Self | Lifestyle
Is Taking a Shower Once a Day Too Much To Ask?
How to spread more civility and kindness in a world that’s losing it.
I lounged in the changing room waiting chair, trying to drown out all the noise. An attendant came forward and waved me back, as another person left the room holding several pairs of clothes.
I stepped into the room and gagged. It was like mustard gas had been released. The scary part? I have a terrible sense of smell. Laura came into the room after me (she often helps me pick out clothes based on fit — though some establishments don’t allow it as they assume we are looking to get a “quicky” in). Right as Laura closed the door behind her, she held her fingers up to her nose, “What is that?!”
“It was the people behind us,” I said with a grimace.
The sulfurous body odor was threatening to peel the paint off the wall. It was on brand with the chaotic Labor Day shopping experience, and not the first case of terrible hygiene that day. I often wonder how people allow it to get this far. These weren’t the smells of someone who hadn’t showered that morning, or who’d just been hot and sweaty. This was like something that was festering in a lab.
But even beyond good hygiene, there are so many well intended changes people could make, some subtle, others not, that would make life better for all of us. We need it more than ever: Statistically, people are getting ruder and more obnoxious. What can we all do to improve the trajectory?
The problem with digital brevity
Around 2004, a female friend was coming to town. She sent me a big email with ideas of things we could do. I sent a reply.
The next day, I picked her up and within a minute of getting in my car, she joked, “You and your two word response.” My email reply was, “Sounds good.” I didn’t think anything of it. I was just being a club-headed 20-year-old. She was hoping for some feedback on her proposals and she took it negatively.