I’ve never been a particularly sweaty person.
I mean, I’m no delicate flower or anything. Believe you me, I’ve dampened the underside of a bra. I’ve generated an ample amount of flop sweat before a first date. I’ve felt a serious prickling in the pits while walking up a short flight of stairs working out at the gym, as I so often don’t. But for the most part, I haven’t found myself in too many perspiration situations that an extra swipe of deodorant couldn’t resolve.
About six months ago, something in my body changed. Something gross. Something chemical. Something that caused every exertion, no matter how small, to bring forth a sheen of sticky, smelly perspiration. And I’m talking EVERY exertion:
• Ran to the mailbox? Drenched in sweat.
• Hauled out the trash? Drenched in sweat.
• Applied a tricky eyeliner? Drenched in sweat.
• Sat on the couch in my underwear while watching daytime television and eating a McRib? Drenched in sweat.
I’m sure you get the idea.
At first I was confused and disgusted by my body’s sudden decision to go from Soft & Dri to Damp & Nasty. I tried everything I possibly could to mitigate this new and clammy state of existence — different deodorants, 100% cotton underwear, sitting motionless for 10 hours on top of an air conditioning vent — but nothing worked with any consistency. The whole situation had me down, out, and on the verge of eating ten more McRibs, when it suddenly came to me:
This was just another symptom of The Oldening.
That’s right. The Oldening. I’ll wager that most of you are already acquainted with it — but if not, let me educate you.
It’s the phenomenon that makes bending down to pick something off of the floor The Most Dreaded Activity of Every Day.
It’s the phenomenon that causes your hair to fall out, your arteries to clog, and your bladder to say: “Screw this. I’m over it.”
It’s the phenomenon that turns every meal into a traumatic experience of barf-burps, heartburn and back-door emissions that smell like one or more of the following:
• Wet cat food
• Rotten eggs
• Fermented fish
• Corpse bloat
The Oldening can also bring with it a significant spike in perspiration — particularly if you’re overweight, out of shape, or on the brink of menopause. (Overweight? Yup. Out of shape? Oh yeah. Menopause? Check.) What’s worse, there’s not much to be done about it, except maybe shed some of that extra poundage or work on your cardio. And I’m sad to say that both of those solutions are non-starters for me.
My apologies to healthy people everywhere, but “diet” and “exercise” are two concepts that slide off my brain like delicious salted butter off of an ear of corn. So if you’re like me, I highly recommend going ahead and just embracing your inner Sweaty Betty. Why the hell not? I say have fun with it:
• Pit stains? Tell people that they’re intentional. That they’re a fashion statement. That they’re all the rage on the Continent.
• Body odor? You’re the one doing people a favor here. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like the smell of a warm, greasy Italian sub.
•Cosmetics melting down your face? Everyone digs the “Receptionist Who Got Drunk and Cried at the Office Christmas Party” look. Work it. Rock it.
• Damp clothing? Built-in cooling system. Duh.
So what are you waiting for, Sweaty Betty? Go for it! Let your sweat flag fly!
— Sarah del Rio
Sarah del Rio, a 1996 University of Dayton graduate, is a comedy writer whose award-winning humor blog “est. 1975” brings snark, levity and perspective to the ladies of Generation X. Despite being a corporate refugee with absolutely no formal training in English, journalism or writing of any kind, Sarah somehow manages to find work as a freelance writer and editor. She contributes regularly to blog site BLUNTMoms, has made several appearances on the Huffington Post Best Parenting Tweets of the Week List, and her blog won Funniest Blog in The Indie Chicks 2014 Badass Blog Awards. She has also been featured on blog sites Scary Mommy and In the Powder Room. You can find Sarah’s blog at http://established1975.com. You can also like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/est1975blog and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/est1975blog.