One of the common pregnancy signs that proved to be extremely true early on was a heightened sense of smell. I was picking up soap scents just from being in the same room as someone who had bathed in the past 24 hours. I could identify what the neighbors were cooking from down the hall. Perfumes, exhaust, and that odor that occurs when the metro puts on the brakes were all especially pungent.
But nothing was (and still is) as big an offender as cigarette smoke. And nowhere was (is) it as bad as on the bus.
I don’t love the smell of smoke – stale or otherwise – in the first place. But I’ve always been able to tolerate it. Until now.
The difference now is that I don’t just smell the smoke while someone is smoking or right after they put it out. It lingers. And I can smell it on someone probably hours after they’ve smoked. (I don’t know this for a fact. I’ve never asked a stranger how long it’s been since his or her last cigarette.) I do know that I’ve seen people at the bus stop who were NOT smoking, but who I could smell smoke on once we were crushed together on a packed bus.
At times, it made me nauseous, but it also led to this exchange (when we were still living in the city):
I laughed out loud and then realized that this might be one time when an animal comparison is not only allowed, but completely valid.
As fun as it is to currently have a nose comparable to Manny’s, I’m just thankful that this heightened sense of smell is temporary.
It is temporary, right?