2007-06-10

Here, smell this.

Smells are intriguing to me. Mostly because they are generally involuntary. We experience smells all the time simply by existing and moving from place to place, and those smells can bring back waves of history and emotion -- just ask any man what it's like when something reminds him of her hair or her lotion. Smells even seem capable of encapsulating an idea. One of my favorite scents is that of lawn mowing. There's just something about the smell of moist grass mingled with gasoline on a warm summer morning that reminds me of hard work.

But, for as universal as smell is, there is one part thing that the genders differ greatly on. Women love to share smells like candles and perfumes, and men love to share stenches. A group of girls can spend hours in bath and body works, sharing the latest lotion scents, whereas the highlight of man's work day may well be reached when he manages to trap a foul gaseous emission in the bathroom stall long enough for the next occupant to be brought to tears.

To further illustrate, picture a 3 month old moldy Tupperware container in the fridge. A woman would examine the container and oh so carefully lift the corner and faintly sniff for an odor. At the slightest hint of stench, she'd immediately discard the whole container.

A man, on the other hand, will eye the container at first, attempting to judge the lethality of whatever might lie within. If he thinks he can handle it, he'll open the container, stick his nose in, and inhale deeply, knowing full well that the smell may be absolutely horrifying. Like he was sucker punched, he may double over, eyes bulging and gasping for breathe. And when it's all over, something in his pea brain will convince him that someone else might want to experience this same terrifying smell, so he'll wander around until he finds a buddy and orders, "Here, smell this..."