Human nature puzzles me; so often I just don't get it. Sometimes I wonder if I am from an alien planet in that I expect more or better. Here's an example...
It is well known to family, friends and coworkers that I am very allergic to scents of any kind, be it perfume, candles, toiletries, laundry detergent, or cigarette smoke, even some flowers. It's not that I don't love things that smell good, I do! Rather it's that a whiff of something like this is enough to make my eyes burn, my head ache, my throat sore, and my lungs wheeze. I wish I wasn't that way. It's a nuisance, a real pain in the butt, and at times it makes my life miserable, such as when I am in a meeting or concert seated next to someone who bathed in French whorehouse cologne. :-/
Every place I've worked it's been a problem. I've carefully and humbly explained, asked, pleaded and begged folks not to indulge in strong perfume, aftershave or lotions, potpourri, candles, scent burners, etc. I have to clarify and attempt to convince that that being allergic is not always marked by coughing and sneezing, the response can be much more internal and less visible to others. With each new coworker, I've had to go through the same routine. Yet time after time I have had to approach someone again for having keeping an electric scent burner going all day in their office, or something similar. It's embarrassing, it's humiliating, and it's really darned annoying.
I can suffer in silence and sit there wheezing and feeling miserable, or I can say something - once again - and garner indifferent responses if not rolled eyes or downright annoyance. People seem to take this very personally and I don't begrudge anyone their desire to smell nice or have their office smell nice, but if I knew that my doing so made life miserable for someone else, I think one request would be enough. And no... moving it from one wall of your office to another doesn't help if I can smell it clear down the hall in my office and all the way out to the elevators in the hallway!
People get used to the scents they use, and so become unaware of how strong they can be or how pervasive they can be. Unfortunately, I've also been gifted with a really acute sense of smell and can often smell things others don't. This just makes it all the worse. People tend to think I am saying that I don't care for their particular choice of scent, though I am quick to assure them that I think it smells really nice and I wish I found enjoy it like they do.
Once again this past week I had to walk into someone's office and request that she turn off her scent burner for awhile so that I could breathe a bit easier in my office. Then I get the cold treatment for the rest of the day. It makes me never want to leave home, the only environment I have control over; it makes me afraid to attend social functions that are bound to be rife with colognes and aftershave. It makes me feel like a leper when I have to ask people not to do something they enjoy. Yet I can't honestly say as I have ever continued to do something that I knew for certain made someone else suffer, even if it was fun for me. It's just not my style to be that indifferent. I am puzzled by people who are. Am I being unreasonable? What other choice do I have?
This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are proper and puzzle.
If you enjoy writing, come and join us!