I've never had allergies until this year. And this year, they kicked my tail. They got so bad that I lost my sense of smell and taste for over 5 weeks. It drove me NUTS not to be able to smell. I burned two separate batches of brownies because I didn't smell them baking, and thus forgot about them. Once, the absence of my sniffer worked to my advantage; as we drove down the road, the whole family moaned and gagged at the stench of a dead skunk. I was happily unaffected. But it also worked to my DISadvantage.
I have a very decisive sense of smell. Last fall, I would've sworn that something crawled up under the house and died. Darren and Dani never smelled a thing. During the winter, I detected the malodorous, musty scent produced by the leaky pipe that was dripping into a bucket in the laundry room. Darren and Dani never noticed it. They say I have a bionic nose, and that I'm not normal. Whatever. At least I can rest somewhat assured that I'm not one of those people who lives in a foul-smelling house and doesn't even realize it.
Last week, I noticed that my sense of smell was returning. I can't remember what it was now, but I remember opening a container and catching a whiff of something, and exclaiming, "OH! I can smell again! WHEE!" Ever since, my sense has been getting stronger. Today, I knew it was back to normal when I walked into the downstairs bathroom and choked back a gag. The room REEKED of urine. My first thought was, "WHY does my bathroom smell so vile? And WHY hasn't anyone else noticed???" I bellowed at Dani. She only vaguely picked up on the offensive odor. Meanwhile, my upper lip was curled in disgust and my eye started to twitch. My mind flew back to the filthy men's bathroom I encountered in rural Minnesota last summer at some random pump-n-dump filling station. Blech. And then I thought back to the trail of guests who'd used my bathroom over the weekend, and I hung my head in shame. My house reeked, and I hadn't known it.
A brief investigation revealed the source: my BOYS. UGH! The grout on the shower ledge was stained brown. There were ochre-colored streaks running down the tile wall behind that shower curtain. I relunctantly pressed my nose into the fabric of the curtain, and instantly recoiled. It was saturated with the odor. Repulsed, I burned some serious calories screaming at the boys, and then went straight to my knees with a bottle of Pine Sol, a sprayer of ZEP, and an old rag. I scrubbed, rinsed, and repeated. I washed the shower curtain and gave it an extra shot of Downy. The bathroom sparkles. But 10 hours later, I can still detect a trace of the smell.
I put the fear in my boys today. I told them that if I EVER see stains on the wall and floor like that again, they WILL go back to diapers. They believed me.
And Darren? He doesn't smell a thing.