Tag Archives: family

The Nose Roars Back

Have you ever had something stuck in your craw for so long you never thought it would go away? That’s been the relationship I’ve had with fragrance for the past six years. If you check out the last two blogs I posted, you’ll see that I was off scent for a long time, due to circumstances beyond my control. That is what’s been sticking in my craw for so long (What is a “craw” anyway? I keep envisioning that piece of popcorn that gets stuck in your teeth which takes yards of dental floss to extricate from your mouth.) Then, cancer treatment shattered my sense of smell so completely, I was convinced it was forever fucked. Forgive the strong language; if you’ve been down that road, you know what I’m talking about.

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These words were originally published on October 13, 2011 on the site PerfumePosse.com.

The number above – that’s the tax deduction 30 Serges (Exports and Exclusives), plus about 100 more miscellaneous fragrances and other items will get you if you donate them to charity.

How do I know this? I found out about 2 weeks ago, finally, what my wonderful aunt did with my perfume collection and some other items I was forbidden to retrieve from her house. Now, I guess you can say I have “closure” of the situation since she threw me out over a year ago.

I’m usually not one to air dirty laundry, but since I’ve been through so much over the past few years, I thought, what the hell. I’ve lost everything so I literally have nothing left to lose.

The problem is, finding out that my treasured collection is gone forever has put me off fragrance. This is worse than going off meds or having a run of bad luck. Right now, I just don’t care what I smell like or what anything smells like. I even pitched what  few bottles that did manage to make it out of her house; I just couldn’t stand looking at them anymore.

So, for now, I bid you all adieu. I have no desire to smell anything and I don’t know when I will again. I know my attitude sounds defeatist and it’s allowing evil to triumph over good, but I am too exhausted, emotionally and physically, to keep fighting. The only thing I can hope for is that my aunt will receive some sort of karmic retribution for all the crap she’s pulled on me over the past couple of years. You know the saying: what goes around, comes around. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed, shall we?

I hope to see you all again before too long.

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In Memoriam

This essay was originally published on November 4, 2010, on the site PerfumePosse.com.

How many of us have loved and lost? I’m not just talking about perfume: friends, family members, spouses, pets…we mourn for different things in different ways, and no two are ever alike.

Three years ago, my life as I knew it changed forever. The details of this transformation don’t matter, but in coping with all the upheaval, I decided, who better to help get me through it than family? Turns out, this was the worst decision I could have made.

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Why I Forgave My Next-Door Neighbor For Almost Killing Me

This past weekend, something happened that I never thought I would ever experience first-hand. Sure, I’ve read about stuff like this, but on Saturday, May 7, 2016, it happened to me.

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When the Dust Settles and the Smoke Clears

Most of us are familiar with variations of the expression, “When the dust settles”, or, “When the smoke clears”, we find out who our real friends are. This expression is apt when the roads our lives take become winding, and there is no clear path ahead of us. Sometimes, family and friends decide to stick with you as you navigate tricky twists and turns. Other times, they disappear into the dust and smoke, never to be seen or heard from again.

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Tamoxifen, Sandra Lee, Mammography, and DCIS

This essay was originally published on May 13, 2015.

Who likes buffets? If you do that’s totally fine. I won’t begrudge you, but I will share my thoughts:

I think buffets are evil. I think they are a bastion for those among us who have annoying food proclivities that border on being textbook eating disorders. They are all about quantity as opposed to quality. They illustrate the inherent gluttony of North Americans who think that multiple trips to the food troughs qualify as exercise. Number of times I’ve been to Las Vegas: three; number of buffets I ate at: zero. They remind me of my insane Canadian family.

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Lily (The Baby Cat)

This essay was originally published on March 17, 2015.

When you’re diagnosed with cancer, the days, weeks, and months following that news are filled with loss. You lose a body part or two, you lose your hair, you sometimes lose your dignity, and often times, you even have to sacrifice your livelihood because the treatment leaves you incapable of earning a living. In most cases, you can recover those losses; I can even replace my breasts if I want to, but I’ve yet to make that decision.

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Back In the United States

This essay was originally published on October 19, 2012.

If there is anything I’ve learned over the past three years, it is to never count on anyone but yourself. As much as we would like to believe that there are family members and friends who will be there for us no matter what (sometimes they might be), the majority of the time, we are our own best friends. It’s a tough lesson to learn, but thankfully, I’ve not only learned it, I’ve lived to tell about it.

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All Happy Families Are a Load of Crap

This essay was originally published on June 15, 2012.

Anyone who has slogged their way through Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is familiar with the line, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Anyone who is of my generation and grew up watching “The Brady Bunch,” “Leave It to Beaver,” “Father Knows Best,” and the rest of those happy-go-lucky family shows, and wished they had June Cleaver or Carol Brady for a mother, knows exactly what I’m talking about. Once the masses tired of the Carol Brady/June Cleaver unattainably perfect mom hooey, we were given shows like “Eight is Enough,” “Family,” and my personal favourite, “Dallas,” to sink our teeth into. I bring this up because the re-boot of “Dallas” premiered this past Wednesday, and at first glance, Larry Hagman’s J.R. Ewing has lost not a lick of his implacable cruelty, which is comforting in a sense, but deeply disturbing in other ways.

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New York City: Not Like I Pictured It

This essay was originally published on March 7, 2012.

First, I must give thanks to my friend Deb for this picture she took of the downtown New York City skyline while visiting last weekend. Deb’s picture inspired this post because, as was commented when she posted it to her Facebook page, it looks very “21st century,” as opposed to old New York. It got me thinking about just how much New York City has changed – not since I left Brooklyn in 1991 and moved to the suburban enclave of Massapequa (that’s in Nassau County, on Long Island), but about how much it has changed since I left the area entirely in 2008. For the first time in almost 4 years, it dawned on me that I am no longer a quick car or train ride away from the city I grew up in. Why did it take so long? The only reasonable explanation I can come up with is that I wasn’t careful what I wished for.


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