LAKEVIEW — The start of a new year sees many celebrating “Dry January,” a month-long abstaining from alcohol that gives Chicagoans a pass to go as hard as they want in February and March. Scott Marshall, 26, a barback, has not been participating in the sobriety aspect but has been doing a “Dry January” if you count his complete lack of skin care.
“After the holidays I always just sort of need a reset,” said Marshall, scratching his chest, “I made it pretty far this year, but five days in I was like ‘fuck this, I’m not watching football sober.’ I’ll try again in like April or May or next year or never.”
While Marshall’s attempts to not drink fizzled, his friends and recent dates have noticed he is technically dry, but in a literal, skin-related way. Sources close to Marshall say they’re unaware of any steps that Marshall takes to prevent painfully dry skin during the winter months.
“I matched with Scott on Hinge back in September, I think,” said Kylie Quan, 24, a pharmacist, “and his skin was really smooth, really nice. We’ve dated off and on for the last couple months and I’ve watched him really dry himself out. We’re halfway through January and he’s still going out with no lotion, no chapstick, nothing. I’m slathered head to toe, but I guess I just don’t have his willpower.”
As temperatures drop into single and negative degrees, Marshall seems to be holding fast to his avoidance of any kind of skin care, despite peer pressure from his friends who are regularly moisturizing.
“Scotty was trying to get me to drink with him after work,” said Pat Chlebek, 25, a co-worker and friend of Marshall’s, “and I had to remind him – again – that I’m not drinking in January. Then I told him ‘dude, what’s up with your hands, why does it look like you borrowed them from a mummy?’ and he got all huffy and went to get another White Claw. Like, bro, your hands look like white claws.”
While his decision to refrain from skin care hasn’t made him more popular with his peers, Marshall seemed resolute, even completely unaware that there might be a solution to his itchy shoulders, painfully cracked knuckles and red, rashy cheeks.
“It sucks, but it’s just that time of year where you gotta keep your head down and think about how lit summer is going to be,” said Marshall, his lip splitting open and beginning to bleed as he tried to smile. “That’s why I’m getting really, really drunk for the rest of the month. Fuck this Dry January shit.”