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Hold on . . . hold on . . . before you hit that comment button and respond by whole-heartedly agreeing, let me save you (and me) some embarrassment. The subject of this blog entry is my total lack of the sense of smell, NOT ANYTHING ELSE! Geez!

A good many of you are aware of my affliction, to others this may be a surprise. I was born unable to detect smells. Weird huh? And yes, I can taste. It is not a well-defined palette (I can't tell the difference between sour cream & onion chips and plain chips - there all just salty chips), but its there. A lot of people tell me that they thought without a sense of smell you couldn't taste . . . not true. I believe that being able to smell your food only enhances your taste.

Growing up I didn't realize I was different until my pre-teen years when I couldn't figure out how my brothers were able to detect what we were having for dinner as soon as we walked in from outside. It never really became a topic for conversation, and when it was discussed, my parents thought I was joking. Finally they decided to take me serious and drug me to see a doctor at the base hospital. He confirmed what I knew all along, I was olfactory challenged.

Do you realize how many times a day somebody sticks something under you nose and says, "smell this"? Throughout high school and most of college, having the type of personality that doesn't draw attention to myself, I would just go along with the crowd and pretend I could smell. "Hmmmm . . . nice" or "Ewwwwwwww" were generally accepted responses. This worked fine until I went on a blind date one night and complimented the girls perfume (that's one of the things your supposed to do, right?). I didn't find out until a couple days later that unbeknownst to me, my date had accidentally let go a SBD (silent but deadly) just before my empty compliment. Needless to say we never went out again, and I also never tried to mislead anybody again.

Human beings can detect 10,000 different smells, but I have to say that as far as missing a sense goes, smelling would be the one I would choose. It has it's advantages. I can't smell other peoples body odors, skunks, cigarette smoke, and a very long list of unpleasant aroma's. This also means you get to change 100% of the dirty diapers if you have kids. I'm also a successful dieter because I'm not tempted by the smell of food. But it can also be dangerous as well. I wouldn't be able to smell a fire if one started in the house, and food that has stayed around a little past it's shelf won't scare me away with its stench.

I do miss out on a lot in other ways as well. Like the smell of a spring shower in the air and freshly baked muffins. I don't even know how my wife smells.

Who knew, but my handicap also means that I lack several key personality traits. For instance, I can't wake up and smell the coffee. I won't ever smell a rat. I'll never know the sweet smell of success or realize someone has a fragrant personality. And most importantly . . . divorce will never be in my future . . . because I'll never learn that . . . Love STINKS!

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