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Sniffing Clothes · 31 May 2014


Apparently, sniffing clothes before putting them on is not just a male thing.


Most men I know have gym bags where they carry their workout gear. Some even empty those bags from time to time. Usually, after pulling out a shirt, sniffing, making a disgusted face, and determining that it is time for a new set of clothes. It has been some time since I have personally done that, but I really thought it was just a male thing.


Then, I saw a woman do it. She actually sniffed her clothes before putting them on.


I was sitting in the parking lot with my son waiting for the bus to pick him up for a track and field meet. One of his teammates was dressed for the meet in her uniform – nylon shorts and tank top – but that was a bit chilly at six o’clock in the morning. So she opened her athletic bag, reached in, and pulled out a sweatshirt. I figured that she would just put it on. That it was washed – clean and ready for use. Instead, she held it out in front of her (whether to see if it was the right sport or determine if it was too wrinkled, I do not know), sniffed it, then, finally pulled it on over her head. (The sequence of events took much less time that it took to describe it.) I could not help but chuckle. That quick sniff was priceless.


Of course, it would have been funnier if she had wrinkled her nose or had a look of disgust on her face and still put it on, like many of her male counterparts would do. Or that I might or might not have ever done myself.


Hypothetically, I might even stick out my tongue or turn my head away. Then (hypothetically again, of course), I would simply shrug, hold my breath, and pull it on. Of course, upon release of that breath, I would certainly make the disgusted face again having just smelled my own stink up close and personal. I guess that is the price of keeping clothing in a gym bag.


When it comes right down to it, most of us have done the clothes sniff test. I know that I have. In fact, that was why I thought seeing the young athlete sniff her clothes was so amusing. She had done something that I really find amusing in my own actions. And those of my male counterparts. In my mind, she had done a disgusting male thing and it was okay. That gave me another reason to chuckle. I discovered that sniffing clothes before putting them on is not just a male thing.

© 2014 Michael T. Miyoshi

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