needs and give it to them without question.  It should always be wrapped or in a pretty bag with some kind of fluffy stuff around or on top of it.  Also no matter who told you to get it take full credit as if it was totally your own idea. 

All kidding aside, this experience just validates this quote from my book ‘The Reluctant Bachelor’ available on Amazon. 

“God makes each woman with her own special beauty and fragrance. It is a happy man who learns to nurture that bouquet and enjoy the beauty she brings to his life.” 

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