Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Stinky Situation

I totally don't have time for this post but I'm writing it anyway. First of all, I don't have time because our computer is really really slow for some reason. As in right now, the last word I can see is "because" even though I have typed a lot more. They just don't show up for a while. How annoying. But it lets me know how good of a typist I am after all. I'm not too bad really. Anyway, I also don't have time because I am packing. I am so sorry friends in Nashville and Birmingham, but even though we will be down that way I do not think we will be able to come by. To see any of you. Our friends have graciously invited us to their river house on the Black Warrior River again. And that means we won't actually spend any time in Birmingham. And then just because it's during the school year, we decided we couldn't linger in Nashville. So if I happen to grab a minute, I'll call. But I think it is just going to be whoosh! Right now the last word I can see is think. And I have been sitting here for a while waiting for it to catch up. It is still stuck on think even now. Ugh! Anyway, the other thing that is broken is our dryer. And the night before a trip is no time for the dryer to be breaking. Hello! Someone please explain this to my dryer. Anyway, I am sitting here waiting for George to put the front back on the dryer so we can try it out again and continue the laundry. I know it seems last minute. But laundry has to be last minute for a trip. How else do you have clean stuff? We all tried to wear stuff today that we didn't plan on bringing. But you know. So anyway, here I am posting about why I am posting and should not be. Thrilling I know. The last time I typed what I could last see just showed up and I see that I said I could see the word "think," but the word "think" was actually in the sentence before, but the "think" that I was referring to was actually the "think" in the sentence where I explained to the Nashville and Birmingham people that we would not be seeing them. The last word I can see right now is "is" in the "the night before a trip is..." I have no idea what I wrote back then. It was ages ago!

Okay, so what is this post even supposed to be about? I'm so glad you asked. Well, it started with the whole discussion about cream of gross soups. I feel that as I am already sort of outed for the snobby and persnickety person that I am, I might as well and go all the way and confess something very shocking. Okay, are you ready? The last word I can see is laundry. Seriously, this computer is a freak. Anyway, sorry, my confession. Oooh, look at that, I stayed on track even though I couldn't read what I just wrote. That's not really that impressive I don't guess. I mean, I have the memory of the elephant. People tell me all the time. But still, clearly for me, saying on track is pretty good. And now, what has happened is that I made my confession and told this whole story about my sister searching for a signature scent and this whole candle confrontation with my friends and then said how watching all the words show up was like when Harry Potter reads Tom Riddle's diary. And none of it is coming back up. Stink! But we've all invested this much time into this, so I might as well forge ahead. Okay, the confession. I don't know how to say this except to just say it quick. Like pulling off a band aid. I hate scents. There it is. Perfumes. Candles. Shower gel. Gross. I buy free and clear laundry detergent and fabric softener, but that is the end of the story. The beginning starts with, as I mentioned before, my sister searching for her "signature scent."

Does anyone remember when the world went candle crazy and all the sudden there were all these candle boutiques popping up everywhere. And every time you got a gift you knew that either it was a candle or it held candles or that at least it smelled like candles. And by smelling like candles, I am referring to Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works coming on the scene with 101 ways to stink up the shower. That's right. Because my sister had them all! She was on some quest I think, to find the scent that would forever say "Rachael." And for a while I was with her, I thought that it might be cool to have a smell. I think this is mostly from some sort of embarrassing and far fetched desire to be remembered by your scent. You know, like in the commercial, " I just can't seem to forget you, your (what? right, sing it with me) Windsong stays on my mind." So for a while I wore Victoria Secret's "jasmine." I actually liked "freesia" better, but my friend Michelle had dibs on "freesia." So it was "jasmine." Which was appropriate because this was the same time that Aladdin came out. Okay, so that was my Sophomore year in high school which was also the year I was in the big car accident and had to wear an immobilizer thingy on my leg for six weeks- my leg, which was daily soaked in jasmine scented lotion and so the immobilizer was also soaked in it. Trust me, after the immobilizer came off, I threw all remaining traces of that scent away. But oh yes, I can smell it even now, "your jasmine stays on my mind...." I wonder if Brian, my "boyfriend" at the time could have even picked it out back then. No, I'm sure. Silly silly.

So even then, I was sort of off board with the whole perfume and candles thing. I never knew what to do with candles. My other sister had some floating in a fish bowl on top of her stereo. Even typing that is hilarious to me because duh! But we didn't know. And then one day that heat built up over the water in the fish bowl and *kablooey* and her stereo was ruined. But I just never knew what to do with them. So on my 21st birthday my two best friends and I were going to our traditional birthday breakfast at the Cracker Barrel in, hope you like it, Opelika. And I was going on and on about how candles were dumb. I don't know why. But it suddenly occurred to me that their were unopened gifts present that may well be candles. Or what if they had given me a candle before and I forgot? Or what if they loved candles? So I started back pedaling but it was a little late because I had really let them know my feelings about candles. Why was I so upset about candles? Anyway, Jennie got what I was doing and interrupted with "don't worry, we didn't get you candles!" Phew! And what they did get me was very me and I still have it in my living room, a cool mirror by Dancing Dryads which is this really neat company that makes frames out of wood from old houses. You know how I like the distressed look. Maybe because I can relate. To being distressed.

