Thursday, January 5, 2012

Why my nose knows no bounds, and other assorted tidbits

I like to think that most of the time I have an above average sense of smell, but lately it's just been ridiculous. Suddenly from my desk at work I can smell my boss's cigarette butts in the trash can in the kitchen (I know). I can smell the guy's breath two rows away from me on the Metro. I can smell a distinct urine smell coming from...somewhere on the Metro. And why oh why must someone always bring french fries on the bus? Looking at it now, I can see that most of these are probably "public transit in a large city" issues more than "my nose" issues. But seriously, multiple times a day it's all I can do to stop myself from screaming out in frustration to no one in particular, "I CAN SMELL EVERYTHING!!!!" And before you ask, NO, I am definitely not pregnant. Yes, I am sure. I also kept waiting for this sudden olfactory sensitivity to be followed by a monster migraine, but so far nothing. I guess I am just gifted.

First, let me preface this by saying, NO ONE GET EXCITED. But my neighbor extended me a last-minute (like six hours before, and probably only because I ran into her on my way to the mailbox) invitation for New Year's Eve, as she was having a casual get-together at her apartment. I felt pretty lame admitting (six hours before the event) that actually, I didn't have plans, and yes, I would love to attend, but I did, and lo, an amusing time was had by all. I mean, it was not crazy by any means, the women outnumbered the men (both of whom were married) eight to two, but it was a low-key good time, probably aided by copious amounts of bubbly wine and the fact that I only had to travel twenty feet to get there. Also, I discovered that this girl has a collection of first-edition L.M. Montgomery novels, so as Anne Shirley would say, I'm pretty sure we're kindred spirits. Now, I initially met this neighbor after I left a particularly, shall we say, pointed note on her door at 2:30 a.m. after hours of non-stop dog barking through paper-thin walls. I regretted it in the morning, but forced sleep deprivation is a form of torture, in my book, and honestly, I can't be held responsible for my actions under those circumstances. I regretted it even more after my neighbor came over the next day and introduced herself and apologized profusely and was so embarrassingly nice about it. I found out that it wasn't even her dog, but our upstairs neighbors' dog, who she had been watching for the night. Normally she would have been home with him but she had gone out for her cousin's birthday, etc. As it turns out, these upstairs neighbors with the dog were also at the New Year's Eve shindig, and at one point in the evening offhandedly mentioned the note I had left all those months ago, which obviously they had heard about, not in an accusatory way, but in a "this is how loud and obnoxious our dog is" way. Nonetheless I was chagrined and turned red and apologized, but then I was like, well, if I hadn't left that note I probably would never have met my neighbor and thus wouldn't be here tonight, so actually, it kind of all worked out for the best.

Then yesterday the upstairs dog-having neighbors invited me to a dinner party tomorrow night, so like I said, NO ONE GET EXCITED, but slowly, surely, and with baby steps I am maybe sort of getting to know people here.

Relatedly, a full week after my Facebook message, my new best friend/girl crush wrote back to me! Apparently my message had gone to her "other mail" folder which she rarely checks. She thought my misunderstanding was hilarious, and mentioned how she had told her mother-in-law the next day (they both love Kristen Wiig) how she had met someone "as adorable and funny" as KW (!), but that I didn't seem to take it as a compliment and she couldn't understand why. Take that, commenter who used my own words to try to make me feel bad about myself, thus missing the point of self-deprecation completely. Anyway, she closed by telling me to let her know if I wanted to get together sometime, which, yes. No concrete plans yet, but like I said, all steps in the right direction.

