Sunday, March 27, 2005

Ooooooooooh, What's that SMELL...

Recently, I came home from work, opened the door and there was the unfamiliar smell of what seemed to be cheap perfume in my home. The sickeningly sweet chemically-smelling stuff one can find in the sale-bin at Rite-Aid, or the type of awful assault one can experience when coming within the vicinity of someone who has never been taught how to wear the stuff. (Tip – it’s like B.O. – if you can smell it on yourself, you’re killing us and it’s time for a shower.) It smelled like a cheap hooker had been in my home while I was away.

“Manpants?” I asked sweetly.

“Yes, honey?” he said.

“Did you have someone over today?” I asked.

“No, why do you ask?” he answered.

“Because there’s a weird perfumy smell in here.”

“Well, it’s just been me and the dogs,” he said.

He came over and kissed me hello. AND I SMELLED IT.

“Are you wearing a new aftershave?” I asked.

“No! Honey, what’s wrong with you?” he asked.

“Well, there’s a weird smell in the house...and quite frankly you smell like a ten cent whore.”

“WHAT!?!?!?” he exclaimed.

Now don’t get me wrong. I trust Manpants implicitly, but the cheap perfume smell could not be denied. That’s when I saw it on the counter. The spray item that I see frequently advertised on teeVEE commercials that American households apparently need to spray on all fabric and upholstery type things they own...the name of the item is a witty combo of FABRIC and BREEZE, and it is designed to cover THE SMELL. I walked over to the counter, picked up the spray item that I see frequently advertised on the teeVEE and took a whiff of the spray nozzle.


Apparently Manpants decided he needed it to spray on his gym clothes so he could wear them for more than one sweaty workout session, rather than toss them in the wash. And since he hadn’t showered yet after getting back from the gym, he still smelled like the spray. It clings. Manpants had finally done the unthinkable. He had fallen victim to television advertising, which he apparently has been watching more of lately since we got rid of cable. Reality teeVEE dominates so much of network television that if one wants to see an actual actor, one has to watch the commercials.

There seems to be an ever growing collection of commercials and products designed to cover...THE SMELL...Stuff to cover smells upon furniture, clothing, laundry, living rooms, bathrooms (okay that one I might understand)...“fresheners” one can plug in, put on a table top, use as a nightlight, fresheners with built in fans so as to continually waft the scent of choice around a room, sprays, gels, solids, wipes...the list is ever growing to fill that need that the American household seems unable to be without...something to cover THE SMELL.

I got choked with this same smell yet again while hiking when a female hiker got ahead of me on the trail. Already breathing pretty heavy from the effort of the uphill climb, my oxygen supply was immediately stopped by the cloud of FABRIC BREEZE blowing into my airways off of her clothing. Ew.

Now I’m not sure when the American household decided that it was no longer appropriate to actually CLEAN a house – you know, vacuum, mop, polish the furniture, wash the laundry, wash the dog, stuff like that...or God forbid OPEN A WINDOW, but at some point we apparently decided to get all earthy about the whole thing and rather than clean anything...just cover it with something to continually mask the smell with a “spring fresh scent.” It is apparently so crucial that we adopt this way of life that in one commercial a woman literally tears apart her wall and ceiling in an effort to divert the electrical power to accommodate her favorite plug-in freshener in the room of her choice…it’s all quite violent, she greatly alarms her husband and we are unwillingly exposed to the new, improved, darker side of the current domestic environment.

Perhaps we’re trying to be more European? Except that last I checked, the European household is generally pretty neat (and has healthier food in the fridge). Yes, the French invented perfume to cover the fact that they used to bathe rather infrequently, but that was their BODIES, not their entire environment, and the French are far superior to Americans in the art of perfume creation. They gave the world Chanel #5 – we gave it Charlie.

Just open a window people...and if an upholstery cushion smells like ass – maybe it’s time to actually CLEAN it.


Blogger ~Betsy said...

