Monday, March 7, 2011

On Smelling of Beef and Flowers

One little-known fact about me is that I have a thing for smelling like food. As in, I only go through the drive-thru at Dunkin' Donuts so I don't walk out smelling of powdered, jelly-filled Hazelnut, light and sweet. As in, cooking fried chicken at home takes days of mental preparation and three showers after the fact. As in, this one time when my husband fried some bacon after I'd showered to go out with friends, I was BEYOND infuriated. As in, I ended up hiding in the master bathroom for about half an hour hiding from the Pepe Le Pew trail of odor that knocked on my door.

This thing I have. It's kind of a big thing.

So, the other day, when I decided to get some beef stew going in the crock pot for dinner, I realized with solemnity that I'd have to brown the beef. I stood there, staring at the skillet, wooden spoon clutched like a sword, wrestling the fact that I'd be smelling of dinner at nine o'clock in the morning.  

Bad Angel: Oh god...it'll permeate the house. It'll last all day. I...I...I HAVE TO GO OUT IN PUBLIC TODAY!

Good Angel: But, C'MON, KRISTINE! Husband has been away for like two weeks! Surely you're willing to smell of savory in order to give him a solid home-cooked meal!  BECAUSE YOU ARE AN AMAZING WIFE! But mostly because, I mean, how badly could it smell anyway?

WELL. After leaving the house to drop Plus One at preschool, my nose received a pallet cleansing and I realized just how dire this situation really was. My clothes? ICK. My hair? *hork* (The smell that is. I mean, my fashion sense IS questionable and we've already covered my hair style. I'm referring to the SMELL OF BEEF here.  AT 9:30 AM. IS PUKE-ISH.)

Unfortunately, with all the other errands I had to run, there was no time for a duplicate shower. Which, I so very badly wanted to take. A second shower. Within three hours of each other. Yes, indeed. Maybe three. With extra bubbles.

So, in a hurry, I had no choice but to spritz on some perfume before dashing back out to grab my son from school. Again, it wasn't until I got in the car that I realized my folly. MY BEEF PERFUME FOLLY. Of course, there were a few things working against me here.

1. My THING for smelling like food. MY VERY BIG THING.

2. The fact that I haven't even WORN perfume in quite some time and am clearly not able to calculate the proper proportions for USING IT.

3. The fact that my perfume...has been sitting around...for the entirety of quite some time. (You GUYS. I think it goes bad! Like milk or wine or something! GO FIGURE!)

The smell. It was horrible. I can only liken it to the odor that would arise from someone taking a side of meat, sprinkling it with melted candy corn and glitter flowers, and then boiling it gently in a vat of sour milk.


I fact, I think PETA has a video of this somewhere.

Anyway, poor T9 was in the back seat, and worried he wouldn't last the trip to school without developing respiratory distress, I rolled down the windows. 42 degrees isn't THAT cold, kid. Bunker down! YOUR VERY LIFE IS AT STAKE.

Of course, this reprieve from the stench only lasted the short drive, for when we arrived at the school, I spent about 15 minutes fumigating the hallway while I waited for Plus One's dismissal. In fact, one of the other friendly parents took it upon himself to play doorman, eagerly opening it every thirty seconds or so to see if anyone needed assistance. You know, WALKING THROUGH IT.

I shook my mental fist at him with anger: WHAT'S WRONG, BILLY'S DADDY?! DON'T LIKE BEEF, DO YA? Dick.

I eventually grabbed Plus One, being sure to stay within close proximity to another parent at all times. This allowed for the wordless shrug, followed by a subtle pointing gesture and a twitching of the nostrils if anyone raised an eyebrow in my direction.  Once we were in the car again, I felt some comfort in assuming that the scent had dissipated at least enough so as not to induce vomiting. Both boys were breathing well enough with only minor oxygen supplementation. I dropped the kids at grandma's, instructing my mother to rinse them off in the decontamination chamber. She looked at me questioningly, but I shook my head: NO TIME WOMAN. I MUST FLEE THE AREA.  From there, I headed to my therapist's office where the final test of my pungency would take place. I'd spend the next 45 minutes shut in a room with only her. And me. AND MY BEEFY FLOWER SCENT.

I sat down on the couch and she assumed her position in the chair. I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous. Like, "WHAT'S WRONG, KRISTINE? TELL ME HOW YOU'RE FEELING" nervous. Grabbing her case folder, she turned to me and paused. I grimmaced for impact, but she instead gestured to her pants. "You'll have to excuse my jeans today. I dress down on Fridays."

