I Was Wearing Deoderant, Honest!

Dear L.K.,

I just have to send you a little apology letter. I know that you don’t read my blog and, in fact, you probably don’t even know that I have a blog, but I will feel better after typing this and, as we all know, it’s all about Me.

We’ve known each other since our 13-year-old boys were in preschool together and we made those birthday party rounds back in the day. I have always found myself drawn to you because you are a lovely, lovely person and really fun to talk to. I always found it adorable that, back then, you let your son name your new Labrador Retriever puppy after my older son. I love asking you, on the rare occasions when we meet again, how “D the dog” is, and I love (just as much) that after all these years you never changed his name to something more “doggish”, like Spot or Rover or Buddy.

Over the years we haven’t seen each other much–just an occasional “drive by” or “walk by” at the temple because outside of middle school and Sunday School, we don’t have common activities, except for Band.

When I saw you walk into the gym for the Middle School band concert last night, my face lit up because we haven’t seen each other for a long while. I knew that you recently had knee surgery and was anxious to see how you are faring in your recovery. As you walked (okay, hobbled) towards me with your husband, I was suddenly reminded that I didn’t smell very good.

You see, I had a busy, busy afternoon. I had to get one boy to a Lacrosse game, set up a ride for the other boy to get to the school for pre-concert practice, and then go teach my cycling class. In the meantime, the husband left work to go to the Lacrosse game (we won, 3-1. Yay!), drive the son and carpool boy home, grab us a string cheese and an apple (no time for dinner), and then meet me at the school. I had to rush from my class (about 25 minutes away) to get to the concert. Or should I say “concertS”, because the boy’s Honor Band was playing in the first one and his 7th grade band played in the second one. Anyway, when we entered the gym we realized how stifling hot it was. I had put a t-shirt on over my workout clothes so that I wouldn’t gross everybody out with the sweat that was making ugly damp designs on my cute workout top, and I was in for a warm 90 minutes.

So while I was excited for you to come and sit near us so we could catch up, I was also mortified at the same time. You are the type of woman who walks around looking very, very polished all the time. And you look like you smell good all the time too.

I was right. You do smell good. You wear just the right amount of perfume, so a person next to you can smell it when you move. I imagined that you were smelling my stinkiness everytime I moved, and I kept telling myself that at least I was there for my kid…and maybe, just maybe, you didn’t notice. Or at least won’t hold it against me.

And, true to the character that I’ve always known you to have, you chatted and laughed with me for that entire 90 minutes–between songs, that is–in that hot, hot, 92-degree (according to Jim’s temp reading on his watch) gym while giving no indication of disgust at my post-workout appearance or smell. For that, I thank you. And I apologize.

The next time we meet, some things will stay the same: I will be just as overjoyed to see you and excited to catch up. Some things, however, I hope will be different. I hope that I will not look like I’ve just been through the wringer, and I hope that I am smelling just a little Lovely.

Thanks for being a good friend.



  • Kat

    That actually made me smile. Though I am sure she won’t hold it against you…coming from the gym to attend Band night 🙂

    I think all of us have been there (remember the day when I blogged about smelly peeps and the following day we had no hot water?) and as long as you shower daily (and I am sure you do) you won’t really stink of old sweat anyway. So I’d say you have nothing to worry about.

  • Colleen

    This made me smile – I was in the same boat yesterday. After my lunchtime walk (see pics in my Thursday 13 post) I came back, hair windblown, a bit sweaty, to find my boss’s boss and four other “higher-ups” near my office, all greeting me after getting out of a meeting. I see them all so rarely I felt I should almost apologize for my appearance…

  • Taj

    I smiled through the entire post! The night I met my husband, I had come off of a 9 hour flight and had to go straight to a dinner party where I was seated next to the man who would become my husband. To say I was uncomfortable throughout is an understatement.

    Obviously he didn’t hold it against me!

  • Mom24

    I smiled too! I think we have all been there. I bet even she has too. Don’t you just hate that *one* time you run to the store looking like absolute crap, and of course you run into someone *important* that you would rather die than have them see you like that!

    BTW– you’re in good company. On Oprah Julia Roberts said she never wears deoderant.

  • Melisa

    Kat: You’re right. It WAS all new sweat. No old sweat on me: yuck. Thanks, I feel better. 🙂

    Colleen: They were probably totally jealous that you got outside! And great photos, btw…

    Taj: Now THAT’S a man who will be with you forever: one who will eat dinner next to a 9-hour-stale woman! LOL

    Stacey: I heard that about Julia Roberts! But you totally know that she is one of those perfume-y women, right? She has to be. Maybe her sweat glands are disabled.??

  • JaniceNW

    You have my complete and total empathy. I have suffered through 3 hour band/choir concerts in 100 degree gyms. OY! Who knew bleachers could be so darn uncomfortable? There I’d be seating like a pig…….so been there, done that.


  • Mags

    Ugh-this always happens to me! Not the smelly part (although coming home from the kitchen I DO sometimes stink up the T when chicken odor or something). My nails have to be short for kitchen work and I can NEVER have nail polish, plus washing your hands like mad does a doozie on your cuticles-I always seem to have to use my hands to help someone with petite little perfect hands.

  • Michelle

    I’m with you. There’s always something that goes wrong when you want to talk to someone you haven’t seen in ages… but it’s in your head, which is the good thing, I think.

    Definitely made me smile. And wonder what the daycare provider thought when I showed up yesterday straight from my run. Hmmm.

  • Melisa

    Janice: SERIOUSLY! I forgot to mention how badly my butt hurt from sitting on the bleachers…

    Mags: I hear ya! Although my nails always look pretty good, it’s ONLY because I work in a salon and it’s a perk. However, I feel like I have man hands compared to everyone else and I don’t like to be in a position to compare with others! (But like I commented on your post about riding the T while smelling like your work kitchen, I wouldn’t mind standing next to you like that! 🙂 You should bring some leftovers for your commute, to share. LOL)

    Michelle: Good point. I shouldn’t have even worried about it: I guess if I stunk that badly, she would have made an excuse to go and sit near one of her other friends…or at the very least she would have mostly turned around to talk to her husband instead of me…I feel better now. 🙂