My Husband Has No Olfactory Sensibility

Posted by Adriana on January 17, 2017 in Nonfiction, Personal Essays, Personal Notes, Writing |

Is there such a thing as the right day of the year to have all your rugs washed? Yes, there is. It’s when someone opens the backyard door for the dog to go out to do its first business of the day, and allows it back inside after being sprayed by a skunk. I must clarify that said person isn’t genetically related to me. In the person’s defense it could be said that it happened at 6:00 AM, and before the first cup of coffee of the day. Still, how could someone open the door to a small backyard that had been taken by such pungent odor as to make all other members in the household run to the bathroom plagued by the most disconcerting nausea, and say he didn’t smell it? It’s beyond my comprehension, but in the name of a long term relationship, one must try to forgive.

The situation was aggravated by the dog’s daily habit of running all over the house and rolling on every rug, in every room, in a sort of morning greeting frenzy.

Not only all rugs, from the 3’x5’ that decorate the entry hall to the 10’x16’ that anchor the living room, had to be taken to be professionally washed, no, not only that, but the entire house had to be deeply cleaned with undiluted vinegar. Even then, I could swear the smell was still there. Apparently there is a thing called olfactory memory and mine had been forever branded by “eau de skunk.”

The house smells “fresh” again. To achieve that we had to open all windows and brave the cold, and while my husband took the rugs to be washed, I “febrezed” the heck out of the whole house. As he carried the smelly rugs out, he said: “I don’t think they will fit in my car. I’m taking yours.” I said: “Did I let a skunked dog inside?” He managed to make all rugs fit in his car, and off he went. When he arrived back, completely distraught by the sizable dent that “de-skunking” four oriental rugs—all at once—caused in our bank account, he sniffed the air and said: “Don’t you think you went overboard with the febreze?”


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