Wherein I was ridiculed at Bath and Body Works

My sister gave me a Bath & Body Works gift card in December, a sweet gesture that read Thank You For Hosting Christmas and Buy Yourself Some Decent Hand Soap. I buy cheapo 99¢ soap at Kroger because I can’t afford Sweet Apple Pie with Cinnamon and Vanilla for $10 an ounce when my boys refuse to pump fewer than 20 times per hand wash.

Still, I was thankful for the card and finally wandered into the store yesterday to buy myself something.

Even though the overall look of Bath & Body Works is just as I remembered it from the late 90s, all the scents were unfamiliar. No Country Apple, no Sun-Ripen Raspberry.  I stopped shopping there when I decided I didn’t want to smell like fruit anymore. When I got married I upgraded to perfume, and now I’m so fancy that I wear parfum.

I outed myself – and my age – in the first five seconds.

“Hi there! Welcome to Bath and Body!” A cheerful 17-year-old employee bounced in front of me. “Can I help you find something?”

“I dunno,” I said. “I haven’t been in here since I was in college.”

“HA!” she roared. “Yeah, it’s been a long time then and we’ve got lots of new stuff.”

“Yeah, it’s been a while.”  I gave her a half-grin.

“What scent did you used to wear?” she smiled with her perfect teeth and size zero waist.

“I don’t remember. Limeade, I think.”

“Yeah, that must have been a long time ago ’cause I’ve never heard of that.”

Then I snatched her up by her long, blonde ponytail and put her in a headlock.

(Not really, but almost.)

“Well look around and if you need help, let me know.”  She turned on her heel and bounced off to another customer.

She might as well have said I’ll go around with you, Me-maw, and read all the labels to you real slow like.

I took gentle whiffs of everything and quickly became overwhelmed. B&BW doesn’t smell exclusively like fruit anymore, but I am so far out of the body lotion circle that choosing one thing was going to be hard. I finally wandered to the corner of the store, and it was there by the stress relief products that the girl revisited me.

“OMG, that stuff is sooooo good. We have soooooo many women who swear by our stress relief line,” she smiled and tilted her head to a 45-degree angle.

“Yeah, we get stressed as we get older.”

“Haha! You’re soooo funny!” she laughed. “You’ll totally like this then. I swear to God it’s soooooo good. I always get it for my mom.

Then I drop-kicked her right there in front of the Eucalyptus Spearmint Body Lotion.

(Not really, but almost.)


“No problem!” She flung her ponytail around and bounced away.

I ended up buying a bottle of Lavender Vanilla Aromatherapy Lotion because suddenly I was feeling very stressed. At the register, she made small talk, which I ignored, and handed me the receipt with my bag.

“I’ve included a coupon for your next trip in,” she smiled, “but you’ll have to come back sooner than 20 years.

Then I punched her in the teeth and gave her the finger.

(Not really, but almost.)

So here it is, the first Bath & Body Works product I’ve purchased since Y2K.

Lavender Vanilla

I am looking forward to calm feelings and better sleep. God knows at my age I need it.

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