I write this not minutes after leaving a professor’s office hours. I walked to his office from across campus, which includes ascending Capitol Hill, which has to be a 45-degree incline for a quarter of a mile. So obviously I was sweating, even with an iced coffee in my hand. I dabbed my face throughout our meeting. My sweat glands finally ceased.
Forty minutes later, our meeting drew to a close. I stood up to leave, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the seat of my chair – a blooming, dark-edged stain. Was that sweat?! My eyes bulged. It couldn’t be. I wasn’t that sweaty.
No, it couldn’t possibly be.
I shoved the chair under the desk, hoping my professor either wouldn’t see it or the stain had always been there, and said goodbye. The stain had to have been there. In a restroom, I checked my butt. No sweat stain. Okay, it wasn’t me.
But it also wouldn’t have surprised me that much.
As every reader should know by now, I am a sweater. I wear shorts through winter. I shower four times a day in the summer. If I was a woman, I would test positive for menopause. I read once that the more fit you are, the more you sweat. I think this is true. I work out daily. I sweat hourly. So it should come as no surprise that I have sweat through my clothes before.
Summer is the worst. I sweat when it’s sixty degrees outside, but ninety? Someone get me an industrial-sized fan. And, yes, everyone sweats in the summer, but I don’t think it’s normal to sweat through casual attire on the reg. I’m not at the gym deadlifting. I am sitting at a restaurant table drinking ice water. Why does it look like I peed myself?
I’ve gotten used to this. Sorta. Last month my friends and I went out to dinner. Unbeknownst to me, my friend spilled a water pitcher over her dress while I was in the restroom. For most of the dinner I sat perfectly cool on my top half, but experiencing monsoon season in my bottom half.
As we were leaving, my friend remarked how damp she was (there was no easy way to word that sentence). “I know,” I empathized. “I can’t wait to go home and change.”
My friend looked at me. “You’re wet, too?”
Me: “…Yes.” Is this a trick question?
Friend: “Did you spill water, too?”
Me: “Yeah…no. Actually, I didn’t.”
My only advice for the sweaters of the world is this: wear dark-colored shorts in summer. I learned this the hard way.
Last summer my friends and I went to the VMFA’s Friday happy hour. I lived three blocks from the VMFA. I wore these neat teal shorts that everyone always compliments. In my walk to the museum, I felt the rivulets rolling down my back and into my underwear. I must have gone for a run before this and not let myself cool off.
We sat inside, probably because I demanded it, and I thought everything was fine. I mean, I knew I was sweating, but that’s nothing new, and the AC would surely cool me off. After a few minutes, I still wasn’t cool, but whatever. It’s not like anyone can see the sweat through my clothes. Just to make sure, I ask my friend to check my back.
“Nah, you’re good,” my friend said.
I didn’t ask my friend to check my rear because that’s awkward. I glanced down, though. I blushed immediately. Holy crap. This was not happening. It would dry, I told myself.
Of course, now knowing I had a visible stain down under, I started sweating more. A friend asked if I wanted to get more wine.
Not wanting to stand up, I replied, “I think I’m going to wait.”
“Want to come with me while I get more?”
“I think I should sit this one out.”
“I don’t want to go up there alone.”
Internally: Dammit, Sally!
Aloud: “Well, I would go with you, but I’m trying not to stand up. I have sweated through my shorts.”
“Oh.” My friend drew back.
“How noticeable is it?” I asked. I did a quick stand, then resumed my defensive seating.
“Not very. I only noticed it because you told me.”
Me: “This is so embarrassing.” (Which is obviously why I’m blogging about it, huh?) “I’m going to go home and change. Will someone notice it when I walk out, though? Maybe I should throw water over myself so it’s obviously not sweat.”
I didn’t throw water on myself. But I did speed-walk home and put on black shorts. That’s the only thing you can do in these situations.