Dear Malin Reese,
My sense of smell is overdeveloped. This has been both a blessing and a curse for me. In 2005, I was traveling through a little town in France called Caen, and had the good fortune to walk past a bakery that had just finished a batch of French bread and croissants for their early morning rush. The smell was perfection and led me to binge eat on a cafe chair next to a guy wearing a Fedora. Say what you want about the French but they are the only people that don’t look like assholes when they wear Fedoras. Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I was sitting on Amazon’s intra-city bus on my way to our building in South Lake Union. We stopped for another employee and a pleasant looking woman of middle age walked on and sat next to me. She was on her cell phone, engaged in a heated debate about…wait for it…the current “Bachelor” Juan Pablo. She claimed he was beautiful and misunderstood while the person on the other line seemed to disagree. Either way, it was tight quarters and I was immediately pummeled in the face by her aggressive halitosis. I want to make clear I’m not making fun of this lady because in some instances, people genuinely can’t do anything about their bad breath. However, most times it comes down to personal mouth responsibility. Shove a toothbrush in there and start the party, especially if your breath smells like you’ve been gnawing on a moldy piece of meat. I write these letters to you in hopes that they are comforting or helpful someday. This letter is more of a public service; Personal hygiene is important and here are some simple tips on how to achieve it.
BRUSH YOUR TEETH TWICE A DAY
As mentioned above, this is of supreme importance not only for your own oral health but for the people you’ll come into contact with. You only have 6 teeth right now and we’ve been terrible about brushing them. At your 1 year checkup, the Doctor asked how you were handling having them brushed and we had to admit we’ve been failing you in that department. By the time you read this, you should also be swishing with mouthwash a couple times a day and if you want to get really crazy, brush your tongue. There are a lot of bacteria hanging out on there.
SHOWER ONCE A DAY AND APPLY DEODORANT
Whether you shave your armpits or not (we live in Seattle so armpit shaving is optional), you should wear deodorant. The dark depths of your armpit can be prime real estate for body odor caused by perspiration to accumulate and fester. Body odor isn’t quite as bad as bad breath but keeping both in check is a must. I once saw an interview with Matthew McConaughey and he said that he goes all-natural in the armpit area and doesn’t shower very much. Don’t ever turn into the person who thinks they smell “all-natural”. What you really smell like is a rotting carcass.
You are lucky enough to have the new baby smell right now but that isn’t going to stay with you much longer. Luckily, you seem to love bath time and shockingly haven’t been fazed when we’ve brushed your teeth over the last week. This all goes back to the fact that you are close to a perfect child. We are doing the best to mold you into a hygienic kid. I think we’ll be good examples for you as you grow up. On top of the basic hygiene routine I mentioned above at least one of us will show you how to take it to the next level with pedicures, facials and spa services in general. I’ll be looking forward to those Daddy-Daughter outings.
“Shove a toothbrush in there and start the party”
Please make sure this is on my tombstone, without further comment.