Why is it that stinky smells crack us up? The other day, I drove by a skunk and it must have sprayed its musk just as I drove by in very close proximity because the smell didn’t really dissipate. I smelled it for the rest of my drive home. Fast forward to two days later and skunk smell is still stinking up the car. This morning, my seven-year-old opens the car door and asks in her most dramatic voice, “Mommy, WHAT is that SMELL?” She launches into this gasping-for-air act and goes on and on about how awful the smell is. She rolls her eyeballs around and the window down, sticks her head out and holds her nose which has us both in hysterics… all before 7:30am.
I think the stinky smell experience can take us back to childhood or for some of us (a-hem, I’m thinking of you, Sara), the not so distant past, when a shared experience of an unpleasant smell could crack up a group of friends in a matter of seconds. There is something in kid-culture that lets us be dramatic and offended but also just laugh at the experience, knowing that the smelly moment will pass while also knowing, there are sure to be others.
I really like this approach to things that are unpleasant or offensive: In the company of friends, acknowledge the stink, talk about how horrible it is, maybe let yourself laugh about it, and know that this, like most experiences that we have, will pass and change and probably come again.