Usually, I can identify my son Robert’s gym bag by smell. He’s on the football, wrestling, and baseball teams and I often think he will never smell good again. This is partly due to his constant workouts in sweaty weight rooms and less-than-energetic approach to showers, but also because when he does shower he likes to douse himself in that body spray they make specifically for teen boys. It’s not so bad as far as colognes go except that Robert seems to be under the impression that a gallon of it is appropriate. Between the choices of weight-room stinky or body-spray stinky, I am honestly on the fence as to which is worse.
His gym bag, therefore, is generally identifiable at a distance, so even though I bought the same bag for myself (when things are on sale pride goes out the window) it’s usually easy enough to know which one is mine. But then I had one of my rare moments of Proactive Housekeeping and actually washed his bag. And then I did the next obvious thing: I grabbed his bag by mistake on my way out to the gym.
Now, Robert’s suffering was probably worse than mine, as he ended up at the weight room with a sundress and ladies toiletries in his bag, not to mention a paperback novel I wouldn’t care to identify by title and a sleeve of slightly stale cookies I continue to eat no matter how mushy and off-taste they get. I walked out of the showers in a towel and opened Robert’s bag, still containing the fruit of his workout the day before, and passed out instantly as a smell heretofore unidentified by science rushed into the humid locker room.
I may be banned from my gym; I’ve been too embarrassed to go back.
The next day I surfed over to the Clear Bag Store and purchased two clear gym bags for my son and I, with his full approval – a rare event from a boy who normally manages a shrug or a grunt in lieu of words. Not only will the clear bags save me from having to explain an odor to my gym friends again (“I swear it’s not me!”), but it will save Robert from having to choose between walking home in his sopping workout clothes and possibly dying of exposure or wearing his mother’s sundress.
Even better, the clear gym bags are water resistant – they can be wiped down in a flash, so I don’t have to worry about laundering Robert’s again. I’ll just strap on a HazMat suit and give it a good surface clean every few days, and no one will be forced to contact the authorities about the mysterious odors emanating from our house.