Hi all. I decided that it was time for me to actually write a story. To preface, it starts out pretty slow, but gathers steam. I will also use this opportunity to ask readers if they can recommend other stories that are similar to this one (genre: where a girlfriend babies her boyfriend). I also welcome all comments and critiques. Enjoy!
A Man By Any Other Name Would Smell So Sweet
Chapter 1: First Date
Daniel tried once more to calm his nerves. It was only a date; he had been on tons of these before. Besides, he told himself, it wasn’t as if this was his first time chatting with Jessica. They had met on match.com, and had already spent two weeks chatting online and getting to know one another better. Daniel though was enthralled from the first minute. He chuckled to himself remembering her first message: “Let me stop you there before you try a hackneyed pickup line- besides why should you try to pick me ‘up’ when I would much rather you go ‘down’ on me…”
He loved her vulgarity and the way in which she played with social norms. He loved everything about her. Her auburn hair, the whimsical look in her ghostly grey-blue eyes and her penchant for baby-doll dresses. There again was the mystifying quality about Jessica. She could wear a baby-doll dress and still look powerful and in-control.
Jessica had given him specific instructions about what to wear on this date. It was a fancy restaurant, she told him, but not too fancy. It wasn’t quite blazer fare, but a button-down wouldn’t suffice. When Daniel expressed confusion, she quickly added, “Okay. You are going to wear a pair of black slacks with a light blue v-neck sweater and brown boat shoes.”
“As you wishhhhhh,” he typed, referencing The Princess Bride, which they had recently discovered was each other’s favorite movie.
Daniel knew he needed to leave soon in order to arrive on time for the date. But as he checked himself in the mirror one last time, he reached into the cabinet for a bottle of Johnson’s baby powder. He poured some into his hand and smoothed it out all over his neck. He took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet fragrance, and imagined Jessica. The scent made it so much easier to imagine her in his fantasy, rubbing the powder gently onto his belly and crotch and fitting him lovingly and snugly into a crisp Pampers disposable diaper. He glanced once more at the mirror. He was ready.
Jessica spotted Daniel seated across the restaurant, with his back facing her. He was wearing the outfit she had requested, which matched his dark brown hair and hazel eyes nicely. “On time,” she thought, “points for him.” Her ex-boyfriend was always running late. She understood that he was a busy man, but you just don’t make a woman wait. She hesitated briefly, considering how to make her entrance. Even though it was the first date, she already felt very close to Daniel, so she opted to sneak up behind him and give him a hug from behind. She approached him, reached over his shoulders, and paused.
“You smell like a baby,” she remarked. “Why are you wearing baby powder?”
Daniel panicked slightly. He turned to face Jessica and tried to compose himself, fearful that she could see right through him. He had practiced a response to such a question. He was always careful to prepare for such an eventuality.
“Oh. I wear a gold chain necklace, and it occasionally starts chafing, so the baby powder helps.” He cursed himself for calling it “baby powder;” he should have just called it “powder.” That would have been the normal thing to do. Would she believe him? Damn those grey-blue eyes and their mystical powers of divination.
“Okay,” she said, sitting down causally opposite Daniel, “that scent just reminds me so much of when I used to baby-sit toddlers.” Daniel was relieved. He took a sip of water and breathed deeply. Her mention of babysitting though set his fantasies into overdrive and he couldn’t help himself.
“Are you a good babysitter?” Crap, he thought, I said, “Are,” but I should have said, “Were.” However, his brief flight into another nightmare scenario was cut short this time, as Jessica casually responded, “Oh. I’m the best babysitter. Kids love me but I am also a strict disciplinarian.”
The date went smoothly from that point on. They talked about all matter of things, touching on a shared hatred of fish, alien movies, and intellectual arrogance. Jessica even let slip a story about her ex, a forbidden topic on first dates, but Daniel seemed unperturbed. Rather than getting jealous, he actually listened and supported her point of view. A rare find, she thought.
Chapter 2: Second Date
They agreed that the second date would be more causal. Daniel suggested a walk in the local park followed by some frozen yogurt, and Jessica readily agreed. Daniel did not even hesitate before applying a little baby powder, convinced that she would not give it a second thought this time. They met in the park by the fountain and this time Daniel went in for the hug. Jessica retreated however, looking a little disgusted.
“Honestly, just like a little baby, she said.”
