What Is Wrong With Me: My Sweat Broke My iPhone, You Guys

If I were a Peanut, apparently I'd be Pig Pen.
Publish date:
July 9, 2013
excess sweat, summer, deodorant, iphones, my iPhone is basically an appendage

When it is extremely hot out, people discussing it say one of two things:

“At least it’s a dry heat.”


I tend to fall into the second camp. Luckily for all who must spend time around me, I live in an age (and in a country, to be circumspect about it) where air conditioning is the norm.

Granted, in the new age of greening the shit out of things (FUCK YOU “THE ENVIRONMENT”), the air conditioning is, on the whole, not as arctic-chill inducing as it once was. I have found the days wherein I had to pack a lightweight cardigan or a full-length down parka for excursions to restaurants or the movies long gone, like the Awesome Blossom before them.

And this change is fine. I can cope, though my caps lock would seem to indicate otherwise. If I am indoors, safe from the heat, I am not complaining. Though I may still be found applying an entire bar of Secret to my whole person in a calculated gambit to prevent my oozing pores from sending me gliding off of every surface I sit upon into a putrid puddle of my juices on the floor.

I sweat. I do not gleam, glisten, or become dewy. I rain. I perspire. While standing on the subway platform waiting for a ride into the city, I have to consciously assure myself the liquid trickling down my legs is not urine. “You have not lost control of your bladder,” I’ll say quietly, “you are just a monster.”

A lot of this is perception. I feel gross, ergo I must appear gross (#rollinyourgravedescartes). I have friends who have had legitimate issues with sweat, issues that have taken them to doctors desperate for a solution. While I might moan about my flop sweats or refer to myself as Becca Belushi, I have never taken proactive measures against my sweat because for all my histrionics, my sweating is nothing that can’t be cured by wearing light-colored shirts and drinking a lot of cold water.

Or so I thought.

Cut to me, Saturday morning. After a week of birthday-related feasting featuring daily cake-eating and the ingestion of more than three but less than five lobster rolls, my body was rejecting all things rich and decadent in a mode so staunch as to do Oliver Cromwell proud. “I’m fine,” I said to no one, “I’ll just have some weak tea and dine on the memory of all my past transgressions. Someone pass me a large black hat, preferably one adorned with a square buckle.”

Since this aforementioned week of earthly delights included activities such as “driving” and “sitting” and “floating in water”, once I was back home I figured some physical activity might put a little spring back into my step (that’s code for saying I was deeply constipated, y’all). We aren’t talking some sort of intense, grueling workout, you guys. We are talking 30 minutes of fake-running on the elliptical at a setting of 1. I wasn’t trying to erase my week of vacation, I was trying to restore my body to some semblance of normalcy.

It had been a week since I’d last been to the gym. At the time of my last visit, it had been about 80 degrees. Saturday in New York, it was a lot hotter than 80 degrees. Feeling well-rested, I’d headed out for the gym about noon for the twenty-minute walk to my gym. It was brutal out. I was sweaty. I was a little spacey, something I tried to rectify with water. This is all by way of explaining the random, out of character thing I did next:

I exercised while holding my iPhone.

Now, I love my iPhone. It is sassy and delightful and very often brings me updates about you guys (awwwwww). I will admit to obsessively checking my email, obsessively tweeting, obsessively looking at Facebook. But when I hit the gym (hard, in the face) I let the little fellow sit on the little ledge usually made available on my workout machines of choice. Why this time did I not do what I usually do? Blame heat stroke, blame the potentially interesting guy I have been messaging with, blame it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol (only don’t, because I was sober) -- the truth is I have no idea.

I had no idea what damage I’d done until I began my walk home. My screen went dim, and as I tried to blindly open my options and futz with the brightness, the dulcet crooning of America singing Muskrat Love (#sorrynotsorry) started to stutter and then stop entirely. I hit all of the buttons over and over. It wasn’t until I removed the case and poured out an inch of my own sweat that I realized what had happened.

I murdered my iPhone with my own sweat.

A bowl of uncooked rice, and several hacks later, my phone remained dark and I began to doubt my previously levelheaded take on my own sweatiness. Could all my negative cognitive self-talk be right? Could I be a monster? If the look on the face of the guy at the iPhone tech shop I went to on Sunday was any indication, then yes, yes I was.

I felt his gaze drift to the twin pools of moisture in my clavicles, making me out to be a terrestrial, unsexy perversion of David Bowie's Aladdin Sane, as he told me that it would take TWO DAYS to find out if my phone could even be saved. I tried not to cry. I probably wouldn’t have been able to. There could not possibly be more liquid in my body to carelessly expel.

It’s now Monday afternoon and I’m second guessing not only my sweaty body, but my tech addicted self. I knew how much I loved my phone, but I had no idea how truly dependent upon it I was until it was stripped away from me. Example: Last night I walked two miles in the wrong direction to meet a friend for dinner in Hoboken. I asked THREE PEOPLE if I was headed the right way. They all lied. Exuberantly, I might add.

Have you ever destroyed something with your sweat? Should I like, see a doctor about this? Do we think I will be able to make it until Thursday without my phone? Should I report back on how it's going? Share your sweat/heat/iPhone horror stories in the comments!