Every seven or eight years it seems, my body goes through some dramatic change. Not as fun and weird as puberty, just … weird. Is this normal? That is why I am writing this. To find out if I am normal.
The most frustrating bodily change happened sometime shortly after college when, out of nowhere, I started pitting out. If you don’t know what pitting out means, it’s when your armpits sweat so profusely that it’s visible through your shirt. And that’s regardless of how many shirts you’re wearing because the double-edged sword of pitting out is that, if you try to wear more layers to cover your sweat marks, you will only sweat more. Thy pits are a tameless shrew.
There are few things more uncomfortable than pitting out. Sure, the feeling of sweat under your pits is awful, but there is also the embarrassment of raising your hand at a party to let it be known that, yes, you would like another beer, only to reveal your pits are floating in a salty sea of sweat for no apparent reason because it is winter and literally 2 degrees outside. That is a hypothetical scenario that has never happened to me.
That’s not even to mention the undershirts ruined. Pitting out inevitably results in the armpit section of plain white Ts turning to a gorgeous shade of British-teeth yellow. By now you’ve hopefully settled down and married because if not, GOOD LUCK.
Anyway, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I went all in. I started using a prescription strength deodorant called Certain Dri. It costs like $10 per tiny bottle and you’re only supposed to apply it every 72 hours because it’s that strong. Lord knows what chemicals are contained therein, and I was well aware that using this crap could result in armpit gout sometime down the line. But desperate times called for desperate measures. And it worked.
It worked so well, in fact, that after about three years of using Certain Dri, I stopped, and all has been relatively well, armpit-wise, since. (Save for a recent trip to NJ when, the second I stepped off the plane I started pitting out and had to immediately rush to a pharmacy to buy Certain Dri. WELCOME HOME.) It should be noted that I brought a few boxes of Certain Dri to Arizona seven years ago just in case the problem resurfaced, and when I checked those boxes recently, whatever the active chemical is had pretty much melted through the box to the point I was surprised the entire drawer wasn’t on fire. So that bodes well.
But just when I thought it was safe to think another seven-year bodily cycle had not produced something super weird, another issue surfaced. Belly button lint.
Belly button lint. Guys – belly button lint. And I’m not talking about a small piece of fuzz here and there. I’m talking about, if I started collecting my belly button lint over the next month and I could sew, I’d have a new wardrobe.
So there I was, Googling “why do I have belly button lint?” while my wife laughed and laughed in the background. Google only provided reasons for isolated occurrences—material of the clothes, not drying your belly button enough post shower (!)—but little in the way of the consistency I have experienced. But I did come across this wonderful sentence: “People who have a ‘snail trail’ of hairs from their pubic region to the navel have more stomach lint.”
So there I was, shaving my stomach while my wife looked on in horror. NOT SO FUNNY NOW, IS IT? I also shaved my armpits, just to be safe.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for stopping by today. To read this.
This column appears in the 1/15 issue of The Glendale Star and the 1/16 issue of the Peoria Times.