“Listen. Do you smell something?”

One of my tenants has a very sensitive nose. She is constantly alerting me to smells. Smoke smells that are wafting up from the bottom floor to her top floor apartment. Powerful odors that seep in under her door and into her nostrils. I call her the Smell Lady. It’s a very original and unique name, dontcha think?

The other day she knocked on my door to tell me that there was a pungent smell taking over the building. She wanted me to come smell it right that instant. I closed the door politely, grumbled to The Fella and scrambled to put a bra on. She walked with me down the hallway saying, “I don’t know why we have to live like this!” as if “this”- the smell of other people living their lives in their own apartments- was just too much to bear. Lady, give me a break.

When I got to the top of the stairs I took a big whiff and looked at her. “It’s sage,” I told her emphatically. “It smells deceptively like pot but it’s not, in fact, pot.” (This time.) You know, sage, the stuff people burn to cover up that they are smoking weed (um, not that I would know anything about that, ahem) or to clear bad energy from their homes borrowing from the Native American ritual. She huffed off upstairs. I wouldn’t be surprised if she puts in her notice. Make that, I’d appreciate it if she would put in her notice. She’s a very nice woman but she’s a bit of a pain in my ass.

I accidentally discovered just the other day that burnt lentils smell a lot like marijuana when I attempted to, unsuccessfully, cook them.

So there I am in my apartment, with a pot of burnt lentils and an apartment reeking of. . .well, pot. I texted The Fella telling him that I am now concerned the Smell Lady will grab a hold of this odor and come a knocking. His reply was something like, “And she’ll know why you never do anything about the smell- because you’re a pothead. Make that a lentilhead.”

It’s true. I’m a former pothead turned lentilhead. And I can’t do much to make people stop making smells in their apartment.

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47 thoughts on ““Listen. Do you smell something?”

  1. Yeah, it’s really hard to make people stop making smells.. Like last night I was sitting with my b/f watching TV and he kept making smells… really horrible smells!! And he wouldn’t quit!

  2. It is a comforting smell to me. Reminds me of a time less concerned with the things of adulthood. And my friend Troy.

    I miss my youth. I think I’ll go burn some lentils and light some nag champa to cover the smell.

  3. Corollary to hotpinksox’ comment (number 3): Add, with a straight face, “Whosoever smelt it, dealt it.” Bet she’ll stop coming to you with smell “issues.”

  4. It would seem to me that when you live in an apartment, you have to get used to smelling vauge smells from other apartments. Maybe she is lonely? And wants someone to talk to so she bothers you?

  5. You LENTILHEADS are all alike. Always thinking of yourselves! Never care about others and the scents that others are forced to endure. Sheesh!

    Now pass the lentils over this way. Please!

    =)~

  6. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You said ‘lentilhead’. Smell Lady will think you’re a liarhead, and the next time you are in the hall, she’ll probably jump out of her apartment, point a finger at you and start screaming “JUDAS!”.

    That would be funny.

  7. I think this is a new one. I’ve heard of people complaining of a lot of things in apartments, but smells? Never. Wow. What a kook.

  8. I have a super sensitive nose, too. I usually only complain when I smell other people’s cologne on me or my children, at my hair salon that reeks of nail chemicals or when I have to smell overloads of Bath & Bodyworks/Victoria Secret-type fragrance.

    That said, I’m also an ex-lentilhead. 🙂 Natural smells are just so much more tolerable! If she gets really annoying you should let a stink bomb off by her door. She’ll LOVE that!

  9. I agree with Kristi, she needs a fella. She’ll be too busy and stop pestering you. Or maybe she needs to get cold soon so her nose will be stuffy. Was that too mean of me?

    Sending you hugs lots of hugs today!

  10. HA! Thats funny you say that… because I just ran into that problem yesterday.

    My babes made a little shrimp snacky poo last night and it made our apartment smell like a restaurant. Our up stairs friends didn’t say anything, but I KNOW they could smell it.

    The problem is … we lack a stove/oven exhaust. Our upstair neighbors can smell everything make.

    Smell Lady. Ha! I like that!

  11. I have a pain in the ass lady I get to deal with at work too. She doesn’t work here so I have to be super nice. I think she mostly calls just b/c she knows I HAVE to listen to her.

  12. How do people like that get through life? Seriously, if you can’t deal with other people’s smells, don’t live in an apartment! With other people! Who make smells!

  13. I discovered today that feta cheese, when placed under the broiler, REEKS. I think I will start calling it fetid cheese. Har har.

  14. tell her she needs to put an ionic detox thingy surrounding each and every vent to stop unwanted smells.

    maybe SHE’S the one smoking so much hooch, she forgets she’s the one causing the problem, hmmm….

  15. I’m glad to see an acknowledgement of the lentil/pot connection. My daughter loved lentils when she was a bit younger, so I felt very paranoid when I’d make lentil-based meals for her. We live in a block of flats and though spending all day home with a baby might inspire some to take some…relief, I swear it was lentils!

  16. that’s friggen funny. it’s like that lady is just looking for something to bitch about. makes you want to drop her off in a war zone for a week, or starve her for a couple days just so she can gain some perspective. shesh.

  17. There was a woman that smoked pot daily on her balcony (right below us) My husband had really bad asthma so he used to spray Raid on her while she was smoking. It was a lovely relationship.

  18. It is SO TRUE about the lentil smell! My college was out in farm country, and they burnt alfalfa, which smells very much like the pot, as well.

  19. And I’m a former pothead turned sage and yoga-head. I don’t envy you, but you can’t please everyone. If she can’t handle smells she should buy a house. Yes, I know this is cost prohibitive in Seattle, so unless she has mass cash stashed away, she should lighten up!

  20. Look at it this way — if that freak of a smell lady didn’t live in your buildling, we’d all miss out on your “super” stories. I, for one, hope you get a building full of freaks, er, interesting people.

    Mayberry Magpie

  21. Smells in an apartment building? How dare the other tenants!!

    Cripes, in the summer I can smell my neighbours pot and we have a yard between us. She’d never survive.

  22. Ugh, what a pain for her to constantly complain about the smells! She should just suck it up and deal. Unless she smells, like, a fire or something.

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  25. I would totally do this… LOL

    “I would just insist, “What are you talking about? I don’t smell anything.” Maybe you can convince her she’s going crazy.

    Comment by Stacey — April 24, 2008”

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