Also, after hanging out several times with my not-so-secret admirer, I've confirmed my suspicion that he is good friend material, at most. I have also come to the conclusion that if that is the case, I should probably stop getting drunk and flirting with him. Like, I should probably not hand feed him popcorn in a bar, because that is only going to encourage him. But that was only because he said he hated it! I mean, how do you hate popcorn, guys?! So I forced him to eat it, because it was funny, and...ohhh, I maybe see what he did there. But he continues to be very sweet, and he brings me little things like cookies his mom sent him, and a pudding cup (long story). And even my boss has remarked upon his complete transformation whenever he stops by the office now. The first few times I met him he wore the same ratty, grungy hooded sweatshirt and jeans, but now it's suits or sweater-with-leather jacket every time. "I'm just saying, I never saw that boy not in a baseball cap before you started working here," she (my boss) said. She also says things like, "Hey, where are you going? Aren't you going to stay and flirt for a while?" to him as he's leaving, which is not at all embarrassing. And then he'll reply with something just as cute, like, "Well, you see, I've determined I'm only charming in small doses," as he waves and walks out the door, and honestly, it just makes work a little bit more fun. (Don't get your hopes up, other than that work is still terrible and not at all fun.) Now, is that so wrong? 

You have been updated. Carry on.                        


  1. Oh look dear (as i put my arm around my imaginary partner, you know who's not really here just in my head) our little social misfit is growing up.

  2. Jealous! You seem to be adept at making friends in new places... even if it is by leaving passive aggressive notes on the door. I am terrible at making friends so I deeply admire this.

    It sounds like there's something there for this boy, but I understand having only fun, flirty FRIEND feelings. Keep it going until it becomes impossible to move on, I declare!

  3. Bexxx--Well, I have been here five months now, and still spend most every night in my apartment alone, so I'm not sure adept is the right word, but thanks for the encouragement. :)

  4. Interesting, your intense ability to smell things. I have a very poor sense of smell and wish, as a writer, I could experience smells better so I could describe them more convincingly.

  5. I have a horrible sense of smell but I'm married to someone who can smell a dog fart from the other side of the apartment. Don't even get me started on the cat litter disputes.

    Glad to hear you are starting to get to know some new people. Max and I found ourselves in a similar situation when we moved to the Alps and didn't know anyone. I found some American copines through my blog, and now have one friend from work who is totally cute and single (and Italian) and DAMMIT WHY DON'T YOU LIVE IN GRENOBLE ANYMORE SO I COULD HOOK YOU GUYS UP??

    Have a good weekend!

  6. Crystal and I have the same husband -- the one who smells the dog fart from 2000 feet away... DOWNSTAIRS! I don't smell them. I guess because I think that my dog's farts smell like flowers. :)

    OK. The second hardest thing to do is to make a new friend when you're an adult, long out of school. The absolute MOST difficult thing to do is make a new friend when you're an adult, long out of school, in a new city/state/country. I know this. I moved from Montreal (Canada) to Connecticut when I was 40. Then, six years later (just a few months ago), we moved to Massachusetts. I had made friends in CT but they were neighbors in a very friendly cul-de-sac, so it just *happened* -- and "just happened" is very hard to come by. I'm glad that it "just happened" for you. I'm envious -- I had wanted it to "just happen" in MA, but alas... no.


  7. Well, you're definite wife material. My mom always said never kiss a girl who doesn't smell good. (Or was it a girl who is good at smelling?) Anyway ....


  8. I'm glad you're meeting new people. And feel free to update as often as you gives me breaks from the tyrant known as Eleanor.

  9. "You have been updated. Carry on."

    Really, now.

  10. He sounds like the perfect distraction.

  11. Interesting. Finding out that someone has a crush on me - as long as they're not physically repulsive to me - always piques my interest.

    Why do you think you're flirting with him, Rachel? I mean, I doubt I would flirt with someone - even while drinking - in which I didn't have at least a subconscious interest.

    I dunno. You just seem to be looking for a guy who will REALLY love you, but you keep finding yourself attracted to the emotionally unavailable ones.

    I'm not saying you should date this guy, but you definitely have a pattern here. I can only say this because I have the same one. You want to be loved? Fall in love with the guy who loves you.

  12. I admit defeat.

    To be honest, your Kristen Schaal comments raised my ire, and by the time I read of your fan-dom at the end, it was too late. It was on.

    It doesn't seem fair to be friends with that guy. He'll always want more, and more than likely you never will.

  13. Thank you for this. I've been wondering about you and I check in often to see what's up. :0)
    We've got a weekend coming up here...let's see about doing something fab friday night!

  14. I too have a ridiculously strong sense of smell. Whilst most of the time this is a curse I like to think WILL save my life and thousands others and I will be a hero!