Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I’d like to make it clear that the boy never actually smelled. But, I was well aware that it would not be long until the malodorous aroma that accompanies boys of a certain age would take up residence in our home. It was evident to me that a nice hot, soapy shower must become a regular part of the boy’s life. And so I began Phase 1 of my No Aroma campaign.

I encouraged the showering. The boy still considered daily showers to be optional. I pleaded and begged for the shower. The boy said showers were a form of punishment. I insisted on the shower. The boy said, “I just took one two days ago!” I raised my voice. The boy huffed and rolled his eyeballs.

But then the boy came home from school with the paper that had to be signed by a parent. The school was going to show the boy a special movie about growing up.

When the boy arrived home from school the following week, his backpack hit the floor with a thud. The door slammed a bit harder than usual. The boy thrust a yellow piece of paper at me.

“How was school?” I lovingly inquired to the boy.

“WELL! I had to watch that special movie today!” he sniped back.

“Oh……I see….” I answered in my careful, suddenly a tiny bit panicked voice. “And how did that go…..?”

“WELL….!” barked the perturbed boy. “You’ll be happy to know that, APPARENTLY…..I AM supposed to take a shower every day!”

Phase 1 of my No Aroma campaign was complete. On to Phase 2.

I began to read the yellow “Growing Up” paper the boy had given me.

“Hey boy! It says here that boys your age can start to use deodorant. Maybe we should get you some.”

“NO.” came very quickly from the boy’s mouth.

The teenager yelled from across the room, “Yeah boy, you should get some Old Spice and then you can be just like that guy from the commercial who takes a shower and then has diamonds on a boat and ends up riding a horse backwards. Yeah, boy, you could be that manly if only you got some deodorant!”

The boy turned to me and stated emphatically, “No. Deodorant.”

They next day I took the boy to the store to buy deodorant.

I encouraged the deodorant. The boy wasn’t interested. I recommended a scent. The boy found excuses. I insisted on the deodorant. The boy began the tedious task of smelling every one.

It was after he had sniffed more deodorants than I would ever admit, that the boy’s eyes lit up. “Well the teenager just might get her manly man after all!”

I looked down to see the boy holding a tube of Old Spice.

“So boy, you’ve decided that you like Old Spice after all?”

“Oh, I don’t care if it’s Old Spice or not….it’s the name of this scent that I like. If you’re gonna make me do this deodorant thing, then I’m gonna do it with style.”

The boy applied his new deodorant at home and walked up to the teenager. “How do you like me now?” he suavely purred to her.

“Did you get Old Spice? Cuz….I can sure smell something! What kind did you get?” the teenager asked.

The boy pulled his deodorant out of his pocket and held it up for the teenager to see. “It’s Swagger, baby. My new deodorant is called Swagger. Oh yeah, I got me some Swagger.”

Phase 2 of my No Aroma campaign was now complete.

Now on to Phase 3. How to get the smell of Swagger out of my house.

Check This Out!

The Slightly Exaggerated family recently watched The Class, a French movie about a passionate French teacher trying to make a difference teaching at a school in a rough Paris neighborhood. Featuring real students instead of actors, this movie is based on a novel by Francois Begaudeau that was adapted from his real life experiences. We've also watched, The Street Stops Here, a profile of the legendary high school basketball coach Bob Hurley, Sr. A coach with over 900 wins, Hurley coaches at the struggling, inner city St. Anthony High School. While the basketball team is nationally ranked every year, the school has no gym. While the basketball team tries to win yet another state championship, the school tries desperately to raise enough money to stay open yet another year. Both movies are full of swagger, and both are great stories. Check them out.


Anonymous said...

Every boy needs a little swagger! Funny!

~amy~ said...

::swagger:: now that's hilarious!

teresa said...

Great, love it.... I'm going to have "my boy" read it... he's well into his smellen years and still resist phase 1 and 2!!!!