I like to be free from unpleasant odor. It's true. My (nearly) daily shower routine and complete lack of exercise are a living testament to my desire to avoid smelling like an actual human being. I also like other things that smell good. Flowers, cookies, clean laundry, and Glade Plug-In Air Fresheners. These all get a high-five in my book.
Why it does not occur to me that I, too, can not only be free from unpleasant odor but that I can actually smell delicious is a mystery.
While packing up the bathroom in preparation for moving just over a year ago I discovered a veritable cornucopia of body sprays under my sink. Over the years I'd amassed at least 9 bottles and I judged the oldest to be at least 10 years old. Some were nearly full and some were more than half-empty but it got me thinking, "Have I EVER finished up and thrown away an entire bottle of body spray?" I could not conclusively answer in the affirmative.
I guess I thought of body spray as something to be saved for a special occasion so it wasn't part of my daily routine. I just kept collecting and collecting them (almost all were given to me as gifts) and never using them. Sure, a new scent would keep me interested for a week or two then I'd forget about it and never use it again. They were all dusty but seemed otherwise unharmed by the years of neglectful storage.
When we moved I followed my traditional pattern:
Me (packing the first box): Yay! Moving and packing rocks! An opportunity to go through all my junk! I'm not moving a single item that I don't intend to keep! I will go through every single item that I own and decide its fate!
*three boxes later*
Me (dejectedly): Moving and packing sucks. This is so much work without going through every single item I own and deciding its fate. (brightening) I know! I simply will move all my junk and when I unpack it in the new house I will go through every single item I own and decide its fate!
*one move later*
Me (unpacking the first box): Ugh. I'm so tired from moving and there are boxes everywhere. I need to clear some space so I can function. I don't have time to go through every single item I own and decide its fate. I'll just find a spot for this stuff and later when I have time I will go through this cupboard and decide the fate of these items.
*10 years later*
Me: How the heck did I end up with 9 partially used bottles of body spray? I should throw this out.
It was at this point that I decided to spare the lives of these brave body sprays and begin to use them for their intended purpose. To make me smell delicious.
It wasn't easy. Some days I forgot to spritz. Some days I was too tired. If I missed a day I wanted to quit because I was so discouraged. I could be a perfect spritzer for a week and still not see any change in the level of liquid in the bottle. I seemed to reach a plateau and I threw my hands in the air and shouted to the heavens, "I'm trying so hard and you are not cooperating! I'm going to throw you all away right now!" But then reason returned and I would began again the next day, fresh and eager.
I sought out support groups on the internet and was frustrated by the lack of people going through what I was experiencing. I realized that I needed to be the change I was seeking. Maybe there was someone just like me out there, struggling with unused body spray.
Eventually, silently and almost imperceptibly, a change happened. It took discipline and dedicated effort but I did it. I finished one bottle. I remember it well. It wasn't a full-size bottle, just a little one that came in a gift pack at Christmas many years ago. It was almost a shock that morning when I spritz, spritz, sprit... hold on... nothing is coming out. THIS BOTTLE IS EMPTY! *cue Hallelujah music* If I can knock down one tiny bottle of Bath and Body Works Sweat-Pea Body Spritz, I can do anything! Watch out world! Here I come! Who knows what is next? The half-empty Warm Vanilla Sugar? Black Raspberry and White Tea with matching body cream? The three ancient and nearly full bottles of Cucumber Melon?!
Because I want to be accountable I'm reporting today I've managed to rid myself of 6 of the original 9 bottles. It's taken a whole year but I've taken them out and kept them out. I like to think of it more of a gradual lifestyle change rather than a gigantic purge.
Don't get me wrong I LOVE smelling nice. Especially around the holidays. And I know body spray is a popular gift. It's my goal to be down to one bottle left by Christmas so that when temptation comes, gift-wrapped in crinkly cellophane, I can confidently accept it.
Because I know... I can do it.