I have (what I’m told is) an unusually strong sense of smell. Maybe this is the whole “sense compensation” phenomena (I have really bad eyes and some hearing loss due to multiple perforated eardrums as a child) or maybe it’s the fact that I have always felt the need to smell everything that may even resemble food. This includes, but isn’t limited to: dish soap, candles, cleaning products, storage containers, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, the inside of the fridge/freezer, the stove top and water.
For the most part, this has been a positive thing for me. This “skill” allows me to avoid buying products that will give me a migraine after prolonged usage. I can determine, 99% of the time, if something is cooked/seasoned properly just by it’s smell. I can tell if there is something in the fridge/freezer that needs to be thrown out and what it is (without having to smell every individual item). My leftover food doesn’t get a weird plastic-y taste after being stored in the fridge for 24 hours.
There are times when this isn’t so great though. Ever walk into an apartment building and be able to smell that someone on the first floor had fish for supper? Well, imagine that AND being able to smell that their next-door neighbour had pot roast, someone on the second floor had turnip with their meal, someone else had something made with ground beef (I can even tell if its regular, lean or extra lean), and someone on the third or fourth floor had pork with too much garlic. A large apartment building at 7pm can literally make me dizzy.
My smelling abilities have two major day-to-day impacts on my life. The first is “smell this for me”. This one can be for takeout food that someone isn’t sure about to a scented candle they are thinking of buying. The takeout, I don’t mind so much. The candle? Usually it is a case of “HOLY MOTHER OF A FREAKING #*-($ ! Why didn’t you just put a needle into my brain!” If you are asking someone with a sensitive nose to smell something, make sure it is not something that could “provide a new, fresh scent” to a freakin PARK, okay?
“Smell this for me” also applies to some other things too. It can go in conjunction with other phases like “does my shirt smell like cat pee?” or “can you tell that I haven’t washed my shirt since I last wore it?”. I haven’t figured out yet if these are better or worse than the candle. Don’t worry though, Mom, I don’t mind checking your fridge for you when you’re not 100% sure of the quality of it’s contents. 😉
The other impact this has on my life is (obviously) shopping. Ever try to shop with somebody who constantly has to smell things? Imagine being the one who HAS to smell everything. I get a lot of weird looks. On the plus side though, I can tell that that package of meat marked down by 30% for quick sale will NOT turn brown in 10 hours…it’s good for at least 48….mind you, that one two rows over? You don’t want that one…
By now you are probably asking “why on earth is she talking about her sense of smell?” The truth is it has been on my mind for the last three days. The reason for that is simple: I’ve had a nonstop headache for about three and a half days. That is approximately how long ago L burnt a bag of popcorn.
I have laundered the kitchen curtains, washed the wall around the microwave, cleaned out the microwave and left the kitchen window open since this devastating incident with no success. I still smell that damn burnt popcorn, and it still assaults my nose and brain. I have planned a full day out tomorrow and then Monday is back to school. Here’s hoping the smell will be gone by Friday….
No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!