Friday, August 28, 2009

One Woman's Perfume is Another Woman's Poison

So, I'm back. Once again.

I had one of the best summers on record and I am not nearly ready for it to end, but like it or's time. The kids are back at school, the days are getting shorter, and the fat lady has all but sung.

The last time I pondered new blogging topics, my husband lost his job. So this time around, I'm not looking for anything new. Hear that universe? Do not, I not send me anything new to blog about...I'm good. No news, is good news. While I am tired of blogging about unemployment and job searches, I am sure that I can come up with something else to rant and rave about without turning my world upside down, thank you very much.

For instance...

Today I returned to my favorite spin class. Having taken a sabbatical from cycling this spring and summer, I decided today was a good day to get my butt back on the bike. I've been in a funk since the kids returned to school and decided that spinning was just what the doctor ordered to get me back on track. Aside from giving a killer workout, the instructor is adorable; he plays great music, gets my heart pounding (not only because of the way he looks), motivates me, and manages to do it all while doing a stand-up comedy routine. I always leave in a good mood (which makes me wonder why I ever stopped going in the first place. Hmm.)

So...I get there 15 minutes early to stake out my bike only to find that somebody has taken "my" bike. Granted, it's been awhile since I attended class, but still, that was my bike for months. But much to my dismay, there's a towel on the handlebars and a water bottle on the seat and that's Y talk for "this bike is taken." But that's ok, I take a deep breath, find a new bike and get myself situated.

The room starts filling up with familiar faces and I'm pumped, ready for a good workout....and then I spot her. I've never seen her in a spin class before, but she takes other classes at the Y and always comes in late and NEVER SHUTS UP. Ever. So while the cute instructor blasts Black Eyed Peas and tells us to find a road, I hear the drone of Chatty Cathy's voice in the background. My blood pressure is rising and my heart beat is elevated...not because of the resistance on my bike, but rather the resistance to this woman. Deep breaths. Breath in through the nose, out through the mouth. I will not let her ruin this for me. This is my time. It's all about me.

And much to my surprise, I am able to keep it in check. I control my breathing and manage to block her out completely. My eyes are closed and I'm sweating like a pig and have obviously slipped into the zone because I never heard or saw the woman who climbed on the bike next to me. That is, until I smelled her. Holy. Good. God. I seriously almost fell off my bike.

And so now I think I have a topic worth blogging about: Do not, under any circumstances, wear a fragrance of any sort while working out in a group setting. One woman's perfume is another woman's poison.

As I gasped for air, my eyes popped open and my head shot to the left to see who (or what) was next to me. I will be honest with you, I am not a fan of perfume and it might be because I have an overly active sense of smell. I not only smell perfume, I taste it. And this particular scent was lodged in the back of my throat and burning the bejesus out of me. I felt like I couldn't take a deep breath without vomiting. Now keep in mind I am on an exercise bike gasping for air; the fact that I couldn't breathe even if I could breathe seemed beyond ironic to me.

I'm pretty sure she doused herself with Off before coming to class. My first thought was...I haven't been in the cycle room in a while, maybe they are having a problem with mosquitos and the joke is on me. Maybe my smelly neighbor is going to be fine at the end of 45 minutes, whereas I will be covered with mosquito bites because I didn't know to wear bug spray. (although if that was the case, I assure you, she was wearing enough to cover the both of us). I look around at the other spinners hoping to catch somebody's eye so I can mouth the words, "Hey, are you being fumigated by the insecticide too, or is it just me?" but everybody has their head down and seems unaware of the stench. So I do the same. I find myself trying to eavesdrop on Chatty Cathy's conversation in an attempt to get my mind off of the stench.

It's been five hours since the spin class ended and the smell is still lodged in my nasal passages. My husband wants to go out for sushi tonight, but I'm pretty sure all I'll taste is hardly seems worth it. On second thought, maybe the wasabi will sear my taste buds...I'm in.

Count me in for sushi and for more public service announcements....