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. 🙂