Don't Fight Nature with Nature

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Hey two new things for you on other sites: I contributed to the "Eat Pray Love" portion of the AV Talk podcast last week (starts a little after :30) and wrote about waiting to have babies (maybe) until after my college reunion.

Anyway. This weekend I should have known better. After all, I had learned my lesson a few years earlier, I thought. On a trip to Trader Joe's I thought, "I need deodorant!" but all they had on the shelves was Tom's of Maine, which I'd never used before, but I'd always felt one brand of deodorant was the same as another. Not so. I was so unhappy with the result I actually wrote Tom's a letter, saying (this is true) that their product made me smell worse than if I had worn nothing at all. Somehow the natural ingredients had combined with my sweat to create a truly offensive b.o. funk that frankly I thought only men could experience. (They wrote me a nice letter and sent me a bottle of their roll-on which wasn't as offensive as the solid).

This weekend I went golfing at dusk with some friends and my husband. This summer's been really bad for mosquitoes in Chicago due to storms, standing water and muggy humid heat. So once we got to Sarah and Keith's house I realized we forgot bugspray, but Sarah said she had some all-natural stuff and packed that with her. We put some on at the parking lot. I marveled and the wonderful lilac scent, and how I didn't feel all filmy and dirty the way you do when you spray on some Off! This should have been a warning.

We his some balls at the driving range while it was still relatively light out but then, once the sun went down, we hit the miniature golf course. The bugs started coming at us, slowly at first, but then more insistently. I sprinted back to the car to get more of the bug spray with which I doused myself, actually pouring into my hand and rubbing all over my skin. The mosquitoes found this charming, and, I swear, started coming at me harder. They bit my butt through my shorts. They bit me while I was scratching at brand-new bites. They bit me even while I was swatting their family members. Combine this with damp heat and a miniature golf game to focus on (on one of those new courses where everything is flat and gentle slopes don't guide your ball into the hole eventually) and I actually felt like I was going crazy. "I want to take my skin off and set it on fire," I said out loud. Fortunately we all agreed to abort and left after six holes.

Here is my hypothesis: all-natural ingredients are great most of the time, except when you are trying to fight something that happens naturally, like, your body sweating, or mosquitoes biting you, or maybe trying to cure a disease. That's when you need to pull out the big un-natural guns, the things that say "Ha ha, nature: you're not welcome here. Move along. Look at me, standing here all toxic with my arms crossed: you're not getting past this velvet rope." Otherwise, the mosquito or b.o. or malaria or whatever is going to see something in you that it recognizes, that friend that's already in the club, and say "Oh hey I know that guy! Come on, you've got to let me in if you're going to let him in." I know the toxins might be what kills me but at least I'll die smelling great and not scratching.