Your weird behavior is the key to finding your career niche

My personal hygiene is holding back the growth of my startup.

This month I am teaching a course: Get the Guts to Start Freelancing. If you are sick of me promoting my courses on this blog, then please note that this is not the post where I am promoting this course. That’ll be another one. In this post I am going to tell you that the course is four days and I will probably not change clothes for any of the days.

Because the truth is, I don’t really change my clothes. I pay someone to do our laundry, and for the first two months she worked for us, she would always ask where my laundry is. She asked me if I had someone else washing my clothes.

I thought of telling her I dry clean everything. But there are no dry cleaners in our whole congressional district. No stoplight, no dry cleaners. So I told her I don’t like the stress of having to feel a different set of clothes on my body. When I already know what one set feels like, I hate the thought of changing it.

She pointed out that sometimes the clothes I’m wearing are so dirty that they must actually get a new texture to them.

The farm encourages this behavior. There is no point in being in fashion on the farm. No one sees me except Matthew and the boys. Matthew likes trashy lingerie and nothing else, and the boys go nuts if they even see my bra strap “Mom! Cover up!” So they cancel each other out and there is really nothing I could wear that anyone would care about.

So I never change clothes. Anyway, in the list of traits that make a good entrepreneur, conscientiousness and IQ were of the same importance: zero.

I read about a guy who bought twenty of the same shirt.

So I did that too. I have a set of cashmere sweaters that I wear year round. I wear a cashmere sweater picking berries in 90-degree weather because I’d rather be too hot than in unfamiliar clothes.

If you have ever seen one of my webinars, you will notice that while other people find it difficult to talk for four hours on the same topic and be fun and useful the whole time, that’s easy for me. The hard part for me is knowing what to wear.

Melissa gave me a list of tops that are approved. But changing my top each day is like jumping into the unknown. The top might be tight in different places than the one before. It might have a different arm length. For some courses I can’t stand the anxiety and I just wear the same top for the second day of the course.

And then I got nervous that people were noticing that I’m not changing clothes, so I announced to everyone in the course: “I am not changing clothes for this course.”

Then Melissa said, “I think people are more concerned that you are not showering.”

This is another thing about hygiene. I did not think people could tell that I don’t wash. When I played beach volleyball in my 20’s, I’d be at the beach for six hours a day, and I’d bike ride 15 miles to the beach and 15 miles back. I never had shampoo or soap. I just sort of jumped into the shower and jumped out and went to work at the bookstore. I focused on getting the sand off me.

It’s a social skill to wash at the same frequency other people wash. Everyone does it but I think I can get away with ignoring it. So I do. Just like I ignore it when people say, “Hi, how are you?” And I just go straight to our conversation. They don’t care. A key trait of successful startup founders is they think conventional rules don’t apply to them. So actually, not asking “How are you?” might be good for my company.

And deciding to skip bathing might be the hygiene corollary of poor conversational skills. So maybe that’s helping me, too.

But Melissa says I at least have to wash my hair when I’m recording a course.

At first I thought she was a nut about hair. After all, she has put in hair extensions and flew from Tokyo to some other Asian country to get her hair flat-ironed for a date.

But then in another course, How to Grow a Six-Figure Coaching Business, they said in the chat—because there is chat and it’s like a conversation—how everyone could tell that I have not showered.

That photo up top, with all the action, maybe my hair is passing. But I can see when things calm down that my hair is really dirty.

Melissa made a rule for me that if I know someone will be at my house with a camera I have to wash my hair. I said okay and assumed no one could tell if I followed the rule or not. Which reminds me of great research from Stanford Business School that says successful startup founders are delusional, independent thinkers who assume they’re smarter than everyone.

I also think of that research when I get parents emailing me about how can I help their kid with Aspergers grow up to have a successful career like mine. I try to help. It’s not like me to say that I don’t know—about anything. I’ll take a shot at anything.

One mom told me her daughter is a teenager and doesn’t brush her teeth. I said, “Don’t worry. I didn’t brush my teeth until I went to college. Only because of peer pressure. And even now I still don’t brush them every day.”

