The Innocence Of Youth. I Am So Profound Today.

Blogstalkers.

When I cracked my eyes open this last Saturday in Chicago and saw the slate grey sky and heard the pattering of raindrops on the windows, I had a feeling that it was not going to be a good day.  My premonition would prove to be correct.  Over the course of the day I burned the bacon I was making for breakfast, accidentally wore the pants that have an inappropriate hole in the back to the grocery store and fell down the stairs while holding an open can of diet coke.  Oh and before I even got out of bed, one of my dogs ran into the bedroom, jumped on top of me and vomited on my head.

And then Ryan said, "At least now you have to shower today."  

Which was just downright mean-spirited because I had showered the day before and a cautious sniff of my underarm areas revealed nothing amiss.

So I said, "Ryan that is just a downright mean-spirited thing to say to one's wife after they have been puked upon.  I take offense to you even suggesting that I smell, you know my skin has a natural aroma of petunias and vanilla."

To which he responded "Oh God not this story again."

And so I huffed off to the shower and did not tell him that story again.  Because I am nothing if not a good wife and a gifted dancer.

But now I will tell you all the story.  You are welcome in advance.  

The year is 1999 and I am a 15 year old sophomore in high school.  I have an eyebrow ring and am a dedicated member of my school's Science Olympiad team.  Nights and weekends, when I am not writing spirited letters to the editor of the Chicago Tribune, I pass my time working at the local hardware store and losing seafood eating contests at Red Lobster.

I would do anything for extra credit points.
And I have excellent fashion sense.
 I have not yet started hanging out with this kid.

What.  A.  Dreamboat.
I am taking a photography class.  One day in said photography class the boy behind me leans in and tells me that my skin smells of petunias and vanilla which I should think is weird because of how it means that he had been sniffing me but instead I find charming because of how he has an Australian accent.

"He is appreciating you in the way one does a fine wine," I tell myself.  "Plus he is from another country where this sort of thing might be commonplace."

So then instead of being like "Stop smelling me perv," I am like "You shall be my secret boyfriend now and we will go to the mall and hold hands."

And then we did just that.  And then another boy who was in our class and was 19 and what we called a "Super Senior" because of how he was so good at being a senior in high school that he did it twice came up behind us and was like "Hello Lovers."

And then we had to break up because of all of the photography class ridicule.  And then he moved back to Australia and I never saw him again.

Though he did one time, years later, send me an email in which he told me he had been thinking about my "chocolate eyes."


I should mention that as he left class the day before his return to his native land, he said "I have something for you."  He handed me an envelope.  I remember being disappointed because it was getting less and less likely that the "something" he had for me was candy.  Inside the envelope were three pictures of me.  Taken during photography class using a zoom lens from across the room then developed outside of class hours after school.  

"I took these the first day of class," he told me, "I've been meaning to give them to you ever since."

I should have been off put that this boy had taken secret pictures of me.  And I should have been concerned that after he had taken the secret pictures of me, he had kept them for a year, for who knows what purpose.  But again because of the Australian accent, I was charmed.

"Thank You," I breathed and then watched my possibly-creepy-sweet-Australian-never-even-kissed-me-once-boyfriend walk off down the hall and out of my life forever.

And that is the story of how I know that my skin smells like petunias and vanilla.


In case anyone is wondering, I finally got through all two hundred-ish (seriously) emails regarding my four contributors' spots.  I was blown away by how very hysterically funny you all are.  My decision was not in any way an easy one.  I spent much of the weekend torn and vacillating but in the end extended offers that were accepted to two more people, which brings my total number of contributors up to four.  I am working on responding individually to each and every email I received.  You all are ridiculous and wonderful and I will be naming my first child after you, which will be unfortunate for the child - to have a name with so many hyphens.

29 comments:

  1. 1999 was a great year for eyebrow piercings.

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    1. It was also a great year for my dad making me stay home on New Years Eve because of the whole Y2K thing.

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  2. He may have been an Australian dreamboat (and my 15 year old self is soooooooooo jealous right now because I had a thing for Aussies) BUT. He obviously doesn't know his flowers. Because petunias, while not stinky like a marigold, aren't exactly fragrant. Heliotrope and vanilla? Yes. Stargazer lilies and vanilla? Let's bottle that an make a million. But petunias? He just wanted a piece of that eyebrow ring. (Of which my 15 year old self is also jealous! My mom wouldn't let me get one- we settled on a third hole in each ear. Lame.)

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    1. One time I was in Whole Foods and they had petunias so I made a point to smell them and they smelled mildly rotten and I was like "I SO do not smell like that." But I'll take the sentiment I guess.

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  3. That sounds very much like 10 things I hate about you.... ok well the Australian new guy part does.

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    1. And now I have to rewatch that movie this week. Haven't seen it in forever. And I love Joseph Gordon Leavitt.

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    2. I can watch that movie over and over again. I love 1990's teen movies.

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    3. I have seen that movie 25 times.

