"Did you smell his hat?"
My best friend, and old college house mate, Valerie, had -- indeed still has -- this theory: men are attracted to vanilla. I was skeptical at first, and still am a bit. The men I know? They think gas stations smell good. Gas stations and tire rubber and pot roasts. But Val had read an article...a scientific article...about what smells attract men. Vanilla topped the list. I'm not a huge vanilla fan myself. It always smells too girlie, too sweet. Ah! I guess maybe that is the point, eh? It smells like a woman.
I don't smell like vanilla; now where does that leave me?
But, she went on and on about it, about this vanilla theory. She seriously believed. And over the years, she has proven to be right about these sorts of things.
Back to the hat smelling...
I walked into her room one day, and she was sitting at her desk upon a blue swivel chair, smelling a baseball hat. In a completely platonic sense, I love this woman (No, I am not a lesbian, contrary to sometimes popular belief. However I do admit, later that school year, Val and I did hold hands and "play the part" to discourage a Strange Male stalking us on the streets of San Francisco...seconds away from resorting to kissing -- come on, dude, we aren't interested in men, can't you see? -- we realized that in San Francisco this kind of kinkiness would probably only encourage him. The foray abandoned, we both remain very interested in men. Only men.), and at that point, I was beginning to get used to walking in on Val doing strange things. But, this was the strangest yet. Neither one of us was, nor is, especially "girlie." We don't get boy-crazy. We don't lose our heads (or so we like to think). We keep logic and reason. Val can philosophize circles around any man or topic you throw at her. And, she wins the argument.
That is why this hat-sniffing thing startled me. Val was sitting there, giddily, yes giddily, smelling a guy's hat. "Pheromones," she said. Oh, ok...
She went on to explain, of course, that when you are attracted to someone, their sweat, their very essence, will smell good, will smell amazing...divine...delicious. She was testing it, this theory, right this very minute in her room, she said. She took another sniff. Eyes closed, she buried her face into this sweat-stained baseball hat and inhaled...
It was attraction, alright.
I was puzzled. Someone's sweat smelling good? A guy's sweat smelling good? I asked if I could smell this hat too. It just smelled like sweat to me. At that point, I had never dated...never been close enough to smell The Opposite Sex on this sweaty level. But I became a believer in pheromones that day. Val was older and wiser. And come on, if she could sit there, giddily enraptured by sweat, pheromones must exist. Right?
I just hadn't found the right hat yet.
Val continues to be a proponent of the smell-test. And I remember asking her, when she was first dating her now-husband, "Have you smelled his hat yet?" "Oh yes! And Erin, he smells so good!"
A match made in heaven...
Does love really just boil down to whose sweat smells good to you? Are we that animalistic? Perhaps.
Last week, this post, by Melissa writing over at Gluten Free for Good, http://www.glutenfreeforgood.com/blog/gluten-free-pumpkin-pecan-boyfriend-bait popped up on my blog-feed. It's pumpkin now, is it?!
I laughed. I've been making these pumpkin cornbread muffins as of late, you see. Eating them all by myself, should you want to know.
But oh, I chuckled...vanilla...pumpkin...pheromones...
~ Baked acorn squash, stuffed with pumpkin cornbread muffins & sautéed kale, broiled with goat cheese ~