Monday, October 28, 2013

Perfume Overload

by Kate Collins

Zenia, which is not her real name, is one of those genuinely nice, sincere, sensitive women who is always ready to lend a helping hand or a supportive shoulder. I see her once a week in a group of women who meet for dinner, where we eat and talk and laugh a lot.

There's just one thing wrong with this happy scene: Zenia's perfume. She douses herself with it. The scent is so overpowering that I have a hard time enjoying my food. It doesn't matter where I sit, the smell envelopes me like a cloud.

I've had conversations with her about it -- in my head. But somehow when it comes time to have it for real, I chicken out.

Me: Zenia, I know you've said how much you treasure your perfume because your departed husband liked it so much, but …..

See what I mean? How do you end that sentence in a way that doesn't make you feel like the biggest jerk wad ever?

….it makes me so sick to my stomach I lose my appetite.

….. I'm a bit sensitive to scents, so if I sit at a table across the room, don't take it personally.

….. if you could dial it down twenty degrees or so, the air would be breathable again.

…..well, um, here's a link to my blog. Read it and try not to hate me.

There you have it. Pathetic, right? So I either keep swallowing the bile or I stop joining them for dinner. Or maybe one of you can come up with a better idea. I'd really appreciate it.