Is she olfactory challenged?! Is she trying to be polite?! IS SHE MOCKING ME?! It didn't matter. I had to grab this bull by The Breakfast Club horns. It was my only window and I LEAPT THROUGH IT. "Well...YOU'LL have to excuse the fact that I smell like a vat of, ah, perfumed beef." (Dear god...that was forward. I'M NEVER FORWARD. SHE'LL SEE RIGHT THROUGH IT!)

::nervous laughter::

Again, she surprised me with her casual response. "Well...it can't be worse than the skunk!"

That's right! You guys, I'd once spent an entire session hearing her apologize for smelling like skunk. Apparently her house or dog or SOMETHING had been sprayed that morning and she was kind of obsessed. I never even smelled it that day, and still wonder about her stability, to be quite frank.

BUT! YOU GUYS! Not enough to appreciate the fact that girl is smell-obsessed, just like me! And a year and a half later, I realize,*this* is why we've always worked so well together! I resisted the urge to high-five her and tell her about my obsession with Windex because, HELLO, it's like the only thing that can overpower yucky food smell! Because, DUH, she IS my therapist. She'd have killed that story with a frown and some questions about chemical dependency.

(Dramatic sigh.)

This thing. This thing for smells. It's a pretty big fucking thing.

28 comments:

  1. I can't say that has ever happened to me, but I totally GET IT. Your therapist sounds great.

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  2. I could totally smell beef the whole time I was reading this. Did you somehow, ahh..."flavor" your blog with your beefy odiferousness while you were writing???

    Whatever. It made me hungry.

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  3. I am also obsessed with smell. I smell everything!!! My husband hates it. Oh well.

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  4. I don't know that I feel as strongly as you do about this smell issue, but I definitely get it. Hate coming out of Starbucks and reeking of coffee all day. Hate wearing my coat into Mexican restaurants for the same reason. I could perfectly envision your beef/perfume trauma!

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  5. I have the smell disease, too. Ever since my first pregnancy. It's to the point where I smell EVERYthing! And, I am sensitive to stuff that I can't stand--like when my kids come to my house from my ex's and they smell musty or somehow nasty like they haven't washed in the week they've been gone and I immediately want to fumigate my home, put their clothes in the laundry and get them showered before they touch anything. Kinda crazy, but true!

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  6. Remind me never to invite you to my house for dinner. Because the husband loves to cook strong smelling things (hello, curry? seriously?) and then it takes me 5 days to air out the house afterwards.

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  7. As the fact that I can't smell a thing I'm sure it wasn't that bad. Try carrying Oust or Febreeze around, it might help.

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  8. I can barely smell anything, so you would be safe with me. My daughter uses Windex so much we got her a T-shirt that says, "Windex Bitch."
    My granddaughter has serious obsessions about the weather. It is a heavy burden for her and I'm sure yours isn't easy either.

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  9. Ugh. The same thing happens to me. Especially if there's garlic involved.

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  10. Lovely Brunette + Bacon smell = BADASS!

    Surely you hubs had it planned.

    As for the cooked meat and perfume smell...well, could have been worse.

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  11. My wife always knows when I've eaten a pepperoni stick on the car ride home from doing the groceries.

    Stupidly, I figure, if I eat it, throw away the wrapper and destroy the bill... who's gonna know?

    She will. Every damn time with her keen wolf nose. Stupid women and their super powers.

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  12. You are SO funny!!! I guess I have never thought about it...I cook daily. I bet I unknowingly walk around this world smelling of our next supper. Eww! Put, with me, you would have to mix eau de crockpot with a dash of dried sweat from my workout (cuz I hardly ever shower)and stinky boys.

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  13. I do not have the smell thing. But I get it, indeed I do. Because I have many, many things that are too big for my fragile emotional state to handle. And that's why I self-medicate. And appropriately use prescription meds. And blog. And talk a bit too much and over think and question every word that I've ever uttered to another human being and--my god, I think I need to call my therapist.

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  14. Guys are immune to the smell thing. Think about it. All the stinky things guys do, if we had that smell thing? Farts, burps & day old underwear would be outlawed by congress.

    But guys also (generally) love food. Having a wife that smells like food? Can't call that a bad thing. So you make the hubs a fine beef stew and you smell like beef too?? I'd call that dessert!

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  15. Oh my gosh! I read your post earlier today, but was just reminded of it when I used cucumber soap, apple shampoo, pineapple body spray, a little nectarine soap, and mango lotion...and now my produce smell infested body thinks I might need another shower!The mint toothpaste is just struggling to be noticed.

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  16. I bet you smell it a lot more than other people. Or, at least you can tell yourself that.