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  4. My first name has only one hyphen and I curse my parents for it daily. Just saying....

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    1. Hmmmm...maybe I'll make it my first child's middle name then.

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  5. Such a great photo of you! I had an Australian "Internet" boyfriend. Sigh, those were the days. We were like the future match.com or whatnot. I'm sorry your dog threw up on you btw! I hope you have a great week!

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    1. Thanks Lesley! I'm sorry my dog threw up on me too.

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  6. Lisa S9/24/2012

    I would probably not have found any of that creepy either. Maybe should, but wouldn't. Once someone leaned in to me in class and told me the person in front of him smelled bad. I'm not sure why he felt the need to tell me this.

    Here's how I know I was right to not try to apply for your contributor spots: I started a blog two weeks ago and it so far has zero words on it. Congrats to the people chosen.

    Sorry about your bad day.

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  7. Awww I want a maybe creepy foreign boyfriend with an accent. I hope the rest of your weekend improved. Between dog vomit and kid vomit this childless/pet less thing is looking more and more appealing.

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  8. This was such a great story. I'd have to agree that he would totally be a creepy stalker minus the dreamy accent.

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  9. I was torn between being jealous of your dreamy Australian boyfriend and being freaked out by the stalkerishness of it all. Also, long names kinda suck, my 6 year old niece suggested that i name my not-even-planned-to-be-conceived baby a short name, cause it won't fit on school stuff otherwise. As my name is extremely long (Esmeralda Virginia Arellano-Guzman), I agreed with her!

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  10. Have you ever read Alexander and the Terrible Horrible Very bad day? It's a kids book and nd not exactly cerebral but a good one for days when your dog pukes on your head. I like to go to Walmart and people watch...I always feel better about myself after that! I give you a pass on the creepy stalker...us american girls can't withstand the "accent". The british guy who comes to America in Love Actually proves my theory.

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  11. Blogstalkers: I have met Lauren in person and I can absolutely guarantee she smells like petunias and vanilla. In fact, when I entered the bookstore where we met for the first time (ahhhhh.....a day I will always remember.....be jealous!), I was all, like, "oh wow! Petunias and vanilla everywhere!" Then I found the source -- Miz Lauren herself. All smiley and smelly!

    True story. ;)

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  12. I woke up with the same feeling on Saturday! Although my cats did not puke on me nor did I burn any bacon, I did however sit around in sweats all day eating buffalo chicken dip(NOT the lower fat version) with A LOT of extra cheese(I believe you would've been proud) and watching various football games & DVRed episodes of Gilmore Girls.
    I too have strong penchant for boys with various accents so I totally relate to that story and had(have?) many a secret relationship with them. I think once your blog explodes and you a super famous, you should release a fragrance that smells of petunias & Vanilla and call "I told you so, RYAN".

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  13. All Eddie ever says to me is that I smell of cabbage. I'm going to hit him in the face with petunias and then dance around his confused body... I shall dedicate this dance to the memory of your mysterious Australian.

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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  14. I once had a high school stalker tell his friends (who totally ratted him out to me) that he could locate my position in the school by smelling the air for my perfume. This was exceptionally weird because I didnt wear perfume. What a creepist.

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  15. Anonymous9/25/2012

    I feel like a creeper because when you started talking about the last day of class and the guy handing you an envelope, I KNEW what was going to be in it!!! What do the other two pictures look like?

    I swear I am totally not a creeper.

    xoxo!

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  16. Yeah, it was definitely creepy, Australian or not. Aussie boys definitely don't do that sort of thing as a general rule, and if they did they'd probably be told to stop playing silly buggers and don't come the raw prawn with me, fella!

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  17. Having had a semi-stalker whose idea of a date was watching a film on the Protestant Reformation and joking about strangling and burying me in the park, I think that flowers, photos and an Aussie accent make for the desirable end of the stalker scale. And having good husband eye-roll-inducing material is always fun!

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  18. Looking forward to seeing your contributor choices. Do you they have to sign a contract, and you can fire them if they talk badly about Ryan?

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  19. When you're 15 not creepy sort of romantic. When you're 31 ummm stalker in training maybe. But he seems like such a sweet stalker not the "wear your skin as a suit" type. Being thrown up on is definitely not the best way to wake up. But it could've been worse, least your mouth wasn't open.

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  20. I still remember the weird guy in high school who always called me angel. At the time, I thought he was being sarcastic. In retrospect, I'm not so sure. He was a weird guy regardless... And more importantly, he didn't have an Australian accent.

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  21. Anyone with an accent can tell me anything and I will find it sexy. I always knew I would marry a man with an accent... I really and truly did not think it would be a Southern accent, but that's what I got. And he is charming!

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  22. Sometimes my danger meter is off and I think it was broken for most of my 20s. I once had a boss ask me if I could sleep on my stomach because of my boobs. Like a weirdo, I answered him. Took me like 4 years to get offended. Sometimes I am slow.

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