Down The Rabbit Hole

Last week I mentioned that in addition to my shoe breakdown, my deodorant had also failed. That got me thinking about sweat and its associated etiquette. (Sweatiquette?)

I lived most of my adult life in Calgary, where it’s so dry that your sweat glands have to work overtime just to keep you from shriveling into a desiccated mummy. Perspiration was never a problem there.

But it’s humid here on the West Coast, and now I get clammy clothes and a sticky sheen on my skin just from strolling down the sidewalk.  So here’s my dilemma:

When you a meet a friend you’d normally hug, is it more awkward to say, “Don’t hug me, I’m gross and sweaty”; or to go for the hug and subject them to full sweatitude with a bonus whiff of gamey armpits? (And why don’t I have friends anymore?)

When I consulted the internet (about sweatiquette, not my social problems), I was confronted by an ad demanding, “Are you a heavy sweater?”

I blinked away the mental image of a bulky cable-knit pullover.  Nope, last time checked I was still a regular-weight human.

And down the rabbit hole I went.

‘Sweater’. It’s kind of an icky word when you think about it. I mean, I guess it’s descriptive enough:  When you’re cold, you want something that might induce sweat; so you put on a ‘sweater’.  But, ew.

Our friends in the U.K. more politely call them ‘jumpers’; but even though there’s a lower ick-factor, the word makes no sense at all. What does jumping have to do with a garment you pull over your head?

Although I guess it makes as much sense as our North American ‘jumper’: A sleeveless, collarless dress worn over a T-shirt.  (As opposed to a ‘jumpsuit’, the one-piece coverall worn by skydivers who jump out of perfectly serviceable airplanes at high altitude. At least the terminology is logical even if the sanity is questionable.)

And that reminds me of a joke:  “Parachute for sale.  Used once.  Small stain.”

Which brings me full-circle to sweat and other bodily emissions:  If anybody ever forced me to skydive, I guarantee the stain would be a large one and the parachute wouldn’t be salable afterward.  The person who coerced me probably wouldn’t be in great shape, either.

And that’s the bottom of this week’s rabbit hole.  (Should I mention that a rabbit is also a ‘jumper’?)

Happy landings to all!

Book 15 update:  The first words are on the page, woohoo!  I’m thrilled to be writing again — I’ve missed Aydan and the gang. 🙂

30 thoughts on “Down The Rabbit Hole

  1. Somehow I banged out half a reply last week but never completed it. At the time I was near the Canuck border, in northern Montana (at Glacier), pondering why Montana has not a single Tim Horton’s! A travesty, I tell you. (I’m not a coffee person, but my kiddo was looking forward to some.)

    About that sweat thing. I prefer the dry heat to the humid. I grew up and have lived in humidity (Michigan) all my life, and have never liked it. I am currently in Moab (hiding from zucchinis) where we have 100°F of dry heat, and I don’t feel so drained after having been outdoors. I find the evaporating sweat works so much better in dry air–it can’t evaporate similarly in humidity, which is uncomfortable to me, especially if I am working outdoors. It’s also interesting that many of the stores here use swamp coolers as opposed to air conditioning–it’s not quite as cold, and it’s a bit damp, but sometimes the humidity helps the sinuses and keeps things from drying out too much.

    I don’t often wear sweaters, but do wear a sweatshirt. I’ve never worn one to, you know, actually sweat in one though… 😁 It’s usually to ward off the drafts in our 80 year old house…the polar opposite of sweating.


    • Yep, I’m the same way – if I have to put on a sweater, there’s little chance of actually sweating.

      Funny, this blog post must be jinxed with half-comment syndrome. I had half a reply banged out, and then I hit the ‘up’ button on my height-adjustable table. POOF! Dead computer. Its power cord had gotten caught under the foot of the table and when the table went up, the cord pulled out.

      I actually prefer dry heat to humid, too, but Moab is a little TOO dry for me. It’s very dry in Calgary (where I used to live), and I thought I was used to it… until I got off the plane in the Phoenix airport. My skin crinkled like parchment and my hair crackled with static electricity; and that was only in the first few feet of the arrivals terminal. So maybe some middle ground…? 🙂


      • I do quite well in the very dry climates but then again, my dad’s side has part of that greazy Mediterranean gene, so that probably has something to do with it. 😁 My better half is a ginger, and she tolerates humidity better than I…but burns in the sun apparently within minutes, as you’d expect. (Not to mention a growing list of health issues from the “redhead gene,” as we call it.)

        I do hope to make the trip with my kiddo up to Alberta on one of our summer road trips. I haven’t seen the Canadian Rockies since I was about six or seven years old. Jasper and Banff are two distant memories, and I remember staying at Chateau Lake Louise, and my mother getting up at 6:00am to photograph the lake while it was a mirror. I’ve been back home almost 48 hours and I’m already missing the mountain air.

        I’ve had my share of “lost” work in the past. Mostly little things. The worst had to be a hard drive casualty–the spreadsheets and other things were stored elsewhere, but I was working on a TTF font using my own printing (created in CorelDRAW), and was nearly done when the drive crashed. Lately, I keep everything in a OneDrive folder on my computers, phones, etc., and it’s automatically synced for me.

