Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sweet Honesty Just Happened to Me

I call it the romance novel philosophy of life. “We didn’t plan for IT to happen. IT just happened.” IT, of course, in a romance novel, means wild, crazed, uncontrollable, life shattering sexiness that cannot be resisted—thus uncontrollable or not my fault sex, people.

Because . . . there HE was, pillaging the local village, lunchroom, or corporate office, and then I looked at HIM and BAM, I was swept away by chemicals called fair-moans . . . oops . . . sorry . . . I mean pheromones which are chemicals located in human sweat—also glands, taste buds, and nose hairs.

What? If people can blame their chemical sweat for their entire lives just happening to them without conscious choice or thought, I can make up nutty crap about it.

People really believe this stuff. The government funds scientific studies about it. It’s called “Sweat Chemicals Made Me Do IT” research.

I know that people believe this. I’ve heard them talk about it in a public place for smarty-pants, you know, college. (What follows is a story I’ve told once or twice but bears repeating.)

My anthropology professor asked my college class, “Who thinks that falling in love is a result of chemicals you can’t control?”

Every hand went up but two.

“Who thinks that falling in love is a choice?”

Two hands went up. The professor’s and mine.

I shouted, “Seriously?”

One young thing complained, “But it’s so unromantic if it’s not spontaneous. I just want to be walking down the street and BAM! There he is.”

“But what if he’s a tax evading, nose picking, axe murderer and republican?” I asked.

She blinked big doe shaped eyes and shivered.

Unromantic? I’ll tell you what’s unromantic—three kids with four daddies and utter exhaustion and flip-flops. Those things are not romantic.

Come on! Think! If this theory holds, then you could be walking down some random street, see some random monkey male of our species, and your chemicals called fair-moans scream out, “Mate.”

And you do mate. 

I asked my husband why he asked me to Homecoming all those many years ago in high school and did it have to do with uncontrollable chemical signals, and he said, “I thought you were pretty.”

I said, “Good answer.”

“And you were always wearing that T-shirt that read, SWEET HONESTY.”

“Yeah, that was my perfume. Avon makes it. I still wear Sweet Honesty,” I paused. “Oh no! I . . . still . . . wear . . . it.”


“It’s the perfume! You’ve stuck it out for thirty-five, work grinding, midnight baby shuffling, soul searing, mind blowing years, because of the perfume.”

He looked at me like I had lost part of my mind and misplaced the rest.

Then he said something stupid.

So I said, “I tell you what. I’ll tell you what to say and then you say it and then I’ll write it down like you said it.”
He said, “Shoot.”

“Say this, ‘You’re the best time I’ve ever had.’”

He said it.

And that’s how I know it can’t be the chemicals that keep the love train rolling. It has to be “love by choice.” Otherwise, I’d marry myself because I know what I want to hear—also smell.

Linda (Sniff It) Zern

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