At the beginning of any new relationship, you have to get acquainted with the other person’s mannerisms, preferences and even their quirks. One of my first dates with Oregano was to watch a tennis match at the U.S. Open held in Flushing Meadows, New York. We were still in the very early days of our relationship, in fact, it was so early I shouldn’t even go so far as to refer to it as a relationship. It was just a date.
I’m not the biggest sports fan, but I do like to watch tennis. I’d never been to a live tennis match, so I was very excited to go to the U.S. Open and moderately excited to be spending the evening with Oregano. On our way into the stadium, Oregano bought a t-shirt. We grabbed some drinks and waded through the sea of humanity to find our seats.
As we hiked up the mountain of stairs to get to the nose-bleed section, I realized that we were so high up, we could read the tail numbers on the planes that had just taken off from nearby LaGuardia Airport. We found the row with our seats and excused ourselves as we sidestepped our way to the center of the section. After some jostling of bags and drinks, we settled in. To be festive and in the moment, Oregano slipped his new t-shirt over his head. We sat back and watched as the first ball was served.
Not five minutes into the match, Oregano leaned over and sniffed behind my ear. I thought it was strange, especially since I wasn’t wearing any perfume. Maybe he was checking to see if I was. Whatever his reasoning, I chose to pretend that I didn’t notice this odd behavior. A few more minutes passed and he leaned over and sniffed my shoulder. I gave him a strange look this time, but said nothing. Another ten minutes passed and he leaned in for a longer, deeper whiff. This one I couldn’t ignore.
“Can I help you with something?” I said concerned about his bizarre behavior. “Why do you keep sniffing me?”
“I smell something strange,” he answered not seeming to understand the level of creepiness he was exuding with his olfactory oddness.
“I took a shower today. I have on deodorant and I’m not wearing any perfume. Whatever funky smell you’re smelling isn’t coming from me,” I said a bit indignantly.
“I think it is,” he countered.
“Seriously! We are sitting here squashed in among all of these people and you think that smell is emanating from me?!” I was annoyed.
“These people,” I said gesturing to the mob surrounding us, “aren’t exactly the tea and crumpets Wimbledon crowd. How do you know it’s not one of them causing the stench?”
“At first, that’s what I thought, but the smell is definitely coming from right here,” he motioned to the air between us.
I took a whiff and definitely smelled a funky chemical odor. I leaned closer to him, grabbed the sleeve of his newly purchased t-shirt and inhaled.
“This is the culprit,” I said dropping the fabric from my hand. “It’s not me. It’s you! You smell,” I nearly shouted.
Oregano pulled the shirt up to his nose. “Huh! I guess it is me. I thought it was you. Sorry about that,” he said smiling sheepishly at me.
Despite Oregano’s less than charming behavior during the infancy stages of our relationship, I married him anyway. I didn’t know it at the time, but that date was foreshadowing my future. For the last 21 years, whenever there has been a funky smell, it’s usually coming from him.
And now a word from our sponsor
For the past two weeks Oregano and I have been playing host and tour guide to Flat Kathy of The Fantastical Voyages of Flat Kathy. She’s been having adventures around the world since last November. If you’d like to see what she has been up to on her first trip to the United States. Click here to pop over to her blog.