Anyway, this is an awful lot to have written and still not really have said anything. But is that what y'all are always thinking? C'mon, it is isn't it? Well, come on, let's keep it going. The dryer's still broken so we've got time. Except there's a hundred other things I should be doing. Anyway, Elspeth is allergic to fragrance. I mean, she really is. And nothing is more annoying to me than getting her back from a babysitter or the nursery and she reeks of perfume! Because even if she wasn't allergic, if you are caring for children, you might be sensitive to not overpowering them with your perfume. It is bad enough that we all have to smell it, but I don't want my baby smelling like a grandma or a young, "seductive" single! Yuck! So last year I went through this whole time of changing over to fragrance free lotions and soaps and detergents and diapers and wipes just trying to alleviate her problem with her skin. And I wasn't ever buying perfumed stuff for the smell, but you know, most things just have fragrance in them and you really have to go out of your way to avoid them. Which is what I do now. So I went to Sam's a few weeks ago to get some detergent and they didn't have anything without fragrance. I needed that detergent yesterday at that point so I hoped Elspeth had grown out of her problem. (People said she eventually would and she has been doing much better this year.) But she has bumps all over now, poor thing. And even if she was fine, my laundry is making me want to gag. So I went to Target today and bought all fragrance free again. And I am so happy.

And I was walking through the parking lot (which is another story I will tell another day) and I was thinking "I'm going to blog about this because this is just like on The Office." And what I mean about The Office is that last night we saw the episode where the Connecticut office merges into the Scranton office and Karen says it smells like a funeral parlor at her desk. Phyllis offers help Karen find the smell and comes over so that Karen realizes the smell is actually Phyllis' perfume. Phyllis is offended, even though Karen tries to "back pedal", and says it was a gift from Bob Vance (as if that will compensate for the stench or change Karen's mind.) Anyway, this is a situation I would likely find myself in if I weren't pretty quick to identify where the stench comes from. I mean, I'm not going to give out names, but I have to say that I know some people with some nauseating "signature scents." None of them read this, of course, so no, I am not talking about your perfume. But is it just me? And what can I do about it? The first step? Letting you people know so you keep away from me and my baby if you decide to get your own "signature scent." But I am convinced it is not just me. And I feel that second hand perfume is as bad as second hand smoke, except for the health risks. But stink wise, both are enough to make me sick. And I think I am much likelier to be sick from too much Tresor than I am from too much cigarette smoke. Seriously, if you gave me the choice, I think I'd rather sit by the chain smoker.

Alright, I said it. I feel much better though. I truly do. Oh, except for one minor disclaimer. I think this was the possible misunderstanding with the food thing too. If it is a natural scent, as in an actual living plant, I don't mind. But something that says it smells like such and such a plant never really does. So I am not saying I don't like flowers; I am saying I don't like fake fragrances. That's all.


RHB said...

if you come visit France, you'll have to bring your All free and clear becasue there is no such thing as no perfume detergent here either- even the sensitive skin detergents have it- somehow it is hypoallergenic but still has a fragrance

actually there are some websites that I have found about perfume having health risks- shhh- don't tell the French, the originators of perfume. :)

sorry I tortured you with my search for a signature scent- it is true that scents are connected to memories, so I totally relate to your inability to handle freesia anymore

sara said...

I've never been much for scents either. Except in high school, I remember that Woods cologne from Abercrombie (how should I say this??), well, I really liked it. But now, it is pretty much scent-free everything for me. Pregnancy made me hate many smells. To this day, I will get sick if someone uses thouse scented garbage bags--ugh--I can hardly type about them.

Also--congrats on the trend search. I do the ponytail headband thing lots, especially if I have to go somewhere straight from the gym. And, really I wear ponytails everywhere, including church. Even on those rare mornings when I blow dry and straighten my hair, I still always end up wearing it up. oh well. Maybe when I hit 40 I will just cut it all off and then I will have no choice other than to wear it down.

And the layered tee look is also really cute (I think). I have a few thin , tight long sleeve tees in different colors, and I wear them under short sleeve or 3/4 sleeve stuff lots.

Well, enough about that. Have a fun trip. If you end up with extra time, call.


Lori Shaffer said...

I am allergic to women's perfume, so going in public is always a risk. My throat burns and I get a migraine immediately...yuck.

Off topic: Were you on Ritalin as a child?

Abby said...

Ritalin? Nope. Why do you ask?

Wrights said...

smells kinda gag me too, though i do like *some* candles (lots of candles gag me too.) my grandmother's perfume is the worst ever! i think she bathes in it and i dread having to drive her somewhere in my car because it smells like it for the next two weeks! yuck! and, during pregnancy, cilantro gagged me and to this day i can't handle recipes with much cilantro in them at all. you're so funny, abby! hope y'all had a good trip!

The Rays said...

i had completely forgotten about the candles! i guess i will have to take back the one i just bought for your 30th!! just kidding.

maryn has the same problem with her skin. we use all free and clear and if i happen to buy the kind with perfumes and dyes because it's on sale then her eczema really flairs up.

it's funny how smells do remind you of certain people. remember my roommate anne? she always wore curves- liz claiborne maybe. and joel was polo sport. how about sunflowers? i'm sure someone in your class wore that.

hope you got home safely.

Brian T. Murphy said...

good to see you at the river house. sorry your computer is slow. hopefully we can meet up again soon. brooke was sad she wasn't able to come with me.

Abby said...

Thanks, Murph! It was great seeing you as well. I hope you passed along our greetings to Brooke. It would've been a lot of fun having her there, but like you said, it shouldn't be too too long befor we get a chance to visit again. In the meantime, do extend the Chi Omega handshake to her for me, won't you? ;) (ha ha)

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