Now you're probably wondering what is UP with the ventilation system at her HOUSE? Is it directly downwind of the neighbour's or something? Maybe. I don't know. I'm not a ventilation system expert. All I do know is that I'm highly sensitive to smells. The human version of a bloodhound. Slightly shorter ears. Less droopy red eyes (except for very early in the mornings...) It's not just smells, really. I'm highly sensitive to nearly everything - try drumming your fingers around me. Or whistle! Just whistle a tune around me if you want to see a neat little Jekyll/Hyde thing happen.
I think I may have actually found the cure for my highly sensitive nose, though.
Enter: a dog. If you are sensitive to smells, get yourself a dog. Seriously. I cannot recommend this enough. Boot-camp training to get you over your troubles because dogs kind of stink. No, I know. Not YOUR dog. But you know…other people’s. Okay, mine. When I first brought home the tiny, cute little black pile of fur, my nose was overwhelmed (to put it mildly) what is happening right now?? Give me one of those nasty colds, pluck those tiny hairs - anything! Anything but this!
I figured it was because she had been kept in a barn and that soon, this insanely doggy-like smell would wear off. The barn thing should also have been a red flag to many other problems, but right now I’m only addressing smells. The smell that would punch me in the face as I walked through the front door in those first few days! It was as if we had been taken over by an army of giant hamsters with poor hygiene.
And yes, we bathed her! We have the battle-scars to prove it. (she is also highly sensitive) Still! Dogs find special ways to bring smelliness to the table - literally and figuratively. They defecate and befoul. Sorry. I admit, I'm being gratuitously graphic. It's just that there is a sign outside of the park near my house – it says “it is unlawful to allow your dog to defecate and befoul in the park” and secretly I love this phrase. So proper and yet still so gross!
Anyway, here's the amazing part. It is like a miracle! You become nose blind after a while. And nose blind? It is awesome! I can handle smells so much easier now! No matter what my lovely Polish neighbour is up to. I even wave at her when I go out to the car. Come at me with your sausages...
Recently my dog had an ear infection. I fear I might lose one or two readers (putting me at a deficit) if I describe the smell of this experience in any way, so I hope this is a good enough illustration.
My sister (visiting): How do you put up with that?
Me: (dusting around my husband while he sits at the computer) Oh, I barely notice. I just feed him a few times a day and dust him every once in a while…
My sister: Uh...I meant the smell?
Me: Oh. Heh. Right. That would be Bootsie. She has an infection so her ear really smells.
My sister: (pulling her shirt over her nose) You don't say.
Me: Oh come on. Is it that bad?
My sister: (gagging behind her shirt) (muffled voice...) No, it’s fantastic.
Bootsie: (who adores my sister – totally unreciprocated - and runs up to her, wagging, flicking at her ear, fluffing up clouds of stench) bark! Bark bark!!! Bark bark bark!!! (translation: pet me?)
My sister: (running away) Gaaaaak! (translation: not if my life depended on it)
Bootsie is on medication for the ear thing. It smells highly mediciney. She needs new hypo-allergenic food. It smells hypo-allergenicky...but guess what? I'm still okay! Still nose blind as a bat. (those wooden ones they use for baseball).
As for anyone who visits? Normally I would say “deep breaths” although in this case, it is not recommended.