So you know how I’ve been ending my posts with quotes? Now that’s all well and good and awesome but I’ve just made a momentous discovery…
There’s a “Post a Quote” option in my sidebar.
I think I’ll try it out just now.
Yes, I think I shall.
I can’t believe I’ve never noticed it before, considering this is my 5th post. FIFTH! Come to think of it, I’ve never really been very good at noticing things. For example: the “Post a Quote” button.
For another example: On Friday while we were driving home, I noticed that there was a patch of grass next to the road. You might think that sounds very normal but get this: there used to be a tree in place of that patch of grass. Apparently, as in, according to my mom, it was struck by lightning and removed in February. It’s May, everybody. Almost three months since said tree was murdered by a cloud. And I drive (well, not me personally) down that same road every single day of my life. I’m beginning to think I need to pay more attention to my surroundings. Especially since I have a) Anosmia and b) no sense of direction whatsoever.
Anosmia, according to Wikipedia, is “a lack of functioning olfaction, or in other words, an inability to perceive odors.” Which is just very fancy English for: it’s a cruel and heartless (Tautology?) deed for you to give me perfume for Christmas. Basically, I can’t smell. Often I have trouble convincing people of this. They find it either 1) overly fascinating or 2) a ridiculous joke, as if I’d have something to gain from lying about my olfactory abilities- or lack thereof. Whether the person is from group 1) or 2), they seem to feel a distressing need to test my statement by grabbing the closest supposedly smelly thing and asking me to smell it. Sometimes I lean over and pretend to inhale the strange odour that never registers in my nose, other times I give them the “Wow, you sure are a heartless bastard, aren’t you?” look.
Until about two years ago, I used to think “smells” were some sort of imaginary tattle-talers and that being able to guess what mom was cooking in the kitchen was a game everyone played to make life more interesting. I didn’t know any better. I still don’t know any better. But if I were to tell my colour-blind friend that the stems of roses were green, he’d look at me as if to say, “Green? What is this alien colour you speak of?” Because he sees blue instead of green, or so he says. Though I do believe him when he says he can’t see all colours, because I know how irritating it is to have someone not believe you about such things. I just don’t know if the blue he sees is the blue I see, or the blue you see, or the blue Ugly Naked Guy from Friends sees. So how am I supposed to know what “smelling” is if I haven’t– or at least don’t remember– experienced it?
So if you come to my house for dinner and, without seeing the kitchen or speaking to my mom, obnoxiously proclaim that we’re having chicken for dinner, I’ll have an uncontrollable urge to take you by the shoulders and shake you back and forth yelling, “Who told you of this? Why was I not present when Whoever Is Up There granted you all this amazing psychic power you call ‘smell’?” My sister does this all the time. She has a nose like a dog. I’ve lost count of how many times she’s waltzed into my room and stated seemingly random foods like, “Popcorn”, “Toast”, and “Carrots”, saying that those stated delicacies were to feature in our next meal– and then been right. There’s also the occasional, “There’s sour milk in the fridge, did you know that? Of course you didn’t, silly me!” from various members of my family.
Other than occurrences such as these, I’ve graciously come to accept my handicap- because that’s what it is: A handicap. It’s like being deaf or blind, only not as dramatic, I guess.
A couple years ago, I volunteered at a retirement home in my neighbourhood. One of the ladies there stuck her hand out in front of her and whispered, “It’s like always looking at a blackboard.” or something to that effect. Her words shook me. They still do. I mean, I have the best eyesight in my family; I couldn’t bear losing it. But a lot of people say that about their sense of smell. Of course, if I were to wave a perfume bottle under my nose and, in the same heartbroken tone as the old woman, whisper, “It’s like always smelling air.” I doubt I would shake anybody to their core. Anyone around would probably just grab another “flavoured” (is that even the right word to use?) perfume and yell, “Try this one! Try this one!”
