I have a decent friend who doesn't wear deodorant. She stinks. I don't want to invite her over because it leaves my couches smelling like her armpits, and I avoid going out with her because the hug hello always leaves traces of stink on me I cannot get off until I shower. I've considered confronting her about it face to face (and by face to face, I mean email), but I think I'd rather send her anonymous deodorant through an elaborate plan: I'll get my cousin in Texas (using an unfamiliar postal stamp) to send her a letter I construct from magazine clippings asking her to please use deodorant, plus a fresh stick. Is that okay?
Thatz not okay.
In order to better answer this question, I consulted to a friend of mine who has made the choice (a choice of which I firmly disapprove) to not wear deodorant. She asked me to describe her as an "expert," so, fine, I will do that. She has a degree but not a Degree™.
I asked my expert what she would recommend in this scenario, and she said that, since you are friends, you should tell the person to her face (nicely). Then I asked my expert if she would put on deodorant if I asked her to (nicely) and she said it would depend on her mood.
(My expert stopped wearing deodorant for complicated reasons: "I kept having a weird taste in my mouth that I hated and then I realized I was putting on deodorant, somehow TOUCHING it, and then putting my hands in my mouth...")
I'd like to note, for all the deodorant-shunners out there (including my expert—love you, girl): Deodorant is not something you wear just for yourself; it's something you wear for other people.
It's one of those implicit social courtesies, like leaving a tip at restaurant or not murdering someone you just met. You can't just institute ghost protocol on the deodorant mission.
Now, back to the task at hand.
I appreciate your ambition and enthusiasm, with regards to the elaborate Texas mailing project. However, I fear you may have misunderstood the assignment. You want your friend to wear deodorant—not confuse or scare her. Is your first instinct when a stranger from out-of-state sends you a package (complete with "Let me tell you a Secret™" magazine cut-out ransom note) to apply whatever is inside that package to your person? Never mind that it's a product she doesn't even use. You might as well send her the plastic cheese-runoff collector from the bottom of your quesadilla maker.
"What is this? What do I do with it?"
In order to get your friend to wear deodorant, you need to figure out why she doesn't wear deodorant. Was she accidentally eating it? Does she display a hippie's aversion to "chemicals" and "toxins"? Is it possible she has lost her sense of smell, and doesn't recognize the need? (This was the case with a girl that a friend of mine once dated. He started gently reminding her to apply it every morning, and eventually it became habit.) Identify the cause, and tailor your response to it.
Your other option, since you describe her as a "decent" friend (though there's nothing decent about these antisocial tendencies), is to simply stop hanging around with her in environments where her smell will be an issue. Home visits are a privilege reserved for "good" and "good-smelling" friends. Why is she rubbing her armpits on your couch, anyway? That's not something humans do. Have you mistaken a wild animal for one of your casual acquaintances?
Wild animals don't wear deodorant.
My psychiatrist prescribes some awesome meds for me. I don't take them on a daily basis but I still go to him because sometimes I need them and you never know. Some of my friends know this and in the past I have been pretty liberal with sharing the goods, because... Why not? (Except for it being illegal, but it's just one or two so not a big deal in my mind). If I needed a sleeping pill I would hope a friend who had extra would give me one, same if I needed help staying awake or concentrating for a big project at work or an exam.
Anyway, my insurance changed and now sucks and I am paying a lot more for office visits and prescriptions and can't afford to be giving them out. I am not going to charge my friends because I am not a drug dealer and am not planning on becoming one even though some have offered to pay.
I have told them the situation but am still getting requests and it is just so hard for me to say no to a friend who says "But I have not slept in several days" or "But I have my CPA exam in a few days and can't concentrate." Even worse, my sweetest friend, who is a single mother of two and holding down two jobs—how do I say no to her? I know some do not have a doctor or insurance, but I still get sad and resentful when I run out early and also when I am paying all that money. I am feeling a little used even if they are super nice people.
I am planning on cutting off my prescription mooching friends even if I feel guilty and they are super nice and sometimes I suspect they are more in need of a med than I am. Is that okay?
But, honey, you are a wreck.
First of all, I have news for you: YOU ARE A DRUG DEALER. Welcome to the world of drug wheels and drug deals, because you are a card-carrying, pill-pushing drug dealer. You are a drug dealer with a heart of gold. You are a very unsuccessful drug dealer, since you give away your product for free. But you are a drug dealer nonetheless. Ho : Slut :: Paid Drug Dealer : You. You even call your pills "the goods!"
You mention that you're hesitant to cut off your "super nice" friends' drug supply (heads up: super nice people don't guilt others into giving them prescription meds for free) because you "suspect they are in more need of a med" than you. From this careful diagnosis, I take it that you are a doctor? Congratulations – that means you can write them some prescriptions and not worry about them depleting your own supply.
I understand why you feel bad about denying your friend, a hardworking single mother of two, what you see as a harmless bit of help (or fun?). But perhaps there is a more effective way to help her (and the children in her care) than by encouraging her to become addicted to pills. Maybe you could bake cookies shaped like pills and drop them off at her house so that she can enjoy them with her children. "We're eating pills, just like Mommy." That's adorable.
I know, too, it might be hard to say "No, I will not share my prescribed medications with you" to a super nice friend who's staring down an angry CPA exam, but look at it this way: you shouldn't be hanging out with aspiring accountants anyway. With fuzzy interpretations of the law like "Dealing drugs is okay as long as you keep it confined to small quantities and spread it among multiple friends," you should be tossing your lot (and your free drugs) in with lawyers. You will need one someday.
As I see it, you have two options:
You can either tell your friends, firmly, that you don't have any pills to spare whenever they ask and leave it at that. (No "Okay, just this once's." If you start making exceptions, you're no longer "the drug dealer who stopped dealing"; you're just "the drug dealer.")
Or, you can tell them that the cops got wise your prescription drug trafficking scam ("Turns out it is illegal even if it's only two! Who knew?") and have now launched an investigation against you. If your friends drop you immediately, you'll know that they weren't as super nice as they seemed. If they offer to help you in whatever way they can, you'll know they really like you. SUPPRESS YOUR INSTINCT TO REWARD THEIR AFFECTION WITH DRUGS.
Finally, the fact that you stockpile "awesome meds" for Just One of Those Days when you feel like you want to pop a pill and really focus on this episode of The Mindy Project tells me that perhaps YOU should cut back on the dolls as well. (Try chamomile tea if you need help falling asleep. To stay awake, many people use coffee.)
Then again, you're the doctor.
Submit your "Thatz Not Okay" questions here. Image by Jim Cooke.