I’m occasionally told I’m crunchy and I always sort of cringe.  That’s not how I see myself, but then I tell a story like this:

All my siblings were in Connecticut a few weeks ago to celebrate my dad and stepmom’s 30th wedding anniversary.  We had a variety of activities planned—dinner, boat cruises, museum tours.  And the weather was beautiful for outdoor activities, except for the fact it was 95-degrees with 100% humidity (perhaps slight exaggeration, but not much).

With my brother and sister-in-law in front of the Derby House, Salem, MA

With my brother and sister-in-law in front of the Derby House, Salem, MA

After picking my brother up at the airport, we met in Salem to tour the Derby House.  I’d been teaching all day.  It was hot and my sister-in-law asked if I used all natural deodorant.  She was thinking of switching and wondered if I thought it work.  “Yes,” I exclaimed exuberantly.  It is moments like these where I’m actually excited to talk about my choice of deodorant that makes me realize I just may be a little bit crunchy.   “Do you ever smell?” she asked.  “I mean occasionally, but no, not for the most part.”  I responded assuredly.

My brother is a wise man.  If his wife is considering a switch, he wanted proof.  “Can I smell you?”  Sure. I lifted my arm confidently and after sticking his nose in my pit he recoiled in disgust.  “Maggie, you smell awful.”  So I stuck my nose in and he was right.  I smelled so bad.  Now I was embarrassed.  Did I smell like this all the time?  Matt has no sense of smell.  He couldn’t tell me.  Would someone tell me if I was sticking up the place?  How did I not notice?

A few days later, we met for a boat cruise.  Same temp.  Same humidity.  Same all-natural deodorant because it’s all I own.  We stood on top of the boat hoping to catch a breeze, but I was still dripping with sweat.  My shirt was streaked with sweat.  Sweat dripped down my arms and legs and beaded up on my chest.  It was not my most stunning moment.

Still, I made an offer to my brother.  “Do you want to smell me now?”  To his credit he was willing to try again.  Through all the heat and sweat I smelled delicious—that’s right delicious.  “Maggie, you smell like vanilla.”  And sure enough I smelled so good you’d want to lick my armpit.  Then everyone wanted a chance to smell.  We were standing in a public parking lot as my family took turns smelly my armpit.  A stranger drove by and asked for a whiff, reminding us that we were not alone in the world.  But I was vindicated.  My pits smelled good.  As it turns out my deodorant has vanilla in it.

And my crunchy, all-natural Truly’s Creamsicle deodorant reigns supreme.