When it comes to shopping with my wife, my level of voluntary participation can be summed up in the old Meat Loaf song "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"
My "But I Won't Do That" list includes visiting such stores as The Christmas Tree Shop, Bed Bath and Beyond, Crabtree & Evelyn …
Oh, and Victoria's Secret. It's not that I mind the products or the display there, it's more that after a man reaches a certain point in life, he's just going to hurt himself if overly exposed to such wares.
Another store I would only enter at gunpoint is Yankee Candle, where they serve up scents called Pink Blush, Midnight Jasmine, Lotus Water and Fluffy Towels.
Now Yankee Candle is attempting to attract the manly man market by offering such aromas as Riding Mower (cut grass), First Down (leather), Man Town (woods and musk) and 2 X 4 (sawdust).
I can't say I'm tempted. I mean for the price of the Riding Mower candle ($27.99), I'd just as soon go out into the garage and snort grass clippings off the Lawn Boy.
That said, I think there are candle aromas capable of attracting male nose buds beyond what Yankee Candle is offering. Here are a few possibilities:
Frat Party: This combination of stale beer, illegal smoke, misguided urine, barf, and inadequate cleaning products will actually make you queasy.
Simmering Bacon: One of the few smells that can make a man's nose water.
Gasoline Fumes: Gas pumping's guilty pleasure.
Cigar Bar: Male bonding without the carcinogens.
Carbon Paper: I love the smell of carbon paper in the morning … it smells like … reproduction.
New Wife Smell: Kind of like a new car smell only it doesn't go away when you open the windows.
Old Girlfriend Smell: Obviously, this would be a special order, and discretion would have to be guaranteed.
Fenway Park: Captures 100 years of accumulated frustration, disappointment, humiliation and, yes, finally, redemption.
Football Tailgate: The flavored smoke of a 1,000 grills spewing secret rib sauce.
Emergency Room: Nothing transports a man back to his childhood like this antiseptic odor.
Laundry Basket: Can be ordered in three fragrances: clean, dirty, and (sniff, sniff) I can wear this again.