Thursday, June 15, 2006

Superheros don't sweat

Swing on string through Gotham's towers,
I don't sweat.
Throw batarangs o'er people's flowers
I don't sweat.
Immolate with laser eyesight
Stop the world with speed-of-light flight
Bust some heads in a bad-guy bar fight
I don't sweat.
But why? Why doesn't Spiderman, in his tight (oooh!) spandex (aaaah!) full-body suit ever have pit stains after flipping and twisting all the way across a major metropolitan area? Why don't we see telltale dark spots on Superman's chest after he pulls a Buick off of little Jimmy? Why doesn't Batman show a sheen of moisture on his upper bat-lip after having jousted with the Joker or pounced upon the Penguin?
Did they take some kind of mega-anti-sweat potion when the super-suits were issued? Are there ultra-absorbent dress shields lining those painted-on outfits? Do they take a vow of dryness supplemented with botox injections to the pittal area?
Whatever the secret, I want me some of that. I want to not sweat like a superhero. It would be nice to be cool and pale and smooth all the time, with no moisture issues. It would be great to take a shower and not have to plaster the pits with something that in all likelihood will give me some form of brain deposts and shove me down the slide of senility a few years earlier than if I DIDN'T have to protect against odor and wetness. I would like to be one of those women who can wear tight-sleeve shirts or turtlenecks or sweaters and look all cute and fashionable and not at all sweaty or uncomfortable. They must have some superhero in them, because I can't figure it out.
What follows is a story about me and sweat, because I believe in "the sharing."
I once went to a cotillion. I was a senior in high school, it was at some military "thing" in Washington DC, and only the girls from some honor society or something were invited to go. This, of course, meant that all my friends (the earliest identified geek team in existence) were going to go, and I was pressured into going as well. This might surprise you, but I am not now, nor was I ever, a cotillion kind of girl, so it took a bit of doing to force my consent to attend.
Once decided on the course of action, I made a dress to go to this cotillion. It was blue, I think, and shimmery, and it fit like a glove and I looked very, very sexy in a non-revealing good-girl kind of way. However, I was terribly self-conscious, and nervous as a caffeinated crack-head. I was so nervous that I forgot to apply the all-important "Secret" before departing for the cotillion, and that sad fact, coupled with the nervousness, started up a stanky flop sweat factory under my arms that became very evident once I took of my "wrap" at the coat check to the ballroom.
The half-moons of perspiration were of tremendous size. The odor was unmistakeable. The embarrassment was paralyzing. As a result, I spent a good portion of the night in the ladies room, absorbing the cascade of perspiration with toilet paper and wishing I were dead already. I was 17, young, surrounded by youths in uniform, and unable to raise my arms.
Emotional scarring anyone? It's being served over there in the corner where the blond girl is sitting. But be careful, something smells a little funny over there, so be prepared to get you helping quickly.
Yeah, I sure could have used whatever those superheros have. Who knows? With THAT kind of protection, I might have caught the eye of some promising young man who would later go on to become an admiral and I would be photographed with him at all sorts of grand parties and would be the smart sassy wife of one of the men short-listed to be the next Vice President.
All lost, all lost, because I didn't have the secret. Super OR powder-fresh, either one would have been fine.
Feel free to tell me any of YOUR embarrassing stories.....sweaty or otherwise.


Beth said...

I don't have any embarrassing sweat-filled stories. I wasn't a sweater back in the day and even know, it's only when I'm doing heavy labor.

I did, however, have embarrassing events. The first was in 1st grade. I had "bowel troubles" and the doctor had my mother feeding me Exlax at night. One morning, we were all waiting around my teacher's desk and I felt that unmistakable urge ... that gurgle, that surge, and I knew. I tried to get my teacher's attention, raise my hand, kind of hop, but he didn't pay any attention to me, and then I stood there crapping my pants with runny Exlax diarrhea. I actually waited until he noticed me (with the crap-filled, wet pants) to tell him I had to go to the nurse. I dragged my soppy ass to the nurse where she embarrassed me by asking if I knew how to control my bowel movements at this age and by giving me the "emergency clothes". Flower undies 5 sizes too big, dungarees 2 sizes too small. My mother did come and get me though, but it was pure embarrassment. I wanted to shout to the world, "MY MOM FEEDS ME LAXATIVES ... I AM NOT A PANTS POOPER!!!"

tiff said...

Oh Beth! How awful!

And yet, somehow I feel better knowing this aout you. :>

Terri said...

Hi...from Michele's.
Great story and it sure brings back those uncomfortable teen feelings. But somehow, we move past them and can look back and chuckle about them.

Amy said...

Hi there -- Michelle sent me. Interesting story, brings back teen angst very vividly.

Cyndy said...

Awww yes, the teen years, when everything can turn to a moment of extreme tragedy at the turn of a the clock's minute hand!!!
Here from Michele!

Caryn said...

Oh, my. I sweat WAY more than normal, and it's something that no one ever talks about or admits--even me. Until tonight, when you're the second blog-writer to admit to this problem. I love the way blogs seem to follow waves of topics, even without meaning to. Anyway, I finally had to bring in the big guns. This: deoderant helps somewhat--much more effective than any other antipersperant I've tried, though it's not perfect.

tiff said...

y'all - thos teen years were good for stories and not much else. :>

Caryn - this may be the real answer for me! Tight-sleeved shirts, here I come. Thanks much.

Shayne said...

I just have to mention this - I saw a documentary on "Superman" last week, and it showed Christopher Reeve's original audition tape. He was so nervous, he had HUGE pit stains! So Superman, at least, does too sweat!

tiff said...

shayne - ah, but you see, he wasn't superman yet! There's the loophole.....

I just saw a photo of Marc Anthony's pit stains - the line being that the writer didn't know that zombies have active sweat glands. Hee!!

Vanda said...

Poor you, been in the same situation but at a plain old regular dinner dance many years ago.

Pleeeeease if you find some send it across the pond.