Another parent asked me how to get her kid to stop spilling food at the table. I said, “Don’t worry. I do that. I just make sure not to eat when other people are eating. I pretend to eat until I’m alone.”

Maybe, if I thought I could handle looking appropriate for more days this month, I could add a course about how to help your kid with Aspergers get a job. But I can’t handle it. Not this month.

Posted in Diversity, Entrepreneurship
86 comments on “Your weird behavior is the key to finding your career niche
  1. Lynne from design the life you want to live says:

    Oh how you crack me up in every sense of the word. LOVE IT. I’m wearing a scarf, wool sweater and Uggs INSIDE today – and I’ve been wearing it for days. We may be two peas in a pod. A bloggers life :)

    Lynne xx

  2. katie says:

    Here is a time – saving tip: baby powder. Sprinkle it all over your hair and brush it in. At first it will look dusty but within 10 minutes it will absorb the grease in your hair and make it look less dirty.

    • Melissa says:

      Dry shampoo, in powder form, works even better than baby powder and doesn’t have such a tell-tale smell.

      But yes, frequent hair washing is over-rated. I’m down to once a week. Because entrepreneurship.

    • Lauren says:

      You can also use cornstarch. It’s the main ingredient in baby powder, but it doesn’t have the baby smell. Totally smell-less. I take dried lavender and chop it up, and put it in the bottle with the cornstarch, so it smells lovely to cover up for the unwashed-ness.

      Dry shampoo is also great.

      I hate showering and washing my hair.

  3. Harriet May says:

    Ok, so the truth is that often I will run or go to the gym in the evening, then wake up at 5:30 the next morning to run again. So I think, why bother to shower or even get changed? No one sees me when I’m running in the early hours, except my dog and a few close friends, and they’ll like me regardless (as long as I don’t get too close, I suppose). So I just hop into bed. This saves time, loads of laundry, water, soap…. One guy I dated was a little grossed out, but he also happened to be legitimately crazy and had much bigger things to be concerned with, so I gave myself a pass.

  4. Sunny says:

    Thanks for saying this … I was worried because I would wear the same clothes 2 days in a row. I figure I didn’t go outside. I didn’t exercise. I am not dirty. My clothes are not dirty. Oh I should also say I hate to do laundry.

    Like you – my hair gives me away after 48 hours. I use to wear a wig and it was awesome. You could rinse it in the sink once a week. Hang it on the doorknob to dry overnight. Viola! Perfect hair, all the time. And you get to choose the color- EVERYDAY!!!! :-)

    BTW – men do prefer blondes and talk to them more. This is based on my personal research.

    • Melissa says:

      Since I’ve started working from home, I’ll wear the same thing up to 4 days in a row, just swapping out the undies.

      I’m always well-dressed. I put a lot of care into my outfits. It’s wasteful to undo all that work every morning.

      And it means that my clothes and outfits have to be that much better quality.

  5. Paris Tuzun says:

    “I read about a guy who bought twenty of the same shirt.”
    Yeah when I really like something I keep wearing the same thing over and over again even though there are lots of clothes in my wardrobe. I get obsessed about certain things like jackets and blazers. Steve Jobs had his black turtleneck shirts, I have my blazers.

    • Penelope Trunk says:

      Yeah, Steve Jobs really opened things up in the fashion department, didn’t he?

      Penelope

  6. Su says:

    I sent your post to my husband, who has been trying to figure out how to motivate our 19 year old son to shower more, wash his hair and brush his teeth. Oh, and to change out of the t-shirt and sweatpants he’s worn for the past 4 days.

    THANK YOU.

  7. bryan greifinger says:

    Ok, so now that I know you aren’t a clean person, how does this relate to me always not remembering something on the job, and getting fired, and my perfect job? I don’t see how THAT helps me find a better fit for a job.

    • Penelope Trunk says:

      The path to understanding how you’re special and how to leverage that is by watching other people.

