My mother is allergic to me. I've always said this. Ever since I was a young teen and I discovered the beauty-product aisle at the drugstore, I've offended her olfactory sensibilities. My shampoo, my deodorant, my lotion - all repeat offenders. Now I keep special toiletries at their house for my visits, to try to lessen my impact on my mother's sensitive nose.
I'm starting to feel her pain. There are two people in my life that I am allergic to. The only difference is that I don't know either of them.
The first is a woman at the gym. She wears this very potent, high-note, powdery smelling perfume, and she seems to ALWAYS end up on the machine right next to me. By the time she really gets going, I can barely breathe. I now stop working out and move if she comes near me. I wonder if she notices.
The second is a man on the train. He is a large, white-man-with-dreadlocks and he smells like mildew. Perhaps he's drawn to my new white-girl-with-poodle-afro look, but he's started sitting next to me, even if there are other seats available. He makes me feel like I'm in a damp basement badly in need of a sump-pump. This morning it was so bad that I had to keep eating mints so there was a few brief moments of respite from the smell.
I feel completely evil even mentioning these two. But I do understand, they're just being them, but I'm my mother's daughter and they are offending my special super-power: my sense of smell.