Foul and Funky Feet

Growing teenage bodies and elevated testosterone seem to have a distinct, offensive odor to everyone, except themselves.

I know I’m not alone in this torturously foul stage of growth because my teenage boys have friends that share similar hygiene habits. Certainly their parents are equally as offended by the road kill steaming in their size 11s or the unexpected whiffs of body odor while on the computer. 

I came home to four teenage boys lounging in the family room, which had become a locked fortress harboring amplified foot odor and empty Gatorade bottles. All doors and windows were closed, leaving them to inhale their own fumes. All their shoes were off, propped up on coffee tables and couch pillows.  

“Boys! What died in here? My God, your feet!” I said.  

No one seemed fazed, affected or even inconvenienced by the sudden awareness.

If you have teenage boys (or have raised teenage boys) you must be familiar with the gradual realization they are no longer little. They eat, sleep, eat, forget to brush their teeth, eat, question the importance of making their beds, eat, forget to clip their toenails, eat and occasionally forgo wearing deodorant.  

After throwing the windows open, popping popcorn and lighting the headache-inducing candles, my masking methods were merely a temporary fix to this ongoing hindrance.

The reality? Teenage boys give new meaning to amplified foot fragrance and I need to accept it, or purchase Yankee Candles in bulk.  

I began to think of all the consistent habits teenage boys tend to practice: 

  • If they can’t find clean shorts wedged in their dresser, they simply grab a wrinkled pair from the hamper. 
  • Instead of getting a plate from the cupboard, they eat over the sink. 
  • Even though gulping milk from the carton is forbidden, I know it’s done in my absence. 
  • Shoes and socks are left under the driveway basketball hoop, forgotten until a heavy rain.
  • Although rare, when desperate, batteries have been stolen from the television remote to resuscitate a video game controller.  
  • Perishable items are left on counter tops while wet towels from the shower slumber on bathroom floors.
  • I also chuckle at the congratulatory camaraderie while trying to outdo each other’s flatulence. There’s no dignity, only laughter with their latest accomplishment of clearing a room.  

It seems I’m constantly reminding them of personal hygiene and appearance. The problem is, most times they’re either unaware or could care less.  

Hopefully when girls become more of a factor, maybe, just maybe they’ll come to realize their mother may have been right. Winning brownie points with girls won’t be attained by their ability to clear a room with body odor. Let’s hope they don’t prove me wrong. 


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