      Who we are comes so naturally to each of us that we don’t realize it’s special at first. We can’t tell what makes us different unless we compare ourselves to others.

      Also, the thing that is special about us is usually extreme, and therefore also our downfall. It’s hard to see a downfall as an advantage. The best way to believe that you can do that for yourself is to see other people doing it.

      The only thing, really, that helps you have a solid career is self-knowledge. No one can give that to you. They can only inspire you to give it to yourself.

      Penelope

      • karelys says:

        You could have made this comment your entire blog post and it would still be like a wisdom bomb.

  8. Kerrie McLoughlin says:

    OH MY GOD! I discovered DRY SHAMPOO (Batiste and you can get it online but some of them smell like freaking perfume) when I got to review a can last summer and I am in love. I am too busy to shower daily and my bangs get greasy so I just use the dry shampoo on them to pass the next day in front of all the other mommies. And baby wipes for the nether region. And reapply deodorant and surely you won’t smell. My 10 yo son wears the same clothes for days and days on end and if he doesn’t smell I don’t care. He gets comfy in those clothes and also wears shorts all the time. It is 8 degrees here in KC and he’s in shorts (not outside; I have to insist he wear pants, you know!). Thanks for all your sharing. You really are funny and honest and terrific.

  9. Kerrie McLoughlin says:

    P.S. everybody: I’ve been in my long-sleeved flannel victoria’s secret jammies for 2 full days now and don’t care.

  10. Liz says:

    Were you aware your weird behavior was weird at the time when it was helping you with volleyball or your start-ups? Or do you think we naturally find a niche because of our weird behavior? Then maybe later on we realize our weirdnesss. Or is the key that we embrace our weirdness (instead of trying to change it) like you have done and that’s what will help us in our careers?
    Love the post as always.

  11. EM says:

    I have about 15 Talbots cardigans in different colors. Pair them with black, grey or denim pants, and I am good to go!
    I also love dry shampoo!

  12. Rachel says:

    Very awesome cute post.

  13. Michelle Cross says:

    Love this post. And the fact that I don’t have to feel quite as guilty about being a hot mess most days!

  14. Jana Miller says:

    Your honesty helps a lot of people Penelope-keep doing what you are doing.

    There’s a whole movement against using shampoo so you aren’t that far outside the norm.

    Showering everyday is a must-sometimes two or 3 times a day for the people that live at our house :)

  15. Cheryl says:

    It happens, lol. I’m just glad I found a man who showers and changes clothes at the same frequency… about once a week. I’m in the same clothes for the last 4 days without a shower… It doesn’t make sense to put clean clothes on a dirty body. And, it’s quite time consuming working a part-time job, managing 2 home businesses, gigging with 2 bands, managing a household with a 16mo old, without much help. So, there’s no time to shower and “pretty up”. It’s more important to put a healthy meal on the table and make a living.

    Here’s a great tip, though: baby wipes are like magic. Trust me on this one. We have a pack in every bathroom and even one in the trunk of the car. They’re perfect for a quick P-V-A (pits, vag, ass) whenever a shower will have to wait. Voila, in 1 minute you’re smelling great.

  16. rb says:

    When I travel for a week I usually bring two skirts and four tops. I shower every other day. My priorities are light packing and not drying out my skin too much (a problem for me in winter)

    No one has ever said a word. In fact I’m considered a stylish and put-together dresser.

    I’ve decided to think of myself as French. :)

