Norine Dworkin-McDaniel just makes me happy. An intelligent woman, dedicated mother, and kick-ass writer, Norine always has something going on in her crazy busy life. That is why I was thrilled when she found a second to donate her hilarity to a good cause, my Oversharing series. Today she is regaling us with a tale about the time she was a dirty, dirty girl on her honeymoon.
For someone who doesn’t especially like getting dirty, there are few spa pleasures I enjoy more than sinking into a warm, oozy mud bath.
I still remember a trip to Israel’s Dead Sea when I was 16 when I got to play around in the mud pits near the shore. Between the extra salty sea water and the mineral rich baths, my skin had never felt softer. Fast forward some 22 years, and I’m a newlywed on my honeymoon at a spa in Desert Hot Springs, California. And whaddya know … there’s a mud bath on their spa-treatment menu. I couldn’t get my robe off fast enough.
The attendant led me to a secluded outdoor area where there were several tiled troughs filled with a loamy brown mixture. I slipped off my robe and slid, naked, into the tub. It felt more mossy, peaty, than muddy. And it wasn’t quite as aromatic as the dual mud bath my hubby and I had shared at another spa a few months back. But for the promise of silky skin, I would have rolled in mulch.
By and by, my new husband, Stewart, wandered over to see how I was doing. He looked askance at the trough filled with the dark brown sludge. “It smells weird,” he said, as I flexed and pointed my feet, relishing the squish of the mud between my toes.
“Whaddya expect? It’s mud. It’s not gonna smell like roses,” I said, happy as a pig in, well … you know.
“Suit yourself,” said Stewart, wrinkling his nose.
And so I marinated in the mud. Forty-five minutes later, I climbed out and padded over to the outdoor shower to wash off. I lathered up and … hmmm. Now it was my turn to wrinkle my nose. I could still smell the mud on me. Now that I was out of the tub, I wanted the muddy, peaty, slightly manure-y smell off of me. So I scrubbed up again. It didn’t help.
I spotted a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap in the shower. That stuff is STRONG. The strongest soap I’ve ever encountered. That’ll work, I figured as I lathered up, for a third time.
Only it didn’t. Even that pungent minty soap couldn’t cut the stench that lingered on my skin. Oh, this was so not good. I was on my honeymoon. And now I reeked of manure. How’s that for sexy??? I could rewrite LMFAO’s lyrics: I’m smelly and I know it …
I doggedly lathered, rinsed and repeated another four to six times, till my skin was starting to prune in the water. I thought of the day, when I was a little girl, that our dog had escaped from our yard and come back smelling like he’d rolled in dog shit, probably because during his little excursion, he’d actually rolled in dog shit. Even after seven washes, I still smelled like that dog — only stronger. I could, to quote my nasally attuned husband, “knock a buzzard off a shit truck.”
So that was nice. I was on my honeymoon, and I smelled like a sewer.
Not 24 hours before, my husband and I had agreed to stick together “for better or worse.” But our vows said nothing about requiring a constant supply of air freshener.
Fortunately, I’d just married a man who is an incredibly good sport. “It’s all roses to me,” he said later, as he snuggled in close … and averted his nose.
Norine Dworkin-McDaniel is the creator of the illustrated humor blog Science Of Parenthood, which uses math and science principles to “explain” the many mysteries of parenting and childcare. Follow Science Of Parenthood on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ .