I have spent a significant portion of the last week being gross. It’s summer on the East Coast, and that means one thing: heat and humidity.
Oh. That’s two things. But not really. They’re basically one word around here. Heatandhumidity.
My new gig at the university meant several days of outdoor events recently, and they were perfectly enjoyable and successful (there are few things in life as tangentially joyous as college commencement ceremonies, for example). But running around at commencement carrying ish and taking photos and performing strategery in your head makes you very sweaty.
That was also the case at a major event last week involving every VIP client I have. Said event was seven years of headaches, setbacks and political shenanigans in the making. It was outdoors. On a construction site. In 90+ degree heat. What, then, to wear? The outfit needed to say “big deal.” It needed to be professional. It needed to reflect the awareness that lawmakers and higher-ups in education would be present. It needed to allow me to wear flats. Ideally, it needed to be school colors. And I needed to look gooood. Because this was Rick’s event, and if I can’t have him, well… I might as well make him wish he could have me.
Rick, in a shirt and tie, told me he couldn’t believe I was wearing the very lightweight 3/4 sleeve cover I had over my black sleeveless dress. I told him the truth: it’s partly so I don’t get sunburn and partly to absorb the sweat. (I did not go with the ultimate truth, which was that it was also meant to cover the sweat stains that I’m sure had spread on the back of my dress. Which I had to peel off my body when I got home. Did I mention this outfit also involved Spanx?) This was when I realized the benefit to wearing a suit jacket if you’re a man: you’re going to sweat through your shirt, regardless. You might as well wear something that makes you look good and will cover the embarrassing stains at the same time.
You know those women who just glisten and gleam in hot weather? I’m not one of them. I don’t get dewy with perspiration. I sweat like a whore in an Alabama church right before a thunderstorm. Also? I get sort of splotchy and slouchy and a little grumpy. So I spent the whole event trying to look professional and sophisticated (and desirable) while feeling the sweat run in rivulets down my torso, arms and legs, and praying my spray-on tan didn’t run with it.
Rick said at the end of the event that he needed a shower, but he didn’t look the slightest bit ruffled or wilted. Whereas I’m pretty sure my face had melted off.
Yesterday, I headed to Philly to spend some time with my people. Both sides of my family have started a new tradition of getting together as one big mob to tailgate, walk over to a Phillies game, and then do a little post-gaming. We all bring food and beverages and whatnot, and someone schleps a grill, and we eat and drink and are merry. And then we sit in the stands and yell at the Phils. Well, yesterday was about eleventy-two degrees. It wasn’t quite so awful while we were tailgating, but in the stadium, if you had drawn a line from the ball of fire that lights the earth to the stands, it would have hit us. We could not possibly have been more in the sun.
A bunch of Irish sitting in the sun.
I stood up after three innings and I swear to you, it looked as though I had peed my pants. I was sweating that profusely. It was basically like spending several hours on the inside of a Crock Pot. Even my undies were wet. Ew. Plus I was covered in two liberal coats of spray sunscreen, which makes me look like a glazed Krispy Kreme donut to begin with. It was in my hair, which had acquired a lovely crunchiness. By the time I left to head home after eight hours of summertime fun, I was officially disgusting. I stank of musky sweat and sunscreen. I couldn’t stand myself on the drive.
By the way, the Phils struggled in the heat, too. Lost 4-3 to the Brewers after a late-game rally that died when a pitcher got tagged out trying to steal third. Because pitchers don’t run so fast.
Not nearly as fast as the sweat down my body.