  17. Karen says:

    I truly believe that in order to work independently out of one’s home, we have to not really give a crap about what we look like. I’m that way. I have worked out of my home in the past, and currently work a 12-hour overnight shift for which I am home almost every day otherwise. We also live on a farm, so other than my husband, and the mailman, UPS man, or other delivery person, no one really sees me. My husband better not complain because he gets dirtier in one hour than I do all week. It takes a special person to work from the home and to work the overnight shift. I usually work at least one overnight shift a week, so on that day I sleep most of the day, let the household take care of itself until I wake up late afternoon, shower, wash my hair, and get ready to go off to work. If someone comes to our door and my husband isn’t around to answer it first, then the person at the door will just have to see me just the way I am — which can be any combination of oily, unwashed hair, stained clothes or even my PJ’s. You can’t worry about clothes being on the floor unwashed every minute, dishes being cleared out of the sink, or whether there’s a huge coffee stain on the front of your shirt from two days earlier. If a person who works at their business out of their home starts worrying about all of the household tasks, chores, and whether hair is washed or even whether they have terrible body odor, then they aren’t really concentrating on their business. If I worry about how I look, or whether the dishes are in the dishwasher during the day when I should be sleeping, then I’m not going to get enough sleep to survive the 12-hour overnight shift, and thus won’t be at my best for the job. Not worrying about all of that is one of the perks of working out of your home. I can go all week with re-wearing the same clothes from off the floor, and not showering or washing my hair unless I have plans to leave the our property for some reason — groceries, work, meeting. Sure, if I knew a photographer would be coming to my house, I would for sure shower, wash my hair and apply some makeup. With all of this said: If a person owns their business and must leave their home property to work at that business, or if your out-of-the home business involves having a constant flow of people coming to your door, then definitely shower, wash your hair and present the best image you possibly can for those who will be coming into your business. However, if you are working at your business from out of your home and have limited contact with outsiders, count your blessings and don’t worry about the little stuff like showering, washing your hair, or picking clothes up off the floor. Devote that time to the business and relax.

  18. Brigitte Lyons says:

    Dry shampoo. Don’t waste your money on the expensive crap. Mix a little cocoa powder into corn starch, store it in a clean spice jar, and sprinkle it on your part and roots. Brush it out with a natural bristle brush.

    I went 4 days in Paris (the filthiest city, gah!) without washing my hair, because I used dry shampoo on day 3. And my hair was gorgeous.

    Here’s the tutorial I use: http://wellnessmama.com/5047/diy-dry-shampoo/

  19. redrock says:

    yeah, we all have gone days wearing the same clothes, me too. But I also feel that getting dressed gives a starting point to the day – not just for others, but for myself. It is part of days’ structure which by itself is comforting.

  20. Maria says:

    I don’t shower all that often in the winter. And I’m lucky I have dry, thick hair so it doesn’t actually look like it needs washing. So once a week is my average. Every other week is a winter thing. . I think it was your laundress who first turned me on to dry shampoo. I love it. Birchbox sent me some lavender dry shampoo. Life changing.

    None of this explains why I have a TON of laundry in my basement. I hate laundry. My family gets desperate for underwear and I seriously would rather just go buy new underwear…but then I’d still have to wash it, because..well, ewww.

    Please fly your laundress out to do my laundry. Thanks.

  21. karelys says:

    It’s incredible to me how important socializing is. Asperger’s is seen almost like an illness, something that gets in the way of living a normal life.

    At any rate, I realized how I always assumed that to be a total ace in career and such I would have to have OCD tendencies about being clean and tidy. I am pretty disorganized. And I get distracted easily thinking about all kinds of things.

    But this post helps me relax and try to see how I can use my natural tendencies to my advantage. Or like you’d say, maximize strengths and forget about trying to strengthen my weaknesses as a way to win.

  22. Paul Hassing says:

    Hi, P. Another resonant post. Here’s my take on clothes: http://myob.com.au/blog/kathmandu-man/ Kind regards, P. :)

  23. laura says:

    My son would love this blog post if I ever showed it to him.
    He hates showering and changing his clothes and his hygeiene is dreadful…..I am constantly after him to use soap and not stink like a camel (yes he does stink….our cats in their litter boxes smell better)
    Yes he has Aspergers too and is now in college looking for his career of choice.
    Let us know when you do a post about Aspies and jobs. I would like to read it…..

  24. Kate says:

    Do you know the just washing your fringe (bangs) or the front inch of hair trick?
    Quick wet and shampoo under the basin tap, blast of the hair dryer and good to go, esp if hair up or just on a web cam.