Daniel forced a fake chuckle and asked, “Is that a bad thing?” watching his fantasies evaporate before his eyes.
“You should smell like a man, not a baby,” she replied. "Why don’t we go pick you out a nice cologne? "Daniel tried to hide it but he looked visibly disappointed. Jessica picked up on his mood and added, “Don’t worry- I promise I’m not one of those girls who enters a mall and then never leaves. Two hours max and then we will leave, I promise.” Daniel was again forced to pretend that this cheered him up.
So instead of walking in the park, they walked to the local mall. As they made their way towards the shop that sold perfume and cologne, they passed a drug store, with a stack of diapers visible through the window. Daniel bent down, pretending to tie his shoelaces, tyring to take in the image for as long as possible, and then the overwhelming scents of cheap perfume reached his nostrils, and he reluctantly hurried forward.
All things considered, the date was still very successful. Jessica had Daniel try-on almost every cologne in the shop before finding one that she liked. She then picked out two perfumes for herself and let Daniel decide which he liked better. At the checkout, he offered to pay, but she insisted that it was a gift for him and that now he would be able to buy a perfume for her that she would enjoy. Daniel breathed in the sweltering musk of the cologne. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t baby-powder. Jessica claimed that she could perceive citrus and woody notes, but Daniel wasn’t convinced. He resigned himself to the fact that Jessica had rejected his fantasy. He would keep seeing her nonetheless. She was an amazing woman and well, fantasies sometimes had to remain fantasies.
Chapter 3: Third Date
Jessica was busy with work the next week, and had to cancel their planned date. The same thing happened again the next week. Jessica assured him that she really did want to see him and was not in the least trying to avoid him, but Daniel still felt slightly insecure. He was overjoyed therefore when she called in the middle of the day to see if he would like to grab a quick lunch. He rushed out of the office, only briefly noting to himself that he was again wearing baby powder and knowing that Jessica would inevitably comment on it. He had actually intended to wear the cologne she bought him on their next date, but it was in a drawer at home.
Just as he predicted, Jessica noticed. Only this time she actually seemed kind of angry, and started ranting:
“I don’t get it. I buy you nice cologne but you still prefer to smell like baby powder. How does it not bother you that people think you smell like a baby?”
He tried to interject and to explain that the cologne she bought was at his house and she had called out of the blue, but Jessica didn’t want to hear it. Daniel was bewildered at Jessica’s reaction. It’s not about the scent, he told himself. Jessica is hurt because she thinks that I don’t value her opinions. “Jessica, I’m sorry, he said. It’s not that I don’t value your opinion. No one else’ opinion matters more.”
“It’s not my opinion, Daniel, it’s a fact, Jessica responded. You smell like an infant. Look- I’m happy to change your diaper and feed you a ba-ba, but I don’t want to date a baby. I want to date a man,” and if you smell like baby-powder, then I just can’t see you as anything other than a baby."
Daniel tried to devise a response, but his head was swimming. She said that she is happy to change my diaper and feed me a baby bottle, he thought. Of course, she said it rather snidely, and it was accompanied with what sounded as if she were threatening to break up with him. He would have to focus on the latter point first. But before he had a chance to say anything she had finished her sandwich and was on her feet.
“Sorry I have to get back to the office like 5 minutes ago. We will talk later.”
As Jessica left the diner, she considered her conduct. He’ll definitely get the message, she thought. Everything she had done had been well calculated. Calling during the middle of the day, insulting him. In her previous relationship, she had tried to change her boyfriend. He was useless around the house and rude towards her friends, and she had to repeatedly rebuke him. He would of course apologize, and then an hour later, would revert to the same habits. Jessica had learned from that relationship that you couldn’t change people in less they wanted to change. Jessica liked Daniel but he wasn’t yet a real man. But he could be trained to be, as long as she made strategic moves. Calling him in the middle of the day was a strategic move. She assumed that he would be wearing baby powder, because he did not seem to care what other people thought about him. Maybe part of her admired that self-confidence…
But she still needed a real man. So, she compared him to a baby and left before he had a chance to respond. By cutting the lunch short, she was sure that the message would have longer to sink in. She could imagine him right now at the office: bossing others around and stroking his beard, doing things that men do in order to feel manly.
It worked perfectly too! When they met up after work the next day, he wore cologne. It may have just been in her head, but Jessica could have sworn that Daniel also spoke in a deeper voice and a more confident manner. Her plan was working.
–to be continued