Tuesday, September 27, 2011

National Olfactory Awareness Day

You know how I said yesterday that I wasn’t really sure why I hadn’t written in over ten days? I think I’ve figured it out. All I can think (and write) about these days (weeks) is food and smells and the smells of foods and the tastes of smells and all sorts of other taste-and-olfactory complainy obsessiveness that CANNOT BE INTERESTING to read about.

Do I care that someone on Facebook had cereal for dinner? I do not. Do you care that some blogger had pasta with lemony tomato sauce for lunch? Surely you do not. Bless you for reading anyway because, unfortunately, for now it’s all I’ve got.
A dear friend who started out as my boss when I was a writer-in-the-schools and within days revealed herself to be my long-lost sister (in spirit if not in parentage) writes a blog, nosy girl, about her olfactory obsessions—and manages to do it in a way that’s interesting and compelling. Perhaps in small part because she’s not pregnant and she’s a lot more cheerful than me, so it’s not all, “This smells yucky and so does this and this and blaaughhh!”

Like nosy girl, I’ve always had a really sensitive nose, but somehow (perhaps in small part because she has a better personality than I do) she’s channeled her sensitivities into a love of scents and the exploration thereof. I, on the other hand, feel 97% tormented by my sensitive nose and would generally be happy to trade in some of my olfactory superpowers for, say, the ability to fly. I mean, does anyone really die from hard-to-detect gas leaks anymore?

Every week or so nosy girl posts an interview with a friend about their experience moving through the scented world. She interviewed me a month or so ago—before I knew I was pregnant—and posted it today, inadvertently giving me permission to continue to obsess about smell here on the Information Superhighway.

The smell of lighter fluid and diesel fuel and slow-to-light gas stove burners and old garbage has always made me feel a bit queasy. The difference when I’m pregnant—especially at the beginning—is that I’m a bit queasy at baseline, so anything on top of that makes me lose my lunch entirely. Plus there are all-new smells that are suddenly intolerable, as most anyone who’s ever been pregnant knows.

Last time I was pregnant, I was done in by the scent of garbage, my shampoo, most any hand soap, coffee, BBQ grills, and our secondhand bed which turned out to have a slight mildew problem. (An update on that story: the bed frame is finally gone, hallelujah. We now sleep on a box-spring and mattress on the floor because we cannot agree on what a new bed frame should look like. Also, it’s easier for the baby to climb on and off. Also, I’m terrified a new bed frame will smell like glue or veneer or paint or varnish or warehouse or something.) This time around, the list has grown to include (in no particular order):

-The inside of a refrigerator—any refrigerator, including our new one (though not a fraction as bad as the old one)
-The inside of shoes—any shoes that have ever been worn by anybody.
-The caulk used to secure the new (functional!) windows in the (first) baby’s room.
-Our cloth napkins.
-Our dishtowels.
-Our sheets.
-Our pillowcases.
-Our bedroom, generally.
-Green onions.
-Peanut oil.
-Cat food.
-Eggs in the process of being cooked. (Pure gaggy sulfur, that one.)
-The inside of the dishwasher.
-The kitchen garbage.
-The kitchen sink.
-The kitchen, generally.
-Our old wool rugs.
-Garbage trucks. (The baby’s new favorite vehicle to spot on the road—just edging out “Schoo’buh!” I’ve taught her to follow up her observation of “Garbage tuck” with “Stinky.”)
-Dirty diapers.
-Wet diapers.
-The toilet.
-The bathroom, generally.
-Three different kinds of dish soap, including one that’s “unscented.”
-Three different kinds of bath gel, including one that’s “unscented.”
-The water from our faucet.
-Ice cubes made with water from our faucet.
-Our back deck, underneath which a rat might have once died.
-The area around our back deck (a.k.a. “The backyard”).
-Diesel fuel.
-Washer fluid.
-Car wash soap.
-Michele Bachmann.
-Rick Perry.
-Mitt Romney.

Thank you for listening to me complain, ad nauseam. Next I will tell you what I’m going to eat for a snack! (Hint: three syllables; rhymes with “venereal.”)

1 comment:

  1. Wow , It seems its was a great of national Olfactory Awareness Day .