The other Friday we had 9 high school girls at our house for a sleepover. I think my body is still recovering. Nothing reminds you that you aren’t in high school (or college) anymore like having a sleepover with 9 energetic and fun girls.
Around 1:00 in the morning, as we were all watching a movie, I noticed something that wasn’t quite right. It came on fast and furious and arrested my senses. We’d been skunked.
Now we have been skunked before. Our dog has had a mouthful of skunk that left her foaming at the mouth for hours and bad breath that lasted for weeks. Our house is pier and beam and there must be a sign that says, “Skunks spray here” at a hole we haven’t yet found leading to the crawl space because the amount of times we have had to deal with the odor is really getting quite ridiculous. On many occasions we have woken in the middle of the night wondering what the foul odor was, wondering if Clementine has messed in her cage, only to recognize the poison that is skunk spray wafting through the floor boards once we finally stir out of our daze.
This was nothing like those times. This was the foulest, most awful thing I’ve ever smelled, and it was right under our bedroom (the only room in the house with carpet). We tried to put it out of our thoughts, but let’s be honest, once it has entered into your nasal passages, there really is nothing you can do. I grabbed dryer sheets and three of us fell asleep with them under our noses.
That was Friday. We were out of the house most of the day Saturday, thankfully. We still smelled the odor on Saturday evening but it wasn’t quite so bad. By Sunday I was used to the smell.
I walked into church that Sunday morning, slightly late (per usual), and scanned the crowd for Matthew who had welcome duty that morning. I said hello to the well-dressed, polite, and glamorous while I kept looking from the back for Matthew. As I was scanning, I started to notice something that wasn’t quite right.
I sniffed the air. I looked quickly around. I smelled my coat. My wool coat…that was in my bedroom on Friday night and not in the closet, my wool coat that I planned to wear that night to the Christmas party. It smelled of skunk.
Just then Chip and Jessica walked by and I grabbed her.
“Do you smell me? Smell this. Do I smell like skunk?”
Praise the Lord for honest friends who don’t tell you that you smell fine when you don’t. I quickly shed the coat and draped it over the last row of chairs before heading to the front of the church where Matthew was sitting (of course).
I quickly took my seat, turned to him and said, “My coat smells like skunk. I smell like skunk. I can’t stay. I have to go. I have to go home, like, right now.”
“What? You smell fine.” (Again, praise the Lord for honest friends who tell you the truth when husbands know what to say to make you stay where you are supposed to be.) Nice try, Matthew. My mind was made up from the second I smelled the skunk.
I walked out my front door and back in within 20 minutes, angry. I knew I should have just moved to the back of the church instead of leaving, but y’all, be honest with me, who out there would have stayed instead of retreating home, washing all the linens in the house, and putting bowls of vinegar and plates of coffee all over the house, lighting every candle, sprinkling the carpet with baking soda? I did it all.
I febreezed my coat and hung it out to air dry. I threw open the windows and then left the house for the day.
When I came home, the windows were still open and Matthew was studying for a final with layers of jackets on. It was 45 degrees outside and we, the home that always gets skunked, had to air-out our house, on one of San Antonio’s coldest days.
Hopefully the next time you see me, you see me before you smell me.