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Dearest Children of Mine:
In high school, one of my best friends would frequently pull me aside, ask me if her breath smelled bad, and discretely blow in my face. By the time you know someone this well, you know you're friends for life. Her fear of being caught with bad breath was surprisingly endearing, but my point is that her breath never, ever smelled bad - not once. She was
This is the post where there's no room to mince words and telling it like it is is the only way to do it. You may be inclined to groan and roll your eyes ... but seriously, if your mother doesn't tell you these things, who will?
Let us commence with:
The List of Things that Stink
Your BodyNo one is exempt - the business of living life in a human body is a smelly business. Fortunately, there are simple guidelines that will keep you from grossing out the people around you:
- Take a shower - preferably every day. If you didn't shower yesterday, DEFINITELY shower today. Three days without a shower and you're in the danger zone. Just do it.
- Wash your hair. You'll have to figure out how often it's necessary for you. Your hair naturally builds up oil that begins to have an odor. You may need to wash your hair as often as every day, but you should wash it regularly at least once a week.
- Wear deodorant. Lots of it. Actually, wear more than you think you need. Every time you change clothes, put on deodorant. Keep a stick of deodorant in your bag or in your car for those times when what you started out with in the morning isn't doing the trick. If, by chance, you sweat and get smelly but don't have time to take a shower, make sure you wipe your underarms well before you re-apply deodorant, and if at all possible, change your shirt.
- Brush your teeth. Your dentist wants you to brush you teeth after every meal. If you can't do that, at least brush in the morning and before you go to bed. Or, when you blow in your best friend's face and they tell you your breath stinks :o)
Dirty SheetsYour sheets don't need to have visible stains on them to be dirty. They may look perfectly clean, but they may also be stinking up your whole room. Or your whole apartment. Or your whole house. Sheets that haven't been changed in a while begin to smell, and probably much sooner than you think. Their odor can sink into the mattress and also make your pillows smell. So how often should you change your sheets? If you're aiming to please your mother, that would be once a week. Once every two weeks is a stretch, but anything more than two weeks and it's quite likely your sheets are putting out their own funky aroma.
Dirty LaundryDirty laundry is a ticking time bomb when it comes to smelling bad. Same as your sheets, you need to process and wash your dirty clothes within a few days of wearing them. Not only will your dirty clothes smell bad themselves, their odor can permeate the air, your carpet, your furniture and your other clothes. One dirty item - especially a sweaty dirty item - laying on top of perfectly clean clothes can make the clean clothes smell bad. The longer you leave dirty clothes unwashed, the deeper the smell gets into them. There's a point at which washing something that's been allowed to stay dirty for a long time won't get the odor out - you may wash it and think smells clean, but your body heat activates the smell all over again when you wear it. Don't let your collected dirty laundry pile up. Get that stuff washed!
There you have it - Mom's list of things that stink. The weird thing about smells is that you become sort of immune to them. I know you've known these things since you were five years old, but sometimes they bear repeating. Rather than counting on your nose to tell you when to take action, just incorporate good habits in your life to keep things fresh. Or, you know ... make sure you have a really good friend who'll tell you that you stink :o)
thanks for reading!