Monday, July 26, 2010

Raise your hand if you're sure.

This morning I boarded my bus with a slight hangover. (Don't judge. I was at a party with fabulous free cocktails and a glass of wine that seemingly was never empty. You'd be in the same boat as me has you been at this party, trust me.)

When I am hungover, I experience a certain heightened sense of smell. I can't handle perfume or cologne on anyone, and the whiff of someone with a rad case of body odor makes me wretch. This morning, after waiting a good ten minutes, the bus arrived and it was standing room only. Of course, I was forced to stand right over a man who really smelled foul. (Of course.)

Unfortunately, I have a certain case of paranoia when it comes to bodily odor, even when I haven't over-imbibed the night before. I get paranoid that it is not someone else that I am smelling, but rather me. It turns out that I have a somewhat irrational fear of being the smelly girl on the bus, or anywhere for that matter. No matter that I shower daily and use the appropriate hygeine products, I almost always worry that it's me. This can be a problem for someone who relies mostly on public transportation to get around.

I remember my month-long stay in Rome, being at mercy to the Italian public transportation. Trust me, they pack 'em in on those subway cars so much more tightly than in Chicago. Couple the extreme close proximity to other people with the hottest summer in 200 years (or so they told us), and I was facing a funky odor dilemma on a daily basis. While our usual tactic was to stick our noses close to our own bodies as we clutched the poles because we were pretty sure we were the clean ones, sometimes it was difficult to figure out the source of the smell. My roommate and I would shower three times a day, and do what we called a "sink shower" at least once during the day.

So back to this morning, feeling slightly under the weather, near a smell man, and close to a full-on wretch. In true fashion, I then become relatively concerned that I am the smelly one, and not the man in front of me wearing a t-shirt that says "If you see a Police! Warn A Brother." Nope. Despite the rational thought that I had showered that morning and that walking two blocks to get on the bus would make me smell like a sweaty foot, I was slightly concerned.

In times like these, I am glad that I choose to keep deodorant in my office.

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