I sat down to read blogs today after the weekend ritual of, yes, cleaning the house! Three loads of laundry, two vaccummed levels including stairs, and a bucket of soapy water later, I don't just smell a clean house, I know it's clean. Two dogs, two cats, two kids, two adults, no spray to cover the scent. Just elbow grease. Damn, it feels good! I have earned my glass of wine.

27 March, 2005 12:50  
Blogger I.M. Dedd said...

God, I feel so dirty.

27 March, 2005 17:07  
Blogger Jet said...

I'm a bit of a housecleaning slacker. I tend to go in waves. Clean, real clean, is a great feeling. Then there's the day's when I write or nurse a kid or just plain don't want to clean, and it goes to hell. It's amazing how must faster it is to trash the house than it is to clean it. Oy.

Re: your comments on my blog, I just have to say that you are my 3,000 mile soul mate! Thanks for the kick ass support.

27 March, 2005 20:36  
Blogger Laura said...

Dang it! I supposed this means I should start washing my sheets and towels instead of just spraying them with "fabric breeze". Thanks a LOT.

28 March, 2005 06:03  
Blogger Whymrhymer said...

You are a wonderful Monday Morning tonic . . . laughed so hard I'm surprised I have any ass left!

28 March, 2005 08:11  
Blogger R said... I must jump ship. I am a bonified user of fabric breeze. The UNSCENTED version. I do agree about the scent on the other smells like a whores ass after a bath. It claims to reduce dust allergins. I live in Colorado..I could dust all day and my house would still look like the Munsters. The perfume thing..I'm right there with you. I don't think I've worn a scent since high school. And men always ask me why I smell good. Ya gotta let those pheremones breathe for God's sake.

29 March, 2005 00:08  
Blogger She-Who-Reads said...

Amen, sister! Air freshener smells so much worse than anything it could possibly be covering up, why even bother? [gags]

29 March, 2005 22:26  
Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

Oh my, I Hate the smell of those odor covering things. Really hate it. Makes me gag.

I was very glad that Manpants was exonerated. You had me worried for a moment.

As the daddy of three dogs in a small two bedroom apartment, I must tell you, if you don't already know, there is a product that works very well and has no odor of it's own. It's called Natures Miracle. It's a bit on the expensive side but works like a hot damn.

When my big old lab leaks a bit, this stuff, sprayed on after cleaning up the mess, kills the odor so well, the dog won't be sniffing that spot after wards. It claims to have an enzyme that eats up the chemicals that cause the odor.

We've used it for three years and find it works and so do our neighbors. I hate plugging any product but this one is truly a great thing for folks with indoor pets.

I guess Manpants saw the guy commercial where the guy is spraying all his socks, sweats, jocks etc. before sticking his nose into the sock and smiling beatifically.

31 March, 2005 17:17  
Blogger Jet said...

Oh my Mil, Thomas dished the well deserved shout out on American Ex. Bravo!

01 April, 2005 18:09  
Blogger Miss_Vicki said...

Bwahahahahaha - love it! This is my 'reading debut' over here (Rhonda gets the referral fee :)), awesome blog!!! I admit it, I'm a sprayer - but I only really love 3 'scents' - anything vanilla, roses and lilacs. Yes, I'm lazy, and I clean.... sometimes. I just cleaned my desk tonight, it had about an inch of dust and ...stuff... all over it. Is there a procrastinator's anonymous? Well shit, it's not like anyone would show up anyway, if there were :)

04 April, 2005 18:58  
Blogger PATCAM2005 said...

Lmao, Awesome! Go Manpants, men must always do things that honey cannot explain with ration. It makes for great stories, I couldn't stop laughing...

06 April, 2005 08:56  
Blogger R said...

I just finished reading 37 Crappy blogs (Including my own)and I am jonesing for the Millicent Frastley experience. Where fart art thou?

09 April, 2005 22:26  
Blogger Jet said...

I second that! Quit circling jobs in the paper and entertain us, for God's sack! (tm TWoP)

10 April, 2005 08:48  

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