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