sweatin’ with the oldies

I’ve never been a particularly sweaty person.

I mean, I’m no delicate flower or anything. Believe you me, I’ve dampened the underside of a bra. I’ve generated an ample amount of flop sweat on a first date. I’ve felt a serious prickling in the pits while walking up a short flight of stairs working out at the gym as I so often don’t. But for the most part, I haven’t found myself in too many perspiration situations that an extra swipe of deodorant couldn’t resolve.

Until recently.

About a year ago, something in my body changed. Something gross. Something chemical. Something that caused every exertion, no matter how small, to bring forth a sheen of sticky, smelly perspiration. And I’m talking EVERY exertion:

  • Running to the mailbox? Drenched in sweat.
  • Hauling out the trash? Drenched in sweat.
  • Applying tricky eyeliner? Drenched in sweat.
  • Sitting on the couch in my underwear while watching daytime television and eating a McRib? Drenched in sweat.

I’m sure you get the idea.

At first I was confused and disgusted by my body’s sudden decision to go from Soft & Dri to Damp & Nasty. I tried everything I possibly could to mitigate this new and clammy state of existence — different deodorants, 100% cotton underwear, sitting motionless for 10 hours on top of an air conditioning vent — but nothing worked with any consistency. The whole situation had me down, out, and on the verge of eating ten more McRibs, when it suddenly came to me:

I was becoming an Oldie.

That’s right. An Oldie. I’ll wager that most of you are already acquainted with the term, but just in case you aren’t, here are a few ways with which to assess whether you’re on your way to becoming one:

  • Bending down to pick something off of the floor has become The Most Dreaded Activity of Every Day.
  • Your hair is falling out, your arteries are clogging, and your bladder just boarded up the windows, slapped on a ratty fedora, and jumped a cargo train heading West with a hearty “Screw this. I’m over it.”
  • Every meal is a traumatic experience of barf-burps, heartburn, and back-door emissions that smell like one or more of the following:

• Wet cat food
• Rotten eggs
• Fermented fish
• Corpse bloat

Also, little-known fact — becoming an Oldie often means a significant spike in perspiration, particularly if you’re overweight, out of shape, or on the brink of menopause. (Overweight? Yup. Out of shape? Oh yeah. Menopause? Check.) What’s worse, there’s not much to be done about it, except maybe shed some of that extra poundage or work on your cardio. And I’m sad to say that both of those solutions are non-starters for me.

My apologies to healthy people everywhere, but “diet” and “exercise” are two concepts that slide off my brain like delicious salted butter off of an ear of corn. So if you’re like me, and getting healthy is NOT in your game plan, I highly recommend going ahead and just embracing your inner Sweaty Betty. Why the hell not? I say have fun with it:

• Pit stains? Tell people that they’re intentional. They’re a fashion statement! They’re all the rage on the Continent.

• Body odor? The way I see it, you’re the one doing people a favor here. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like the smell of a warm, greasy Italian sub.

•Cosmetics melting down your face? Everyone digs the “Receptionist Who Got Drunk and Cried at the Office Christmas Party” look. Trust me. It’ll work if you work it.

• Damp clothing? Damp clothing… or built-in cooling system? I know my answer.

So what are you waiting for? Own your new-found perspiration. Give in to the Damp Side. Get sweatin’ with the Oldies and let that funk flag fly!



An earlier version of this piece was published in October 2014 on humor site Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.


Photo credits:
“Dress Shields”: Public Domain: Miami U. Libraries – Digital Collections

18 Replies to “sweatin’ with the oldies”

  1. I have taken a real interest in gardening lately. I am officially an Oldie. Thank goodness tank top season is around the corner.
    PS: Could the McRibs be contributing to the sweats? Seriously, McRibs? I didn’t know that people actually ate those.

  2. I got laser hair removal a few years ago, which also helped dry up those pits. But I didn’t really realize… the sweat has to go somewhere. Say hello to Swampfoot! After 2 seconds of exertion (like lifting a Big Mac to my mouth) I need to put up a Cuidado Wet Floor sign in my shoes. I fear what’s going to happen when I officially become An Oldie.

  3. bahahahahaha you kill me. Let your funk flag fly. And I know all about this sweaty mess. Screw getting old. That’s all I’m saying.

    1. I love you too. I’m sorry I haven’t been paying you much attention lately. I have been swamped. I need to stop doing projects that require so much time and effort 😉

  4. The warm greasy Italian sub line put me over the edge! OMG. You really paint a picture with words. Thank god blogs aren’t scratch n sniff!

  5. Yesterday I became a sweaty, odiferous mass from vacuuming. VACUUMING! That’s it – I’m swearing off housework. It’s for everybody’s sake. I’m altruistic that way. And is Richard Simmons wearing panty hose in that picture??

  6. Barf burps? Yep.
    Heartburn? Got it.
    Back door emissions? Loud, long, sometimes unexpected with assorted aromas that could easily clear a large room- for sure.
    Plus, I sweat like a pig just unloading the dryer. Getting old sucks but it beats the alternative and it can be entertaining. I can definitely say I’m not my Grandma’s old! So glad to have others to relate to!

  7. Dear God, hold off on the menopause for a couple more years, will you? I’m still trying to figure out how to wax my new goatee.

    I had my pits and southern sideburns lasered a few years ago and it’s AWESOME. It has become way less expensive over the last 6 or 8 years. The first time I looked into it, I was quoted like $2k…to which I said, “No, thank you. I can’t afford it. I guess I’ll just live with armpits and a bikini line so covered in razor rash and ingrown hairs that it looks like I need medical attention.” Then Groupon happened. I think I paid like $500 for the 5 or 6 treatments it took on both areas. It was worth every penny. I’d get my beard done, but it only works on dark hair, and my beard is mostly blonde, with the exception of 4 or 5 dark hairs that grow half an inch in a day. I haven’t noticed a change in sweatiness. Fortunately, I’m not (yet) afflicted with that particular issue. It’s good to know that, in addition to becoming a hairy beast-ess, I also have that to look forward to.

  8. Lmfao…thank you! A) for the laughs and B) for letting me know I’m not alone. I’m not terribly overweight, could lose 10-15 lbs, but not large, not yet in menopause, but I have all of a sudden been supplied with my own personal irrigation system. W! T! H! Pits, back, ass, feet,….really?! Nothing better than getting up from driving and looking like you have pissed your pants because of a vicious case of SWASS. I sure hope it doesn’t stay like this forever!!

  9. I could’ve gone my whole life without seeing that picture of Richard Simmons in a rainbow mini dress. Maybe for your next post you can find a picture of Rush Limbaugh in a unitard?

    Despite the cornea damage, I’m happy I found your blog!

  10. Pingback: Please Enjoy….

Comments are closed.