Monday, December 14, 2015
Discontinued: A Personal Tragedy
Every year, I find myself standing in Bath and Body Works at least one time per Christmas season . . . and every year, I'm reminded of this story . . . .
When my husband and I first started to get to know each other, one of our favorite dates was to grab some dinner and then go to the mall. Believe it or not, he seemed to enjoy browsing through stores and people watching as much as I did (of course, seventeen years later—or should I say seventeen years OLDER—we both see the mall as a big ol’ chore).
I used to drag that poor boy into Bath and Body Works. Now, I could never convince him to use any of the men’s body scents (give him a big bar of Coast and he’s happy), but he did find a hand soap that he really liked. He bought the obligatory four or six or whatever the deal was, and we went on our way. He commented to me a few times that he liked having a fresh-scented soap at his kitchen and bathroom sinks. Before long, he was ready to re-stock.
When we got to the store, we couldn’t find his new favorite, and the sales girl told us that that scent had been discontinued. I thanked her, and when I happened to glance at his face, his mouth was making a slightly fishy impression.
“W . . . W . . .Whaaaaat? WHY? Why would they discontinue that soap?”
Oooooh, right. I briefly forgot the impact that this must have on his gender. It was his first time. I mean, I had had years of hearing the word discontinued. Bath and Body discontinued several of my favorite scents. Ultima II discontinued my lipstick. (Does Ultima II even exist anymore?) Gap discontinued my bra. Snuggle discontinued my fabric softener. And—this one still hurts—Clinique discontinued my eyeliner. My wedding day eyeliner. The perfect brown that had just enough of a hint of pinky red to make my eyes look wide and rested and glowing and not in a pinky red that suggested that I had conjunctivitis. (Of course, I was 26 at the time, so I realize that a lot of this was less about cosmetics and more about Mother Nature still smiling at me and giving me things like collagen and invisible pores.)
So back to my man. He was so miffed that I had introduced him to the joys of having a soap that scented a whole room, and now it was gone. After that incident, he was done. He’ll still tag along with me when I go there to load up on candles and room spray and hand soaps, but as far as he’s concerned, “Bath and Body, you are dead to me.”
Merry Christmas and happy shopping, everyone. Here's hoping that none of your stuff will be discontinued this season!