The salty, tangy bouquet of fluorescent orange, liquid processed cheese product oozing on triangles of warm, toasted corn chips decorated with pickled jalapenos wafts relentlessly into my olfactory system.
My stepdaughter and her gaggle of gorgeous teenage girlfriends sit eating stadium concessions in the row of plastic folding chairs ahead of me in the cavernous convention center while "Pomp and Circumstance" fills the air. We are there to watch the class of 2012 as they are bestowed with their high school diplomas.
The girls are more emotional than on a typical day, as several of them are watching their older by one year, senior class boyfriends take one step closer towards college.
A particularly beautiful, charismatic and clever companion of my stepdaughter is directly in front of me ‚Äď she is one of my favorites for her wildly funny sense of humor. This young lady is the lucky recipient of amazing genetics: 5 feet 10 inches tall, blonde, brains and beauty. The combination belies the teenage insecurity that is flooding out of her at the moment.
The corners of her mouth stained with nacho cheese, she suddenly turns around to whisper sharply to me, her breath filled with the mock-cheesy Mexican treat and tinged with anxiety, "Linds, tell me you have some deodorant with you."
Her nerves had overcome her and she had begun to excrete the damp product of emotion under her arms that terrifies teenagers across the universe because of course, sweat turns into stink. Or so they tell themselves.
I take the moment as a hippie-stepmom-on-a-soapbox moment and tell her that not only do I not carry deodorant with me, but I don't even use it all.
Her eyes go wide with horror. "WHAT, Linds? How is that possible? How do you NOT smell ... bad?"
I explain that the odor associated with sweating is actually caused by breakdown of bacteria from a type of sweat from our fatty sweat glands ‚Äď the apocrine glands. That particular substance, mixed with hairs and hair follicles in t…Read more...