Posted: 5 November 2009 in observations
Tags: , ,

You know, while we’re on the topic of libraries (we were, you know) let’s talk about smells.

Some of you may be book fans, love that paper smell that wafts up when pages are ruffled.  Or maybe you love the dusty smell of still air tucked between the stacks.  I admit, with no shame whatsoever, that I can tell some publishers from others just by the smell of the book.  I also admit that I have a finely tuned sense of smell.

By this I mean, I can smell you through the computer.  What are you eating?!

I can also smell the library patrons from several feet away.  In some cases, several rooms away.  I know I’ve got it pretty good as far as public facilities go.  For someone who loses her lunch at strong smells good or bad, I think I’m lucky to be working in a place where most patrons smell like mostly clean t-shirts, jeans and school books.  Every so often we’ll get someone who lets their clothes sit too long in the washer or, on early Sunday mornings, the waft of stale beer and joints will come drifting across the counter.  It kills me though when I can smell seventeen layers of odor coming from one person.

I don’t ever want to still be able to smell you after I blow my nose.  I’m blowing my nose because my sinuses have just collapsed.  They’ve done so because I’ve been gagging.  I’m doing that because of whatever is living on your skin and eating your soul.

I don’t ever want to have to change clothes because you walked past and shed some awful perfumist’s idea of a rose garden onto my shirt.  And you huggers, I’m looking at you.  Should my skin so much as retain a hint of your scent until I shower again, you are so off my buddy list.

I don’t want to pick up the newspaper you just handed me and get hit with a face full of decay.  I don’t want to know you’re coming before I even turn around to see you.

It doesn’t matter to me what steps you take to remedy the condition, I’ll be delighted no matter how it happens.  I know some librarians attribute this to working with the great unwashed public but really, it’s just a symptom of leaving my house.  Thinking about it though, given the dog’s recent puke olympics, I’m really not safe anywhere.

I remember my mother complaining about this very thing when I was growing up (smells, not the puke olympics) and ignoring her constant gagging.  She recently visited me and had no idea she was cooking slightly spoiled meat until I said something.  So here’s hoping that 30 years from now I’ll be living in a world where the odor of humanity goes unnoticed.

points for being delicately scented.



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