Saturday, May 29, 2010

My People

I periodically decide that I am going to deviate even more sharply from our culture's hygienic norms, and typically regret it.

For example, several months ago, I, newly and perhaps irrationally wary of sodium lauryl sulfate, decided I would stop shampooing my hair at my thrice weekly rate--hardly a burden, some would argue--opting instead for the baking soda and vinegar treatments I had investigated online. After about three weeks of smelling like salad (bad salad) and enjoying hair that increasingly resembled dreadlocks despite having been blown dry and curled with an iron, I marched to Costco and bought a six months supply of generic brand, lethal-yet-effective shampoo.

I daresay my spouse was somewhat relieved. The acrid stench of my noggin had begun to make it difficult for him to sleep. And he was complaining of headaches.

But, as with most irrational behaviors to which I am prone, I just can't seem to stop myself. A few weeks ago I came across this and determined that I would like to make my own deodorant.

I am a fortunate soul who, despite forgetting to wear deodorant for days, weeks, and even months at a time, never quite manages to establish a solid stink. I use it occasionally anyway, mainly for amusement, but, upon realizing that my deodorizing habits were an area of my life I had not yet complicated into oblivion, I set about to solve a problem I don't have. I sent out an SOS email to some friends I thought might be game to go in on the ingredients with me and got a great response. Turns out I was not the only person I knew pondering her armpit wellness.

We arranged who would purchase the ingredients, discussed all the details, decided to potluck. Yesterday as I hovered over a pot of soup in preparation, Ryan hollered to me from the other room, "What does draconian mean?"

Draconian. I should know this one. Something about being mean? Harsh? In a medieval kind of way? I remembered a professor using it in my capstone class in college and I had looked it up then and committed it to memory. I like the word, but I couldn't readily define it.

I thought to myself, I wish my friends were already here. They would ALL be able to define Draconian, I'd bet my life on it.

Then I paused to reconsider. The friends coming to the party--which friends were they? It was the deodorant-making party; they were the quasi-hippie friends. The ones who sprout things and massage kale. The friends who email back and forth with me about the pros and cons of elimination communication and send me links to social justice projects I'll want to support (more on that one soon...). Cognitive dissonance, but just for a moment, and then a smile crept across my face and right down into my little heart.

They were the quasi-hippie/NERD friends. Hallelujah. It's a fine thing indeed to realize you have found your people.