You’ve sat next to this person on the MAX. You’ve shared the sidewalk with this individual. At one point, you might have called them a friend. In the city of Portland, they seem to be everywhere. As their body odor permeates from their skin as they bike across the Hawthorne bridge, these characters assault our senses through smell-pollution.
I’ve never lived in any city where general hygiene seems to be so “uncool.” Washing your hair every other month, taking as few showers as possible, and still engaging in physical activities such as biking, hiking, or yoga has an effect on others that cannot be ignored. Many of us who prescribe to a regular bathing schedule can smell the human bacterial colonies that live amongst us. Organic soap isn’t able to wash away the stank. Crystal deodorant is a sham. Therefore, our summers are littered with stinky progressives. Tears spring to sensitive eyes of hygiene-normals much like chopping onions. The offender, long used to the odor emanating from their body (or long accustomed to covering it up with patchouli oil, incense or pot) does not know the pain they causes. Or probably doesn’t care.
During the winter months, women don’t shave. Men grow out their hair and shave faces sparingly. The majority of us look disheveled amongst the professionals*. Of course, the advertising, marketing and tech communities are largely responsible for the lack of hygiene. Quirky personalities and possibly a case of Asperger Syndrome or ADD make it socially acceptable for them to go into meetings with 5 o’clock shadow and uncombed hair. As long as you are wearing designer denim with those Chuck Taylors and your facial scruff is covered with a cashmere scarf you are good to go.
The people of Portland have let themselves go. We do not take ourselves seriously. Other cities have no reason to take us seriously. If the cast of Charlie Brown were represented by major cities, we would be Pig-Pen. We stink.
*People with careers