Jessica, Namine, and I were at the mall, doing some shopping, window and otherwise. I could do the typical guy thing and say they dragged me into Bath & Body Works, but it wouldn’t be true.

As we entered the store, I was the caboose. This was simply because it was the easiest way, as Jessica led the way, to keep us all in single file — BBW has narrow corridors for people, to say nothing of a wheelchair — as well as to keep Namine between us in a crowded store.

As we walked around, I’m sure I appeared to be the poor sap forced to accompany a family of girls in a girly-smelling place. Certainly there were other families in the store, the husbands and fathers of which who had refused to enter and waited, some patiently and some not, for their females to return.

When one particular employee offered us some samples to smell. She offered to all three of us, but she justified her offering to me: “They’re not girly smells, I promise. They’re, um, they’re just nice.”

I was amused. I have no problem sampling “girly” smells; I’ll sample pretty much everything BBW has to offer, liking some and disliking others. I do not, however, acknowledge the notion of gendering products. I enjoy the smells I enjoy, as anyone ought.

When Jessica was trying to pick out some body sprays, I picked up one whose name sounded like I would enjoy its smell. Her hands were full, so I used the store-provided sample bottle and sprayed my wrist. I rubbed my wrists together and smelled one, offering the other to Jessica. She smelled it, and we both agreed that it was a good smell, so we added it to the shopping bag.

During all this, I caught a glance from one of the store employees. She looked at me like I had sprouted a third eye. Jessica, on the other hand, thought nothing of it. There is a mentality, a certain viewpoint that insists men can only like and do certain things, or they are not men. Well, this particular tweet echoes my thoughts. (Sorry about the profanity, if that sort of thing offends you.)

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