I have a long lost friend in Boston. I think of her often, but have not talked to her in a few years. On nice days, we used to walk together during our lunch breaks. We’d complain about work. We’d talk about our families and relationships. But most of the time, we laughed…at ourselves more than anything else.
When I think of my friend, I always remember our Big Sweat Debate. After our walks, if it was hot out, her face would be dripping, and she’d race into the restroom to splash it with cold water before anyone noticed. Mine merely glowed with perspiration, but I couldn’t sit at my desk until my butt cooled off.
So for the five years we worked together, the debate raged. Which is worse? Face sweat or butt sweat?
More than eight years later, I still think she has no case.
When your face sweats, people think you worked out and are envious. Face sweat makes you look young and playful. When you exercise, you look tougher than the woman on the next treadmill, whose ponytail remains in place and who looks like she’s not even trying. You embody Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan.
And you can splash cold water on your face wherever you are.
Not true with your butt.
In the summers, when you suffer from butt sweat, you are afraid to get out of your un-air-conditioned taxi for fear that your skirt is wet. You have to bring something to sit on at baseball games because hot bleachers make shorts stick to you. When you use your lunch break to walk at work, you have to wander through the halls for half an hour before you can sit down and be productive again. You can’t just splash cold water on it and make it go away.
Imagine…you are standing at a cocktail party on the outdoor balcony of Denver’s Museum of Science and Nature. It’s a hot evening. The sun is still strong. You are chatting with your husband’s colleagues and their wives, who all look great in their summer semi-formal wear. And then you feel it. That dreaded drop of sweat starting down your leg. If you try to stop its trajectory, you might splotch your sundress. If you let it go, someone might see it travel down your calf.
So, to my friend back in Boston, I thought of you that evening, and it got me through the moment.
But you’ve got nothing on me. I officially proclaim myself the winner. Butt sweat is worse. I win.
The only good thing about it is that it always reminds me of my long lost friend… and our Big Sweat Debate.