The most irritating thing about perfumes and deodorants is that they have the most unhelpful names ever. Names like, “Stolen Moments” and “Midnight Flower” and — oh my word– “Little Secrets” (of course it’s a bloody secret, you cruel, cruel Revlon deodorant namer!) offer no sort of help.
You must be dying to know how I go shopping for body sprays and stuff. I mean, I do wear such things; I don’t just walk around with my armpits in full view of everyone, thinking, “Screw all of you who can smell. As punishment for having one more sense than I, I shall walk around every day with no deodorant on and you will suffer! You will wish you were like me!”
Alright, I’ll tell you. It’s not that amazing, though…
I judge the bottle. Since I have “the best eyesight in the family”, it’s a reasonable upper-hand for my lower-hand. If the bottle looks pretty, if it’s a nice colour- sold! Otherwise my mom buys it. That’s the better option. The point is I can’t go shopping for that kind of stuff on my own. Hence, “handicap”.
Oh, and another thing! I’m seriously starting to consider the theory that my anosmic state is critically affecting my love life. Why, you ask? Let me elaborate: Apparently people release “pheromones” which we (meaning you) subconsciously pick up using our (your) sense of smell. These “pheromones” develop phenomenal attractions between two people. See what I’m saying here? Do you understand the sheer torture I go through every day? Do you?!
There’s also the matter of men’s cologne. My friends are constantly gushing about what their boyfriends or “vibees” smell like, and how their choice of Axe improves their attractiveness. Please. In my case, the boy could have farted his way through “Stairway to Heaven” and it wouldn’t faze me at all. Don’t think I’m encouraging that sort of thing. Do not fart in my presence. I may not be able to smell it but it’s still disgusting. (Sorry for the vulgar and repetitive use of the word “fart”.)
I’m on a roll so I think I might as well go on and make up for not posting the whole of April with my rambling.
I’m a picky eater. But I wasn’t always. My parents have multiple theories for my predicament. And since yesterday was the anniversary of one of their theories, I shall explain it to you:
Before I was two, I ate everything. You name it, I ate it. Even if you couldn’t name it because it was some abstract Greek word, I ate it. In this particular theory, I also had a sense of smell. Then I got sick and for six months I stayed indoors attached to a machine called a ‘nebulizer’ which, according to my parents, damaged my nasal passages because I was on it 24/7. Ever since then, I’ve been an incredibly picky eater.
Please don’t think I don’t have a sense of taste. It’s so irritating when people think that. It may not be as wonderful as your sense of taste, but I can tell the difference between sweet, salty, sour and the other night when we went out for Chinese, I ordered something called the “Tiger Salad” and my tongue burned like hell when I ate that. I think a lot of my picky-ness comes from me judging foods by their texture. If I don’t like the way it feels in my mouth, I’m not eating it. I actually have a ever-growing list of things I refuse to eat:
- I forget what else but there are more, I promise!
Sometimes I even taste the “smells” on my tongue. Well, I think that’s what I do. Nothing comes through my nose. Point is, I only have Anosmia, not Ageusia which, according to Wikipedia is “the loss of taste functions of the tongue, particularly the inability to detect sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, and umami (meaning “pleasant/savory taste”).”
To tell the truth, I don’t mind my handicap. And if I were to be offered a cure, I probably wouldn’t take it. Everyone has their quirks. Being anosmic makes me different. It gives me something to say at those “Get to know me” group sessions where we have to introduce ourselves by saying our name and one interesting thing about ourselves. Besides, if I were to become olfactorally able, I’d probably be too distracted by all the new things my nose could tell me that I’d forget to notice that the tree that was murdered by a cloud three months ago has been replaced by a green patch of grass. And if my colour-blind friend is busy pointing this out, asking me what “Green” is, I’ll be too busy describing his cologne to notice anyway.
“People always say, ‘It smells like it tastes.’ That means nothing to me. I become confused even more.” – Unknown