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  17. well, i smell like a stack of maple syrup drenched pancakes because i'm taking fenugreek to up my milk production. so you and i? we'd smell like a nasty, befuddled version of IHOP, apparently. and you'd probably hate me upon first smell. i also have the whole, "have no idea how much to put on because i never wear it" perfume issue. are we sisters??? smelly food, no perfume wearing, sisters?

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  18. Ooooh my goodness!!! I sooooo totally get it! I thought I was all alone on this front. I have a complete aversion to smelling like food. For me, it's fried onions. That smell stays with you for a long long time. I mean, if you're going to cook fried onions at some point in the day, what's the point of even bathing? Wait a few days until the smell dissipates. And your hair...well we can't even go there.

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  19. I was falling in love with you throughout this post and nodding my head emphatically because we have the same cooking smell aversion and then, and then, AND THEN! you said you loved WINDEX!

    WINDEX!

    WINDEX!

    WINDEX!

    We're like totally psychic-olfactory twinsies!

    *Activates WonderTwin powers without your consent*

    Look at my blog masthead. LOOK AT IT! It is no accident, my friend. Okay, I'll just tell you: It's a Windex bottle.

    I'm done now. I swear I'm not usually such a spaz.

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  20. Hahaha!! Yes, it does seem to be a very big thing, but, I mean, rightfully so! No one likes a Beef Broth Body Spray, right? So glad you have a therapist that understands you!

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  21. Even though I can safely say I have no idea what you are talking about but I always picture you freaking out and flailing your arms about frantically while still magically being able to write your blogs. It is causing that sort of a mental image that I call good blogging.

    Did I manage to be coherent there? I consider it a good blog on my part if I can produce a complete sentence. I do have much higher standards for others than I do for myself.

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  22. I. Smell. Everything. I smell the meat before I cook it, and I like to make sure the cooked meat smell has vacated the house after the meal has been prepared. Sometimes you can't tell that for certain until you've left the house and come home again. *SMACK* There's last night's roasted chicken hitting you in the schnozz.

    I feel like white trash if I go out and my coat smells like cooked anything. I was apologizing at the library a few weeks ago that my coat might smell like bacon so I could head off the desk lady's white trash thoughts at the pass. She said that would be a good smell to wear. Perfume? Yes. Cooked meat? No.

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  23. i feel your pain although only by association. (??) anyway... im the opposite. as in, i smell things but they don't bother me that much but i live with someone who is constantly being victimized by smells. i mean, i don't really relish having food smells on my clothes and hair but it's not a deal breaker for me unless i get a repugnant waft of cheesy-dirty feet or when someone's body odour reaches such a level it begins to smell like meat. rotten meat.
    my husband is really the one with the sensitive sniffer. as bad as fresh from the toilet poo smell can be; he would rather smell it "au naturale" then mix smells with a flowery air-freshener on top of it. and i get it. putting perfume on something that smells like dump might SOUND like it would properly neutralize the issue but IT. DOES. NOT.
    you might want it to but it's never gonna cover up that level of stank. and apparently the same is true for cooked ground beef via clothing.
    your poor children...

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  24. i feel your pain although only by association. (??) anyway... im the opposite. as in, i smell things but they don't bother me that much but i live with someone who is constantly being victimized by smells. i mean, i don't really relish having food smells on my clothes and hair but it's not a deal breaker for me unless i get a repugnant waft of cheesy-dirty feet or when someone's body odour reaches such a level it begins to smell like meat. rotten meat.
    my husband is really the one with the sensitive sniffer. as bad as fresh from the toilet poo smell can be; he would rather smell it "au naturale" then mix smells with a flowery air-freshener on top of it. and i get it. putting perfume on something that smells like dump might SOUND like it would properly neutralize the issue but IT. DOES. NOT.
    you might want it to but it's never gonna cover up that level of stank. and apparently the same is true for cooked ground beef via clothing.
    your poor children...

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  25. I was falling in love with you throughout this post and nodding my head emphatically because we have the same cooking smell aversion and then, and then, AND THEN! you said you loved WINDEX!

    WINDEX!

    WINDEX!

    WINDEX!

    We're like totally psychic-olfactory twinsies!

    *Activates WonderTwin powers without your consent*

    Look at my blog masthead. LOOK AT IT! It is no accident, my friend. Okay, I'll just tell you: It's a Windex bottle.

    I'm done now. I swear I'm not usually such a spaz.

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  26. Lovely Brunette + Bacon smell = BADASS!

    Surely you hubs had it planned.

    As for the cooked meat and perfume smell...well, could have been worse.

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  27. As the fact that I can't smell a thing I'm sure it wasn't that bad. Try carrying Oust or Febreeze around, it might help.

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  28. I am also obsessed with smell. I smell everything!!! My husband hates it. Oh well.

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