  25. Pearl Red Moon says:

    Bwwaaahhhh-hahaha! Penelope you made my day! I laughed so hard I nearly peed myself. I’m also Aspergers and have always found the obsession of the neurologically typical with daily washing and clothes changing deeply irritating. You were absolutely spot on when you observed it was only peer group pressure that compels you to occasionally oblige. Exactly how I feel about it too!

  26. Lucy Chen says:

    You’re so funny, Penelope! I’m the opposite. I cannot stand not washing my hair everyday and shower before I go to bed everyday. I have to wear clean clothes, too. I have to keep my home clean, otherwise I get very stressed. But I’m stressed anyway, because it’s difficult to keep the home clean and tidy with two little kids… Your post tells me that I can relax, if I can ignore my psychological need for cleanness and tidiness.

  27. Larry Hochman says:

    I don’t know if you perceive this post as emotional bravery, just relief in speaking your truth, or if you honestly don’t care about anyone’s reaction. Either way, it was good stuff. :)

  28. Katybeth Jensen says:

    I think tidy and clean is important including hair, clothes and teeth. I do know these things can be hard for people with Aspergers and parents of children with Aspergers. Beyond that I think I may be missing the point to your post….If you showed up at a meeting with dirty hair, filthy clothes and smelled because you have Aspergers …I’m suppose to hold my breath and be dazzled by your brilliance? I don’t think that would happen. I think the kindest thing you could do for a kid (perhaps adult) with Aspergers is to tell him or her you can’t hire them or work with them because they smell and their lack of hygiene offends you.

  29. hm says:

    Only one comment: When you get to be a bit older, you will regret not taking care of your teeth.

    • Penelope Trunk says:

      My teeth are already really bad, but it’s from years of bulimia. I thought you were supposed to brush your teeth right after throwing up, but that actually makes it worse – rubs in all the bad stuff. You are supposed to rinse your mouth out with water right after you throw up if you want to do your best to protect your teeth.

      I like writing this. It’s like a public service announcement to other girls struggling with bulimia. And also, now you know that I do, actually, care about my teeth.

      Penelope

  30. Laura Hamilton says:

    Ha. Are your coworkers at Quistic assertive enough to tell you that you smell, if that’s the case?

    That might be a good litmus test actually, now that I think about it. If they’re too shy or political to tell you that you smell bad, they may be less likely to point out a leadership or business mistake you’re making?

    Please experiment and report back.

  31. laura says:

    Sometimes I wonder if I could be autistic. I identify with a lot of autistic traits and struggles. But yeah, this is me too. I don’t don’t have to be presentable for a job so I can do what I want, but changing and showering always are unpleasant for me. My mom was always intent on me doing that stuff, and my husband is a bit compulsive about things being clean, so I tend to feel defensive and frustrated about it. But it is nice to know I’m not the only one.

  32. Vick says:

    “Because the truth is, I don’t really change my clothes.”

    When I read this line, it struck me. But then there’s more to it when reading more of your post. lol

  33. Steve Mielczarek says:

    Me, I won’t eat restaurant’s fruit. I
    have to wash all of the fruit myself.
    I just can’t be certain fruit’s clean.
    I can’t eat fruit I don’t know if it’s
    clean. You go out to eat at a
    restaurant, you don’t know if the
    fruit’s clean. Whose hands have been
    touching your fruit. You don’t know if
    it’s clean.
    BARBIE:
    Princess, we all have to wash our
    fruit with our hands. Even if it’s
    been washed.
    PRINCESS:
    Sure, tell the girls down at the meat
    plant. They think I’m nuts. Like
    Dolores. Dolores thinks I’m too clean.
    How can I be too clean? Dolores, I’m
    telling ya, she gets my goat.

  34. Anthea says:

    Do different colors bother you, or is it just the different fit/texture?

    I’m picky about fit and texture, so once I find something comfortable I generally get the same pants in black, brown, gray, and navy, and then the same shirt in whatever colors are available that I don’t hate.

