Did you ever have an embarrassing moment in high school? “Yeah,” you may add. “It’s called all four high school years.”
When I was 14, a tender hearted freshman in high school, I experienced something that changed the way I smell things. Forever. Yes, I said smell.
Picture this: A cold early winter night, with a brisk and dry east wind blowing through the Willamette Valley. The house I grew up in is very old (around 1880), and when I was a kid wasn’t entirely insulated. We had an old diesel furnace that would come on with an whomping “boom” and if you weren’t used to it, might scare you in the middle of the night. On this particular night, a skunk, who was quite possibly cold and seeking shelter, thought it was a great idea to crawl under the house through a gap in the cement block foundation. As it was very cold, the furnace boomed on and the new crawlspace resident sprayed. And the spray traveled through the entire house through the ductwork. You couldn’t escape it, and it was terrible.
Did I smell like skunk? We didn’t think so, for some silly reason. Did I go to school the next morning? Haha, funny you ask. YES. The bus ride, the shameful walk through the entire school to the freshman hall, the panicked phone call of shame from a nearby classroom where the teacher held the receiver up to my ear without touching me so I could beg my mother to come pick me up immediately. All soul crushing.
I was freshman Pepe Le Pew. Le sigh.
Ever since then, I have been exceptionally tuned in to smells. Aside from the fact that my husband swears that I have a superhuman nose as it is, this event in my younger days certainly helped me cultivate my ability. As silly as it sounds.
Needless to say, one of my superpowers in real estate is what I like to call the Sniff Test. Smells tell a lot about a house and what a potential buyer may need to be prepared for. Is it musty and damp smelling? There could be a mold or water intrusion issue. Pet smells? Smoke from cigarettes? Even when they’re faint, I can catch them. Killz primer doesn’t completely remove everything.
What’s your superpower? Bonus points if it came from an embarrassing moment.