        But that still doesn’t save me for when I do the same as you and type out blog posts, or post in the forums that I manage. Occasionally the server won’t respond, and a post can vanish when tapping the “back” button. I self-host a handful of WordPress sites, and at least it saves drafts periodically, and if I have to roll back a bit, I can find most of what I have worked on auto-saved in the drafts. Or I’ve also accidentally hit a power button or yes, yanked out a cord and once again proved my own clumsiness…


        • Yep, I hate it when my own clumsiness is at fault. But I don’t trust WordPress AT ALL – I always copy the full text of my comment before I hit that ‘Post Comment’ button. I’ve had far too many comments eaten by “Sorry, this comment could not be posted”.

          I’ve since discovered that the error is caused when I read a post and leave it open in the browser, and then come back later to comment without refreshing the page; but I still sometimes forget to refresh before posting a comment. At least I never forget to Ctrl-C. 😉


  2. New England this time of the year is quite hot and humid. I just exclaim “I’m all gross and sweaty!” before a potential hug and let the receiver decide about the next step. Usually, a light hug follows or a handshake. 🙂

    That time I skydived, no stains were created. Barely. The sweat remained absent, but, the guy in charge decided to turn this experience into an amusement ride. I was totally happy just diving out of that plane, without the zigzagging movements and slower and faster falling. I get motion sick, you see. Anyway, we landed just in time for me to get sick away from the chute (and bystanders’ heads!


    • Oh, no! That was a rotten thing to do to you. It would have served him right if you’d puked on his shoes. (Or his jumpsuit.)

      But I’m totally impressed that you tried skydiving! Was it on a dare? A one-time thing? Or would you do it again?


      • A one-time thing. It all happened when I was 25 and backpacking in Southeast Asia and Down Under. And with “all”, I mean skydiving, bungee jumping, flying a small plane, whale watching, swimming with dolphins in the wild… in New Zealand. Must have been more affordable way back when, where my motto was that you have to try everything (once) in life. 🙂

        Yes, I would skydive again, if it was free/cheap. All exhilarating experiences.


        • That’s cool! I’ve always liked that motto, but mine is “try most things”, not “everything”. Hot air ballooning was as close as I’ll ever come to skydiving — at least the hot air balloon can’t leave the ground without being in good working order. I wouldn’t like wondering whether my parachute would open! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Well there begins a philosophical hug or not to hug? I’m likely still to give a hug but perhaps not quite as vigorous so as to save the recipient from passing out due to my being a living sweater. 🙂


  4. I belong to the pullover school of thought.
    And loathe and detest the sweaty season. I don’t want to hug myself or be hugged.
    Hooray for writing again. MUCH more important that sweaty, sticky potentially stinky issues.


    • That’s the truth! I enjoy social activities, but I have to remind myself to do them. If I don’t purposefully schedule something, I can spends days/weeks behind my computer without emerging. Must… maintain… balance… 😉


  5. To be serious for the first part of my comment at least (ha) I find there is a big difference in not just wetness control, but in odour control as well, between a deodorant and an antiperspirant. The deodorant does nothing; the antiperspirant wins, hands down. Worth a try if you’re currently using the former.

    As to hugging in the summer, well, it’s too hot and sticky for any of that stuff anyway! And if someone comes that close to me of their own volition, they have to take what they get 🙂


  6. I feel the neew to wade in here, we also call sweaters / jumpers:- pullovers.

    I always found it odd.

    We seem to have gone from, vacationing in hell to have moved to where ever it rains lots.
    I have no idea what to put on in the morning for going to work.

    I just hope August is more settled weather-wise.

    Oh how do we feel about people who feel the need to reapply and reapply deodorant, me I put it on in the morning and seem to stay fresh all day I use a 24/48 hour lynx (mens) I have grown up with it and love the smell. But I see people applying some every few hours is mine better or do I just not care if I smell later in the day?
    As gross as it sounds just sniffed an armpit and I smell as fresh as I did this morning so that answers my question do I smell as no I don’t.

    Well as I’ve stirred the hornets nest I’ll sit back and see what happens

    Congrats on starting book 14, have I told you lately that you are my favourite author??? I’ve discovered some new series but they all stop at like book 7 or 8 and in one occasion book 6.
    I’m looking forward to catching up with the gang when you get it finished. Til then I will try to satisfy the inner bookworm that is chewing through books at a rate if nots never truly satisfied as I run out just as I’m happy with the quirks of characters

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve decided that it’s not my armpits that smell; it’s my T-shirts. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. 😉

      We use ‘pullovers’ here, too. Or ‘cardigan’, if it’s not a pullover. Except in Saskatchewan, where pullover hooded sweatshirts are called ‘bunny hugs’. Life is always interesting!

      I hope your weather settles soon! Ours has been normal-ish (apparently). After only three summers here, we have no comparison. But at least it hasn’t been 35C day after day!


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