    I stopped getting multiples of the same color back in high school after I was accused of not changing my clothes, when I actually had. :-p

    • Sunny says:

      @Anthea
      As I have aged – I have started this practice as well. I learned the lesson after I had a pair of shoes that were the BEST. They were so good I wore them out. Then I couldn’t get another pair. Still to this day – I want those shoes!

      Me and my worn out shoes were parted.

    • mh says:

      I do this, too. I have multiples of everything comfortable. I explain that it’s because I wore a uniform to private school for twelve years. But really, I just hate shopping and trying to figure out outfits.

  35. Keith Williams says:

    Hilarious, Penelope! If you have any other embarrassing vices (like singing really badly) tell yourself you can do them while you shower. Kill two birds with one stone.

    Also, regarding teeth, a mental trick: I got myself to floss by telling myself I’d just have to floss between two teeth. Once you’ve got the floss out, you might as well finish the whole job. Same probably goes for toothpaste.

  36. Ann Stanley says:

    People worry too much about cleanliness. I think it is one way they deal with shame, especially shame about their bodies. Funnily enough, cleanliness was the topic over at Mr Money Mustache last week, with more of a focus on how much money we waste on this obsession.
    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/12/30/are-you-cleaning-out-your-own-wallet/

  37. noi that says:

    You can also use cornstarch. It’s the main ingredient in baby powder, but it doesn’t have the baby smell. Totally smell-less. I take dried lavender and chop it up, and put it in the bottle with the cornstarch, so it smells lovely to cover up for the unwashed-ness.

  38. zishaan says:

    Here’s a great tip, though: baby wipes are like magic. Trust me on this one. We have a pack in every bathroom and even one in the trunk of the car. They’re perfect for a quick P-V-A (pits, vag, ass) whenever a shower will have to wait. Voila, in 1 minute you’re smelling great.

  39. Mark says:

    I did not brush my teeth regularly as a teenager, or in college. Now I am middle-aged and my teeth are sh*t. My father was a dentist until he retired a few years back, so I could have had free dental care. Instead, I buried my head in the sand and pretended there was no problem.

    In short, stop giving people bad advice. Your life is your business, but the fact is that other people will not be OK just because you (think you) were!

  40. cindy says:

    Maybe I’m the odd man out here, but I like a clean body. I like to sleep next to a clean body. I like to have sex with a clean body – both mine and his……This not showering thing would put a screeching halt to sex for me. There would be very limited places I’d want to put my mouth or hands or whatever…..

  41. Helen says:

    I don´t change my wear every day, I don´t brush my teeth after every lunch and I don´t take a shower every day.

    But with all this, I´m feeling clean, because i´m clean.

    Thanks for sharing this post!

  42. Bogdan Elenecejlc says:

    I did not brush my teeth regularly as a teenager, or in college. Now I am middle-aged and my teeth are sh*t. My father was a dentist until he retired a few years back, so I could have had free dental care. Instead, I buried my head in the sand and pretended there was no problem.

  43. Bogdan Elenecejlc says:

    Here’s a great tip, though: baby wipes are like magic. Trust me on this one. We have a pack in every bathroom and even one in the trunk of the car. They’re perfect for a quick P-V-A (pits, vag, ass) whenever a shower will have to wait. Voila, in 1 minute you’re smelling great.

    • C.A. Lewis-McCarren says:

      That comment of the “P-V-A” is hilarious! OMG – I thought it was just ME!!!!! (I really need to make girl friends…..maybe I wouldn’t feel so odd.)

  44. C.A. Lewis-McCarren says:

    I think that everyone one here is discovering “authenticity”. Hmmmm…..interesting research one could conduct just from Penelope’s blog posts & comments.

    Right Now: Me sitting here in fish flannel bottoms, my husband’s cashmere sweater, he is in the hospital with an emergency appendectomy, we are supposed to move out of our foreclosed house in 6 days, I’m broke and my kids are playing Wii……life is good. :/

  45. Andrea says:

    I haven’t been following this blog for quite a while.Coming back and reading this post reminded me why I left, thank you!

