There’s something nobody talks about. It’s just that you’re, well, sweating. And yes, it’s natural and everyone does it and it’s uncontrollable. But… you’re sweating. And you’re sweaty. And you’re getting sweatier by the second. Not Britney Spears “I’m a Slave 4 U” sexy sweaty or Gatorade neon sporty sweaty or delicious 5-star Thai food spicy sweaty. Just sweaty sweaty. Living in the sticky, muggy, clammy, humid, damp Midwest this summer and being required at times to socialize outdoors in the heat has made me ponder… sweat. And my conclusion?

Sweat: an unpleasant reality that we all kindly ignore in person but celebrate in concept.

My grandmother used to tell me that horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow. So what’s a gal to do when she glows in front of other people? I need some etiquette here…better yet, sweatiquette. I was quite in need of sweatiquette this week after attending an afternoon baseball game and an outdoor concert on back to back record-heat-index days.  Since I don’t know of any pre-existing sweatiquette, I suggest a simple acknowledgement word, kind of like “bless you” or “Gesundheit” for sneezes. Except in this case you say it when you are or someone else is obviously overheated and sweating. The word? Well, I came up with “schvitzel”. Sounds just fancy enough. And in my book, it should typically be accompanied by a commiserative what-can-you-do shrug, meaning “Yes, it’s 101 degrees out, and yes we’re the idiots standing outside in the sun, OF COURSE we’re sweating!“ To me that’s far better than genteely pretending like none of us are glowing. I can’t be the only one feeling this way, right?

Sweat gets a slice of glory as a symbol of honest, hardworking effort. Sweat equity. Blood, sweat and tears. People will counsel you not to sweat the small stuff, and you’ll be advised in tricky situations never let them see you sweat. So in honor of hot hot hot days, late July in the Midwest and anyone who’s ever wondered what to say to a schvitzing coworker, here are my top 3 inspiring quotes featuring sweat:

Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get. ~Ray Kroc

Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things. ~George Carlin

Enjoy your sweat because hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but without it you don’t have a chance. ~Alex Rodriguez

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