  46. Amanda says:

    I thought I was the only one! Now that I work from home it’s gotten pretty bad, thankfully working from home has made me more social so now I want to go out more which then gives me a reason to shower.

    Thanks for the post!

  47. Anna says:

    I wish you would write a post about helping one’s young adult child with Asperger’s find a job. My daughter also struggles with hygiene and letting go of clothes she’s worn to death. It’s near impossible to take her clothes shopping–she hates everything and she’s very sensitve to color, texture, fit, etc. as you’ve mentioned, Penelope. Buying multiples of clothes she actually likes doesn’t work for her. She likes to wear the same things every day and she hoards her dirty laundry in the closet. We have major fights whenever I sneak into her room–while she is taking her rare showers– to bring her dirty clothes to the laundry room. She’ll never find a job even though she’s bright, polite and effiicent.

    • Penelope Trunk says:

      I think the most important thing for someone with Aspergers is teaching them there are rules and their job is not to evaluate the rules their job is to follow them.

      For people with Aspergers all social rules look negotiable because they are illogical. So what I am trying with my son is teaching him (he’s 11) that it doesn’t matter if he wants to do something or not. It’s a rule. I teach him that we all try very hard to fit in. We have to do everything we can to fit in. That’s the game. Fit in. Play by the rules.

      I know for people who find it easy to fit in, this seems shallow, but telling people it’s okay to be different is a luxury for people who aren’t really all that different.

      Penelope

    • Tom says:

      That is something you should never accept regardless of truth. Keep on keeping on. Always hard.

      Best Wishes

      Tom

  48. cindy says:

    This has been really enlightening. I had a houseguest for 2 years who hasn’t been formally diagnosed with Aspergers, but pretty much has all of the signs, as do his father and brother. All three are extremely smart and addicted to computers. All have a very literal understanding of everything and don’t “get” humor or sarcasm.

    I finally made the boy move out, in part, because none of us could stand the smell coming from him or his bedroom any longer. He refused to wash his clothes or change them. The last time he washed all of his clothes was a year ago at Christmas when I washed everything, including his bedding and cleaned up his space as a Christmas surprise. He didn’t shower or brush his teeth very regularly. He hoarded dirty dishes. Nothing I said made a difference. It made no sense to any of us. It drove us crazy.

    His dad has learned to compensate for his tendencies in a number of ways, one of which is to make systems and rules for everything. When he showers, which he has made a rule to do daily, he washes 5 things all in the same order. He allows himself to wear his clothes only 3x before washing them. Socks get changed daily. He does everything in 3’s or 7’s because he thinks there is some special magic in those numbers. So, the dishes got washed every 7 days. He uses a dice to keep track of his thoughts when explaining something. Don’t ask me how, it works for him….

    My boys and I all know they all have their quirks. But this has shed some light on why they are the way they are.

  49. Mitchell Ragsdale says:

    I’m all for personal hygiene but there’s a point where it becomes just as odd on the other end of the spectrum. For example, I worked out in a gym with a friend who used to nap, shower and get ready for the gym. Something I never understood.

    Now if you just came from a job where you are excessively dirty it makes sense or if you are single and one of those who thinks going to the gym like it’s a club will somehow help, whatever. But this guy was married. Again, I don’t want to workout next to somebody who’s drives me away from my working sets but it was a bit excessive.

    I think as long as you are reasonably clean, then the concept of bathing and showering is sort of a grey area. Jumping in the shower to get the sand off yourself is valid. That’s at least personal hygiene. I’ll never understand the people who do all that and don’t shower. I just feel like you have this extra layer of dirt and you’ve got to feel that on yourself?

    Working from home, I’ve not had this problem much but getting up and showering, doesn’t feel like a necessity anymore. Coffee on the other hand, is a must!

  50. Frank says:

    You hypothesized that women earning a high-income received more oral sex as a result. Could there also be a relationship with a woman’s habits of personal hygene?

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